|Author||Ben Pease and David Weintraub|
I think one could plausibly argue that San Francisco and the surrounding Bay area offers more immediately accessible outdoor recreation than any other metropolis in the country. Between the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, numerous state parks, Point Reyes National Seashore, and perhaps the best regional park system in the country, the Bay Area offers the best in hiking. Several years ago, David Weintraub wrote the first edition of Top Trails San Francisco and it quickly became one of the most sought after guides to the region. Now Ben Pease, a local cartographer, has updeated the original Weintraub book and the result is even better than the first edition.
Like all books in the Top Trails series, this guide is not meant to be a comprehensive listing of trails in the Bay Area. Instead, this book aims to describe the best routes and introduce hikers to as many ecosystems found within the Bay Area as possible. The book, like most Bay Area hiking guides, is divided into 4 chapters: Marin and North Bay, Peninsula, East Bay and South Bay. Each chapter begins with a short snapshot of hikes covered so one can quickly find a route that suits ability and interest. All 44 trail descriptions found in this book can be done in a single day though a few (Sky Trail in Point Reyes, Frog Lake in Henry Coe State Park) allow for overnight options. Each trail then receives an extensive write up followed by a two color map, elevation profile, and list of significant milestones.
Of the 44 hikes listed, I have taken five exactly as described in this book. However, I have also explored several portions of other routes. Based on what I have seen, the authors succeeded in identifying some truly choice trails in the Bay Area. The maps and mileage are accurate and the black and white photos complement the text nicely. I plan to take this book with me on my next vacation to the Bay Area. Highly recommended.