Ohlone Ridge Trail

Published by Jenn Laredo on

Exploring with your kids gives you a chance to measure their growth not in feet and inches, but by miles. I love to see how the kids’ experiences change, and what hikes they are willing to tackle when we return to places we’ve visited before. We’re revisiting the spot where the boys had their first RV camping experience, the Costanoa KOA.

We were here in 2017, and had an amazing four days. We loved our rented RV and the campground is spectacular. We saw a mama quail with her babies, and Noah learned to identify the sound of the redwing blackbird. The boys favorite thing was to walk across the highway to the beach. This was about a mile, from campsite to shoreline, and at the time, it was a trek, especially for Noah, and especially on the way back. He invented a robot that would make you any sandwhich you wanted on one of these walks.

When we checked in three years ago, the camp host strongly recommended we walk to the top of Ohlone Ridge to see the view, and I remember thinking “Oh, yeah, no. We wouldn’t make it.” Three miles and uphill was out of our reach then. No longer.

Our 2017 hiking mood.

We parked in a small lot across Highway 1, opposite the camp entrance. From there we could have just as easily visited the beach, and we were not far from the entrance to Año Nuevo State Park, and the walk to the elephant seals. Awesome adventures, but we were heading up the hill. A small hill, the climb was just about 400 feet, and most of that at a very gentle slope.

The quail were waiting for us right at the start of the hike, showing off their baby chicks to the neighborhood bunny. We met a fence lizard on the bridge, and at the top of the loop, a passing hiker said she’d just passed a rattlesnake. We were on high alert, but didn’t see or hear a trace of it.

Triumph in 2020.

This was one of my favorite hikes in a good long time, if not ever. Sure, there were several real life moments. Voices were raised, eyes were rolled, dramatic sighs were exhaled, and we still didn’t have enough snacks. There was also the moment when Miles looked up to the ridge and said, “That shouldn’t be too hard.” Their confidence as hikers continues to grow.

Watch the video:

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