One of the best things about living in the "Happiest Place in America" is the amount of hiking and biking trails in the area. I love the outdoors, biking, hiking, walking, or anything else I can do to be outside, having fun. This week, the weather was in the low 70's and beautiful. For me this means, a very unproductive school week but a really fun week of adventures in San Luis Obispo. Two of my favorite hikes in the area are Bishops Peak and Cerro San Luis Obispo, more commonly known as "Madonna Mountain". This week I got to do both! One afternoon it was just too beautiful to sit inside so I got one of my roommates to hike Bishops Peak with me. I don't know how many times I have done that hike, probably around 50 times, and I still love it every time. There are three trail heads that all lead to the top of the mountain, one is off of California Street, the second is off of Highland Drive and the third entrance is off of Patricia Drive. My favorite way to start the hike is from the Highland Drive entrance. You start by winding through a unique forest, when you come out of the forest you begin the climb upward to the peak. The hike is about 4.5 miles round trip and you switch back up the mountain, over rocks and up stairs. After a good half an hour, you reach the top, and my ultimate favorite part of the hike. You can climb up on this big boulder and you have the most amazing 365 degree views of San Luis Obispo and the surrounding area. I could sit up there for hours and look at the beautiful mountains and ocean, as the birds fly below me. The hike down is much faster and I usually plan where I am going to go get my next meal because that hike always works up my appetite! It's just long enough to get a work out but it's not too long that it takes up your entire day.

A couple of days later, I was itching to hike again. I decided to hike what I call Madonna Mountain. It is the mountain when you are driving on the 101 that has a big M on it. For the longest time I was convinced that the M stood for Madonna because it is close to the Alex Madonna Inn and I just assumed that it was part of their property. I learned later that it actually stands for Mission College Preparatory Catholic High School. And even more recently I learned that the actual name of the trail that I hike on is Cerro San Luis Obispo, there is always something to learn in SLO County! This hike is a little shorter, about 2 miles each way, then Bishops Peak. The trail itself is also wider then most trails, and that makes it a popular trial for mountain bikers and hikers alike. I love this hike because it is close to my house so it is easy access and it is an easy trail to hike. There is an amazing view from the top too that makes the steep parts of the hike totally worth it. There are so many trails and mountains to hike in SLO County and I feel like I haven't even explored the half of them. All the way from Montana de Oro up to Paso Robles and everywhere else in the county there are amazing hike of various difficulty levels. The next time you come and visit look up hikes in the area and try one, they are the perfect way to catch a glimpse of why San Luis Obispo is so happy!