By Blake Ashley Frino-Gerl

North County has many trails to venture on — for both the novice and esteemed hiker. Below are some fun hikes available to enjoy.

Rinconada Trail in Santa Margarita Lake and Recreation and Natural Area, with an elevation of 974 feet, is a moderate 4.7-mile loop trail near Santa Margarita. On average 2 hours and 22 minutes to complete, it is popular for birding, hiking, and horseback riding. Open year-round, dogs are welcome but must be on a leash.


Atascadero Lake Park Loop Trail is considered an easy, 24-minute hike with a low elevation of 26 feet. The 1.3-mile loop trail is popular for birding. The best times to hike are April through October. Leashed dogs are also welcome.

Jim Green Trail in Hellmann Regional Park near Atascadero is an easy loop route of 1.6 miles taking about 38 minutes to complete, and with an elevation of 167 feet. Popular for birding, hiking, and horseback riding, it is also open year-round and welcomes dogs on on a leash.

Marj Macky, Blue Oak, Pine Mountain, and ALPS loop trails are fairly easy, taking approximately 1 hour and 7 minutes to complete the 2 miles, with an elevation of 521 feet. Near Atascadero in Stadium Park, it boasts popular trails for birding, hiking, and walking. The best times to visit are March through September. Leashed dogs are welcome.

Rocky Canyon Trail in Paloma Creek Park near Atascadero is a moderate out-and-back trail of 7.7 miles, averaging 3 hours to complete, with an elevation of 813 feet. It is great for birding, mountain biking, and running, or solitude. Dogs are welcome.

Salinas River Walk in Lawrence Moore Park, near Paso Robles is an easy 3.9 miles out-and-back hike, with elevation of 85 feet, and is likely to be completed in 1 hour and 12 minutes. Pleasant for birding, hiking, and mountain biking, it is open year-round, and leashed dogs are welcome.

Ramboulliet Snead Trail is a one-mile, out-and-back trail that can be completed in 20 minutes. Located in Paso Robles, it is great for walking or running and has a low elevation of 45 feet. Dogs are welcome, but on a leash.

Centennial Trail is open year-round, in Paso Robles. It is 1.9 miles, taking roughly 37 minutes out and back. Considered easy, its elevation is 85 feet. The trail is nice for birding, road biking, running, and walking dogs on a leash.

Cypress Mountain Drive Trail in Templeton is 6.5 miles from point-to-point, and considered easy with an elevation of 862 feet. The year-round popular trail is fitting for off-road and scenic driving, but also quiet at certain times.


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