Other Resources for Car-Free Outdoor Adventures
I’ve been meaning for some time to post some other resources beyond my own website, for those interested in getting outdoors without a car. However, this month’s issue of Sunset magazine was what finally inspired this post. In the March 2010 issue of this magazine with a circulation is 800,000 in Western states, is an article about planning a day trip in Union City that starts and ends at Union City BART! This looks like a fun trip for families, with a 20 mile bike route on the Alameda Creek Regional Trail, butterflies and flowers, and many good eating options along the route. Please write to Sunset and let them know you would like to see more car-free outings like this one!
A friend forwarded a website to me that documents a walk around San Francisco Bay (and to Bay Area summits) in increments over three years. As I started looking through site to get some ideas for future walks, I realized that this person had done many of his walks using public transit! If you are interested in doing some walking around the Bay, this site has some good notes about which routes are good and which are not so ideal for pedestrians, transit routes he used, and other valuable tips.
Several of the trips posted here at Car-Free Outdoors include good bird watching opportunities. If you would like more car-free birding opportunities and a chance to get out in a group setting, the Golden Gate Audubon Society often has birding-by-bike trips in its selection of outings, many of which conveniently start at transit stops. Check the calendar for upcoming trips.
Many of the car-free hikes I have posted so far do not start directly at a trailhead, but instead use paths and neighborhood routes to show how you can connect transit to trailhead. A number of trailheads in the Bay Area are actually quite near transit, however, allowing you to take a hike with a minimum of time off the trail. The Transit & Trails website allows you to plan your trip to those trailheads using public transit. Find the trailhead you would like to visit, and get transit directions using 511 or Google Maps. I recommend checking the directions given for both 511 and Google Maps, as I’ve found that it really varies which one of the two will give you the best directions. Transit & Trails saves a ton of time and headache trying to find an address near the trailhead you wish to visit, which you would need in order to use 511 or Google Maps. Additionally, Transit & Trails includes campgrounds near transit stops! There are plans for community and sharing features in the future; register at the site to get email updates.
If you live in or have plans to visit British Columbia, check out Car-Free BC. The websites and print book include and variety of outdoor trips accessible without a car, for hiking, backpacking, bicycle touring, kayaking, river rafting, birding, and other outdoor activities. It’s an amazingly exhaustive book that includes over 90 trips, along with maps, photos, and illustrations.
Know of any other resources for car-free outdoor trips? Post a comment or send me a note if you do.