Spring is a time of regeneration and growth. All around us, nature is moving out of the hibernation of winter and into a state of vibrancy and brilliance. It can be easy to let this time float by, practically unnoticed, if you are busy and live in an urban area. Remember that nature is never very far out of your reach, and it is important to create a
connection with the world around you.
Spring Regeneration and Rebirth
Allow the vigor of spring to inspire you to enter into a state of renewal yourself. Commit to making the time to venture outside and take pleasure in the simple things: the cool breeze, the electrifying greenness, the radiant wildflowers, and how good it feels to move. Some of my happiest and most fulfilling times are spent on the trails of our local parks and open spaces.
The first gift is that of exercise. Start by taking a leisurely stroll, enjoying the oak leaf buds, the birds, and the lupines. As you continue, increase your distance and intensity to the point of breaking a sweat and getting out of breath. Start choosing the paths that lead you up hills and around bends. Look for more strenuous and rewarding hikes. Challenge yourself!
Trail walking and running works more muscles in your body than running on pavement or at the gym. The terrain is uneven, so it recruits your abdominal and back muscles (among many others) to stabilize you. Your brain is also working because you have to plan your strategy around rocks and plants so that you don’t trip. Sure beats the monotony of the treadmill!
Beyond the physical benefits of hiking are the emotional and spiritual gifts as well. I get some of my best thinking done on the trail. That’s not to mention the extreme stress relief I experience from being in a beautiful, quiet place surrounded by abundant life. I’m telling you… its addictive!
Some of My Favorite Spots
- Skyline Park
- Alston Park
- Lake Hennessey
- Mt. St. Helena
- Rector Ridge
- Stebbins Cold Canyon
- The Napa River Ecological Reserve
- Bothe State Park
- Napa River Trail
- Wantrup Preserve
- Oat Hill Mine Trail
- Palisades trail
- Rockville Hills Park
- Lagoon Valley Park
- Lynch Canyon Open Space
- Hiddenbrooke Trail
- Vallejo-Benicia Buffer (part of the Bay Area Ridge trail)
- Mt. Vaca
- Lake Herman Preserve
* List sourced from The Napa County Resource Conservation District: www.napaoutdoors.org
* Other resources include The land Trust of Napa County: www.napalandtrust.org, the Open Space District: www.napaoutside.org, or Ken Stanton’s book Great Day Hikes in and around Napa Valley.