Toddler-Friendly Hikes Near Cupertino

For some, hiking is a great way to explore and push your limits; for others, hiking is simply a way to relax and tone down. For both, here are some toddler-friendly hikes near Cupertino:

  • Pichetti Ranch Open Space Preserve: This preserve contains several trails and is right next to the Picchetti Winery, so it’s easy to do a quick hike and then enjoy some wine tasting afterwards! The trails are well maintained, although very dusty; overall, it’s a nice place for a pleasant exercise or leisure hike. You’ll encounter beautiful scenery and possibly even some wildlife. For more information and possible hikes, visit http://strollerhikes.com/location/picchetti/
  • Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve: This preserve contains a farm called the Deer Hollow Farm with a variety of farm animals, which is definitely a bonus for young children. There is also a beautiful scenic spot called the Vista Point, where you can see almost the entire Bay Area. Although some hikes may be hilly, the hike is full of beautiful views of the hills and forests, the trails are surrounded by wildflowers, and lots of birds, insects, and other critters to enjoy with plenty of shade. The only downside is the preserve’s popularity; it is often difficult to find parking and the hikes are generally full of families and hikers. For more information and hikes, visit http://strollerhikes.com/location/rancho-san-antonio/
  • Blackberry Farm: Although trails from Blackberry Farm may be short, the trails behind Blackberry Farm are a personal favorite of mine. The trails are also near the Blackberry Farm swimming pool, which is a popular recreational location for children. Stevens Creek Trail has a wonderful paved section from Blackberry Farm to McClellan Ranch Park. Few are aware of Blackberry Farm’s trails, so they are often emptier than normal trails. Enjoy the gorgeous nature and wildlife and visit the historical ranch nearby. However, some trails on Blackberry Farm can get narrow and encounter obstacles such as logs, so carriers and backpacks are recommended over strollers. For more information and hikes, visit http://strollerhikes.com/location/mcclellan-ranch-blackberry-farm/.
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Taking the First Step

Sometimes taking the first step is the hardest.

This past week, after a week of unrelenting nagging and persistent hints from my sister, I finally gained the courage to take my first step outside for a run. Due to the frigid weather recently, I had spent most of my days the past week indoors, wrapped in a warm cocoon of blankets and lethargy.

However, as I took that first brisk step outside that day, instantly blasted by a gust of cold air, I felt lighter, physically and mentally. As I began to run, I gradually felt a sense of freedom from my current responsibilities, as I was allowed to temporarily mentally disengage, simply focusing on the pounding of my footsteps and the brilliant scenery of my neighborhood.

Thus, despite my initial reluctance, after finally taking that first step outside, I ended up running for half an hour, and overall ended the run with a satisfactory finish and smile.

So go outside, take that first step outside, and explore your neighborhood, a nearby park or hike a small trail; perhaps it will end up above your expectations like my run did for me!

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New Year, New You

The beginning of January marks the approaching end of the holidays, as we return to our everyday lives, whether it be school, work or managing children. However, although 2016 has passed, 2017 provides the chance for new opportunities, a chance to explore and discover more.

This year I’m attempting to become more active and go outdoors more, whether it be hiking or simply taking that first step outside. Although the frigid air outside may seem a difficult obstacle to surpass, I hope my determination will help me persevere despite the wind and occasional gloomy weather. Although it may seem a difficult feat at first, I believe that this goal will spark many more and continue to push me to challenge my boundaries.

So this year, try something new. Push out of your comfort zone, discover a newfound passion or interest, and explore beyond what is regular. After all, no matter the person you were in 2016, 2017 is a chance to start anew and redefine yourself.

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A New Perspective

A few weeks ago, I decided to go hiking to Hunter’s Point. However reluctant I was at first, I soon became incredibly grateful of my decision, as that hike really grounded me and gave me some new perspective.

At first, that painful, dusty hike seemed a burden rather than a blessing, bstrollerhikespicut long minutes – even hours – with only the rhythm of my feet, and rare conversation, really provided time and space for me to think. Surrounded by shrubbery, I could finally clear my head, and the escape from the bustle and the business around me allowed me to actually be mindful of surroundings. It’s difficult in a person’s everyday life to truly process everything going around – to be truly aware. We are often so caught up in the bustle of things that we lose purpose of what matters – the process. In fact, the hike truly brought perspective on some issues that were bothering me the past month. My new perspective wasn’t just the view from the cliff, but also a new light on my life, which helped me clear my mind and realize some decisions ahead.

All in all, I learned that a hike really can be the underestimated cure to some of your problems. Therefore, if you’re debating about a hike, or feeling lazy or reluctant, do it. Even if the hike is painful at first, I’m sure you won’t regret it, and eventually maybe you’ll overcome some mental hurdles of your own as well. For me, the hot, dusty air and sweat trickles were minor setbacks in the hike, and the newfound perspective in the end – both the view at the top of the mountain and my mindset – were definitely worth the journey hiking up.

To experience my hike at Fremont Older (http://strollerhikes.com/location/fremont-older/), try the 3.8 mile Seven Springs Route (http://strollerhikes.com/hike/seven-springs-loop/) or the 2.4 mile Hunter’s Point Route (http://strollerhikes.com/hike/prospect-road-to-hunters-point/).

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Christmas

Christmas is fast approaching! But for many different people, this holiday has very different meanings…

For some, the holiday season can be summed up in four words: “shop ‘til you drop.” Christmas season is a time for them to join the masses of rushed shoppers, cram in crowded malls and enjoy flashy television advertisements. Whether it be buying gifts for friends and family or taking advantage of holiday sales, shopping is a fundamental part of the holiday season for many.

For others, it may simply be welcomed as an eager respite from the strains of work or school – a chance to relax before we are forced to pick up our duties and return to everyday life. In fact, a few are more excited on simply the idea of a chance to relax than the other Christmas celebrations that come with this holiday.

For my family and many others around the world, Christmas is cherished as a time for family and friends. Welcoming distant relatives home, perhaps reminiscing over a cup of hot chocolate and hanging up lights around the Christmas tree…

We all have our own unique versions of Christmas, but almost all of them share one thing in common: they are a chance to relax and renew yourself. So pull out the year-old Christmas decorations and enjoy Christmas!

Happy holidays everyone!

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