Tired of exercising in your living room? We understand! Join us in taking the workout OUTSIDE with weekly curated routes for running, hiking, and biking!

We will share two routes per week, one for hiking/running and one for biking, taking you to different locations all over San Francisco. Additionally, we will share a BONUS route contributed by Y Walkers and supporting members.

Join us in exploring the city and enjoy the great outdoors!

 

Cataract Falls 3.84 mi

Route: Cataract Falls (3.8 miles) 

Trailhead/Starting Point: Laurel Dell Fire Road off of Ridgecrest Blvd, above Stinson Beach, CA

Please keep in mind that we do not meet in person on this day. This route will be available for a week for you to do on your own or come back to in the future.

CLICK HERE FOR COMMUNITY OUTDOOR ADVENTURES 

With the coming rain, we’ve got another waterfall hike for you that also happens to be another staff favorite.

Cataract Falls is a popular hike that often starts from the trailhead on Alpine Lake, which can be most easily accessed from Fairfax. However, for this route, we’re suggesting you start it on the southern end of the trail for both the scenic drive to the start and to access a less crowded area.

To reach the start, you’ll need to head to Ridgecrest Blvd in Mount Tamalpais State Park. Just under 3-miles after turning off of Panoramic Highway, you’ll reach a small dirt parking area with a gated trailhead on the right. If parking here is limited, there’s a little more parking north of this area.

To start, you’ll start heading downhill on Laurel Dell Fire Rd for 0.3 miles where you’ll reach a wooden bridge. Cross this bridge and make a left, you’re now on Cataract Trail! You’ll follow this trail and the creek all the way to the lake, passing multiple waterfalls along the way. When you’re ready to head back, you’ll make your way up the same way you went down. You’ll have the option of jumping on the Fire Rd a little earlier than the bridge.

Almost the entire route is shaded and can be a great hike for those sunny warm days when you’re seeking cool, lush green hike!

Please continue to practice social distancing and wear a mask whenever possible.    

 

 

Hawk Hill Climb 6 mi

Route: Hawk Hill Climb (6 miles)  

Trailhead/Starting Point: Point Bonita Y, Marin Headlands 

Please keep in mind that we do not meet in person on this day. This route will be available for a week for you to do on your own or come back to in the future.

CLICK HERE FOR COMMUNITY OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

This week’s suggested ride is a short one that has everything packed into 6 miles: a false flat, a big climb, and a long descent. Beware, for those that haven’t done this loop before. The long downhill after reaching Hawk Hill can be a scary way. If you’re not feeling up to it, you can always double back.   

To start, you’ll leave the Point Bonita Y parking lot and make a left on Field Rd. This section is a downhill and a good place to start warming up before reaching the false flat on Bunker Road. While this next section looks flat, it has enough of an uphill to make you work. After about 1.5 miles on Bunker Rd, you’ll make a right on McCullough Rd where you’ll immediately see the uphill climb. From here until you reach the top of Hawk Hill on Conzelman Rd, you’ll be climbing the whole way. At times, it’s a gradual climb and at times it’s a steeper one. Remember it’s only about 1.5 miles, but it’ll feel like a lot longer if you’ve never done this one before.  

Upon reaching Hawk Hill, take a breather, snap a photo, and get ready for the final part of the ride. If you’re already comfortable going downhill, we suggest taking the scenic ride back to the Y by continuing on Conzelman. If you head over to the downhill section and realize today is not your day, just turn around and head back the way you came up! Either way, enjoy the ride!  

Please continue to practice social distancing and wear a mask whenever possible. 

FAQs

What is the intended impact of Routes of the Week?  

The intended impact is to explore our backyards – the streets and neighborhoods that are within walking, running, or biking distance that can be seen and felt in a way that is hard to see or feel in a car or bus.  

Routes of the Week are also intended to just provide a different place to exercise that may be less crowded.   

What kinds of routes will there be?  

All kinds! Trails, roads, stairs, hills, flats. The routes don’t always include parks, but we're hoping to connect city parks as much as possible since we know that green spaces can also be good for mental health.    

How are they chosen?  

Location: We try to provide routes in all neighborhoods in San Francisco, knowing that not everyone has access to Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, or the waterfront of the Embarcadero. Since these Routes of the Week started during the Shelter in Place, providing options that were less obvious or gave people a chance to climb a new hill, or see a new connecting street, while still being able to exercise safely felt important.  

Distance: Providing a route that can be done in 45minutes to 90 minutes made it a bit more feasible for parents, families, people to take a manageable outdoor break without it eating up a huge chunk of the day. 

Highlights: Some routes are chosen for their views, some for the history, and some for just the pure desire to get a solid workout by climbing a long hill, which are hard to avoid in San Francisco. For routes in Marin and San Mateo, we’re trying to use less popular trailheads and combine them with popular features – just to provide other ways of getting to the same popular places.  

What makes you choose the ones you do?  

I personally find the less obvious stuff interesting. So I’ll look for a route that is less obvious to someone that has ran or biked that area before a hundred times. We all (myself included) get in the habit of learning something/a route and then doing it again and again because we know what to expect, we can cover it faster, we want to not have to think about getting lost, but sometimes it’s nice to find something slightly different that you can “master.”  

How does this align with SiP orders?  

Under current SiP orders, outdoor exercise is allowed in Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo, provided that we still wear masks, follow social-distancing guidelines, and respect the rules set in place by parks and counties. Since hiking, running, and riding rarely requires you to touch anything other than your own equipment, these Routes of the Week provide opportunities to exercise with individuals while still being safe.  

With parking lots at trailheads closed at popular parks, like the Marin Headlands and Mount Tam, having options to hike, run, or bike in places that didn’t require driving also inspired these Routes of the Week. 

As the SiP orders evolve and eventually disappear, we hope that the Routes of the Week will just provide more opportunities to continue exploring and seeing other places nearby that might get overshadowed by the more popular trails/routes.  

 

What is different about these routes than other orgs/websites with suggestions? 

Other orgs/websites provide really great options for nature education, scenic views, etc. They often provide the best option to see everything that park has to offer. Which is a great place to start exploring new spaces and getting comfortable with wayfinding, especially if this is not a strength for people. Some of our routes also include those popular routes.  

However, our routes also provide an opportunity to see streets or thoroughfares that connect neighborhoods/parks that we may not have known existed before. The hope is that when people are out on a daily walk, that it brings a bit more variety to daily options, versus having to wait for the weekend to go visit a place. Plus, the more areas you get familiar with, the more you’re likely you are to make your own routes.

What information will be included? 

Routes of the week will include: 

  • Location description with distance and map 

  • Highlights of the area/fun fact 

  • Ideal times to go visit 

  • Multiple starting options to access route 

  • Recommended places to park if you have to drive to the trailheads 

  • Options to make it different: longer, harder, easier, fast, etc.