Monday, June 22, 2015

8:56 PM
You know its going to be a good vacation when, within 1 hour of arriving at your destination, you have gone on a 3.5 mile trail run, showered, kissed your kids, and been poured a glass of wine. So began our much-needed mini-vacay at Costanoa - a favorite place to glamp and play and the perfect location to celebrate two birthdays and three father's days with my family.

Cousins! and the Birthday Girl
Part of why we love Costanoa so much - scenery, food, lodging and family time aside - is that it is such a great launching point for adventures. A recent trip had us counting banana slugs by the tens as we biked / hiked Butano State Park. This trip we opted to explore the beach and Big Basin's Berry Creek Falls Trail  on our mountain bikes. And by "we" I mean my family (using our trailer bikes) and my rockstar parents (on their mountain bikes). And by "explore" I mean we biked 12 miles round trip on trails, placing first in the under-6 and over-60 categories.

Girls Love Dirt
The trail itself is a combination of duff-covered fire road and fern-lined single track - alternately criss-crossing and paralleling Waddel Creek as you make your way deep into the canyon carved through redwoods. It is gently rolling with a few short climbs and, with the exception of a couple of tight turns, it was one of the most ride-able and family-friendly mountain bike rides I have ever been on. Even more importantly, at the turn-around point of the ride there was this:

A Little Mid-ride Fly Fishing
A little Creek-side Cuddle
A magical little hobbit-land / creek for the kids to explore and play around and have a picnic next to before the return ride home. The more intrepid can even ditch their bikes for a 1-mile round trip hike to Berry Creek Falls - we were content to "fish" and throw rocks.

As we rolled back to the beach my daughter punctuated her chatting with whooeee! every time we went over a bump. Close to the end of the ride, in a sure sign that this adventure had been a success, she offered this suggestion to the group maybe every weekend or every other weekend we can do a long family bike ride. 

Sounds great to me! I would love to know about other kid-friendly mountain bike trails though - any suggestions?

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