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Walk the coast with ease, support

  • A group takes a walk organized by Coastwalk California along the Kortum Trail, above the Sonoma County coastline north of Bodega Bay. (JIM K. WILSON)

Hiking along the California Coastal Trail can be complicated, not to mention backbreaking.

But if you go on a Coastal Expedition organized by Coastwalk California’s volunteer guides, all of the logistics, transportation and meals are already taken care of.

“A support team moves the gear,” said Hannah Faire Scott, program manager for Coastwalk California.

“We have a chuckwagon, and our volunteers cook all the meals. When you arrive at camp, they give you a hot meal and a glass of wine.”

This summer and fall, expeditions on the North Coast range from two-day family trips at Doran Beach in Bodega Bay to nine-day backpack trips along the rugged Lost Coast.

There are also “classic” expeditions through Mendocino and Marin counties, which require moderate to strenuous hikes of 6 to 10 miles a day for up to a week.

The goal of these Coastal Expeditions is to groom a new generation who can pick up the baton and lead the 31-year-old nonprofit into the future.

“We’re hoping to educate a new generation,” said Una Glass, executive director of Coastwalk California, based in Sebastopol.

“We want to foster a new generation of coastal stewards.”

Prices for the expeditions range from $150 for weekend trips for kids to $450 for longer hikes that stretch over a week or more.

The California Coastal Trail stretches over 1,200 miles, from Mexico up to Oregon, and serves as the cornerstone for California’s public access.

“Where there is a coastal trail, there is public access,” Glass said.

“Coastwalk has done the entire trail twice, and we’re looking at doing another ‘through’ hike in the next few years.”

It takes nearly four months to hike the entire trail, and logistics are complicated, with cars often required to transport the hikers.

“The trail isn’t complete, so there are large sections that are difficult to hike,” Faire Scott said.

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