<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaworskihouse/7130753359/” title=”cable car beach by jaworskihouse, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8008/7130753359_a437b6e365_n.jpg” width=”320″ height=”214″ alt=”cable car beach at cowell redwoods state park”></a><br />n<br />nThere are almost too many great places in the bay area to explore, many of them really close to home. The northern California coast is only one of two places in the world that redwood forests exist, and they are in our own backyard.<br />n<br />nWith this in mind, I insisted on a family day hike to <a href=”http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=546″ title=”Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park”>Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park</a> outside of Felton. On Saturday morning, we were all packed up and out the door before 9AM. Short ride over the hill and we were parked and readied for the jaunt to Cable Car Beach.<br />n<br />nThe San Lorenzo river runs right through the park, and the beach really is a beach, with sand and all, though it’s on a river and entirely shaded. We hung out there for well over an hour playing in the sand, climbing the cliff that faces the river, hopping over Eagle Creek that dumps into the San Lorenzo there, and generally having a swell time. Yep, even the dog came along despite his arthritis.<br />n<br />nHarold is still a bit small to handle it all on his own, so we had the small-kid backpack to give him a lift. I believe that at just under 3 miles (4.8 km) roundtrip, this very well may have been our longest hike yet that we’ve all gone on. And at the end of the day, it was fun, we all agreed, which just makes me want to make a tradition of going out to local, beautiful places to explore!<br />n<br />n<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaworskihouse/7130753521/” title=”penny and harold by jaworskihouse, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7063/7130753521_b1c4b6732b_n.jpg” width=”320″ height=”214″ alt=”penny and harold”></a>