61-Week Hiking Challenge (Week 15) – Irish Hills/ Mariposa Trail

By Shannon Gurnee
In Beauty
March 26, 2014

Week 15 - Irish Hills

Objective:  Hike at least once 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.

I am still amazed at how many trails there are in this area – I absolutely love it!  Even when choosing one area it splits off and there’s multiple trails to follow and unless you have all day, there’s no way to explore all of them at once – especially when you have to pick up the kids from school.  According to the map of the trails of Irish Hills’ Open Space I’ve counted 11 trails.  Arleena and I chose to start on the Mariposa Trail (off of Madonna Road) and continued on to King Trail.  Our hike was cut short due to Arleena needing to volunteer in the classroom as well as the school calling me to bring Caitlyn some new shoes (she was surprised when she got blisters on her feet after wearing tight boots with no socks).

Week 15 - Irish Hills

The trail begins at the end of a residential area.  And then you quickly forget where you are as we were immersed into beautifully tree-covered forest trails that dumped us onto the surprisingly barren hillside.  Unlike most of our past hikes, these trails were well labeled.  

Week 15 - Irish Hills

Week 15 - Irish Hills

Week 15 - Irish Hills

Week 15 - Irish Hills

It was at the peak where I received the call from school and like most of our hikes Arleena and I began our trail run down the mountain on the King Trail.  The run felt good on this overcast day.  That was until I started goofing off tripped over my own feet and I went tumbling into the grass.  Thank goodness there wasn’t a cliff for me to fall off of.  With my pride hurt and my legs scuffed, we continued our descent.

Week 15 - Irish Hills

Week 15 - Irish Hills

Week 15 - Irish Hills

Week 15 - Irish Hills

Week 15 - Irish Hills

I really enjoyed this hike and am looking forward to starting at the different locations and varying up the trails.  The sights were beautiful and I love looking out among all the mountains we have conquered in our past hikes.  And I am still spotting new trails in which we will need to explore.

Week 15 - Irish Hills

My thoughts:

Difficulty:   6 (out of 10)

Beauty:   8 (out of 10)

Distance:  2.61 Miles

Time:  40:35

Elevation Gain:   456’

Worth It? YES!

Rating:   5 Stars (out of 5) 

To get to the trailhead: From Nipomo, take the 101 North and exit at Los Osos Valley Road. Turn left and drive past Costco.  At Madonna Road go left and take it a few blocks until it dead-ends.  There’s easy parking at the park and make your way to the trailhead.  There’s a map there to help you guide you.

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Week 16 – There were no hikes due to being sick

About Has 1342 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of RedheadMom 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.

5 Responses to “61-Week Hiking Challenge (Week 15) – Irish Hills/ Mariposa Trail”

  1. Shannon Gosney says:

    Oh my gosh girl! That looks painful! But the hike looks like a gorgeous one! Gotta love the Central Coast!!!

    • Caroline Hileman-Schaffer says:

      I think my pride hurt more, but it did take a couple of weeks for the scabs to finally go away 🙂 I’d love to get you out here on some of these hikes (the easier one of course!).

  2. Tanya says:

    Ouch!! That’s why I hate running downhill. I can’t seem to stop myself from falling.. What a pretty hike though.

    • Caroline Hileman-Schaffer says:

      Running downhill would have been fine if I wasn’t being stupid and not watching the trail. Gotta keep your eyes on the road, right?!?

  3. Margie says:

    This is a great challenge. We usually just walk our neighborhood several times a week, and sometimes get to the surrounding parks on the weekends.

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