Sweat SF: 5 Starter Trails to Trial

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Getting outdoors is on our to-do list, major. Though we aren’t hiking experts, we fancy the occasional sunset crest up to the ocean or brisk mountain air passing by. Whether you’re a first timer or a veteran of several years, these trails will be a great intro to the great outdoors.

I never thought I’d be a runner. I was a gym person: IN, sweat, OUT. I couldn’t see the appeal in running; it seemed dull and monotonous. Runners always looked so terribly smug and I was definitely not about that life. Then I was signed up for a 10k. End of story. I started on a training regime, trying to get outside as much as humanly possible. I discovered that, unlike a treadmill, being outdoors meant a constantly changing scenery, and a different view of the Bay.

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Trail 1: Mori Point

My all-time favorite, although definitely a commitment as traffic going south often puts me off making the trip, Mori Point is a beautiful cliffside trail. Not a particularly long run, and not as challenging but this route is just gentle enough that you can enjoy the view of the black sand and wild succulents without getting your breathing out of sync. 

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Trail 2: Marin Headlands

Not far from the Stinson beach trail but with radical views of the city, this route can be extra brutal. Only attempt this one when you’re really trying to train up as its varying ascents and descents make for a cardiac workout like no other. This is also the trail that North Face uses to build their endurance run around, so if you’re thinking of hitting that one, this is the perfect training ground.

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Trail 3: Bay Ridge Trail above Fairfax

Looping around the entirety of the Bay, the Ridge Trail spans approximately 400 miles meaning there are a bunch of places you can pick up and begin at. It’s perfect if, like me, you suffer from city induced cabin fever from time to time. A gentle but unrelenting incline for the first few miles, this is not a trail for the faint of heart, but a great workout for your buns. The best thing about this trail is it can be as long or as short as you fancy, perfect for a 5ker.

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Trail 4: Dipsea Trail- Muir Woods to Stinson Beach

Although the woods are something of a tourist trap on the weekends, the beauty of this just-out-the-city redwood grove is unmissable. I try to go midweek to avoid the pains of parking and navigating through dawdling tourists. Although a lot of this is downhill, it is a hefty run at about 9.5 miles. With a shuttle that will take you back up to the parking lot, this trail won’t have to be a super trek, unless you really want to!

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Trail 5: Presidio

The Presidio is a great trail if you’re not trying to make a day of it and the ecology trail at Arguello Gate is my go to. On the incline you will pass the Pet Cemetery before following the sandy path back up through eucalyptus and redwood trees. It’s a big push so be prepared: the spartan stairs past the military cemetery mark the halfway point in the incline and are guaranteed to get your heart-rate going.

Written by Eirinie Carson, Images have been sourced from Wikipedia Commons and the author. Eirinie is a full-time model and mother to a beautiful puppy. Lets get physical with this bay area sportswear brand. What do you think is the best trail for novices?

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