The Sea Ranch Bluff Top Trail
The side-by-side paths were not made by a vehicle.
They were made by couples walking the trail together.
Let's go for a walk! The Sea Ranch does not have surveyed, concrete sidewalks. We have meandering dirt trails. There are several reasons for this including the desire to let rain sink into the soil rather than run off in cement gutters. (It's the same reason why we do not have many paved driveways.) More importantly it is an effort to retain as much of nature in our surroundings as possible. Some city dwellers tell us that we are being silly. Others use harsher language. Still others find it quaint. Those of us who live here full time take it for granted and actually like it - a lot.
You do not need much to enjoy hiking in our world, but a good pair of comfortable shoes, an old hat, and layers of clothing is recommended. Temperatures change and exercise magnifies the change. Layers help deal with all of that. Sea Ranch is a pretty relaxed place as far as style goes. An old pair of pants is good if you want to get down and smell the flowers or check a tide pool and nobody is going to look askance at your lack of sartorial correctness if you smudge the denim. When you are out on the trails a long time, a small backpack might be useful to carry water, a light jacket, and perhaps a picnic sandwich.
There are not many things that you have to worry about on the trail. The network of footpaths intersect one another frequently and it is hard to get really lost. Momentarily confused maybe, but really lost - very hard. (If you are worried though, The Sea Ranch Association sells a trail map.) If you do not know what poison oak looks like you should ask someone to enlighten you and you should probably stay out of the tall weeds if you want to minimize the risk of picking up a tick. On the beaches you do have to watch the ocean. Sleeper waves can be dangerous - no fooling, and the edge of the bluff is subject to crumbling. On very rare occasions, residents have gotten a fleeting glimpse of a mountain lion in the eastern forest. As is the case in the big city, families should keep small children close, particularly in the forest and near the ocean.
None of these things worry those of us who live here full time. We are out walking all over the ranch - every day in every weather and we invite you to join us. It is a magnificent piece of paradise and probably different from where you live. The ranch has a lot of variety and we recommend that you explore it all. In order to save time, use your car to drive to parking areas in various parts of the community and take off on one of the local trails. You will find that the flora and the fauna, the smells and the sounds, differ as much as the landscape. Time of day is another variable, as is season, tide and weather. Some of us have been here for thirty some years and we are still discovering the new in life.
Our benches are different too.