The idea is simple: they’d never create a bad trail in somebody’s honor. Most obvious example is the Matt Davis Trail at Mount Tamalpais State Park. I have no idea who Matt Davis was, but he must’ve had something on the ball because his name is on one of the finest trails in the Bay Area.

If I’m scanning a map, I always look or trails with human names. A couple examples:

  • Ray Linder Memorial Trail, Butano State Park. It’s tucked into a redwood-studded hillside in the far northern reaches of the park. You’re looking at a 10-mile round trip just to get there, but it’s one of the best trips through second-growth redwoods in the area.
  • Betsy Crowder Trail, Windy Hill Open Space Preserve — not spectacular but proves my point: it’s one of the prettiest stretches of dirt at Windy Hill: tree-lined, passing a peaceful pond and working its way up into the park.

And, of course, there’s the legendary John Muir Trail.

These are just the ones that spring immediately to mind. If you can think of any more, please leave a comment. Don’t worry if you’re not a Bay Area local — the concept is universal.