It’s October, which means:

a) Rainy season could start any day now. Dig your gaiters back out.

b) Some trees will turn color (but most won’t).

c) Shadeless East and South Bay parks are livable again.

d) Big hairy spiders are prowling for love in said shadeless parks.

e) Dan Mitchell has been taking pictures of the Sierra aspens again. (While I’m on the subject, lists many reasons to scout out North Tahoe for more autumnal colors.

f) Late-season Sierra backpackers get caught in blizzards.

g) Flaming-red poison oak is as pretty as it’s ever going to get.

So, folks, what are the best autumn hikes in the Bay Area? The coast certainly springs to mind because there’s much less fog at this time of year (though there can be freakishly hot days like the one we had at Tomales Point last week). recommends:

    North Bay:

  • China Camp State Park
  • Jack London State Historic Park
  • Olompali State Park
  • Samuel P. Taylor State Park
  • East Bay:

  • Briones Regional Park
  • Peninsula and South Bay:

  • Castle Rock State Park
  • Fall Creek Unit: Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
  • Sawyer Camp Trail

Send along suggestions if you can top these.