61- Week Hiking Challenge (Week 5) – Johnson Ranch Loop Trail

By Shannon Gurnee
In California
December 9, 2013

Week 5

With California catching up to the rest of the country’s cold spell, I’m finding it more challenging to go on hikes in the morning when there’s still frost-covered paths.  But I have to say that I am counting my blessings that it’s just the cold wind and the crisp air that I’m contending with. 

What is the 61-Week Hiking Challenge?

How many of you make New Years Resolutions?  How many of those resolutions have become part of your lifestyle?  I know there are a lot of people out there who think “new year, new life” or “new changes for the coming year,” but I think that we set ourselves up for failure when we use the word “resolution.”  There’s so many jokes out there revolving around how fickle we are as a society and laugh when our NYE resolutions don’t even make it to day 3.

Why 61 weeks?

I like to go against the grain.  I didn’t want to make another meaningless resolution about working out and I didn’t want to wait until January 1 either.  Why put it off when I’m ready today?  I want to challenge myself.  When a challenge has been put forth, I don’t like to loose or give up.  It motivates me.   So I decided to start my journey early (end of this past October) and start with something simple: I want to get outside and go on at least one hike a week.  Whether the hikes are big or small, long or short, with or without kids, I want to actively engage my body and enjoy this beautiful world we live in.  There are so many places to go (free places to boot) that I want to explore them all.

Week 5

Johnson Ranch Trail

This week, I had one of my hiking buddies come along with me.  Arleena and I traveled a relatively short way up to San Luis Obispo to hike the Johnson Ranch trail.  I’m really bummed because my “MapMyHike” app stopped working shortly after our departure; however the maps say it’s roughly a 3.7-mile loop. 

Week 5

The trail is easy, easy enough for young kids but not strollers, and it is dog friendly.  We even saw a few mountain bikers as well.  I’m sure this would be a very beautiful hike in the Spring or Summer with all of the wildflowers blooming and green grass growing; however today, the open space was covered in brown grass. But nonetheless, the shady oak groves and vast rolling hills still provide a lovely backdrop. 


Week 5

The Johnson Trail also can connect you to the Irish Hills Trail.  I am hoping to come back and extend the hike which would make it about 10 miles round trip. 

Week 5

To get to the Johnson Ranch Trailhead: From San Luis Obispo, take the 101 Freeway south to exit 198 for Higuera Street. At the bottom of a horseshoe bend in the off ramp, turn left into a parking area for Johnson Ranch. 

About Has 2240 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of Redhead Mom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

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