Inside Scoop: Jane's Guide to State Parks near the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel

Many State and County Parks await visitors to the Pigeon Point Lighthouse, and Jane Mauss, the weekend housekeeper at the hostel, is a great resource for outdoor explorers. Born and raised on the San Francisco peninsula, she's made Pescadero her home for over two decades. Jane is pictured here riding her beloved donkey, Johnny Appleseed, who also knows the trails and beaches of Pescadero well. If you don't spot him on the trails near the lighthouse, look for him on stage! He'll be "performing" this spring in the San Francisco Ballet's production of Don Quixote.

Urban Hiking: The Barbary Coast Trail

Hoping to continue our "Urban Hiking" series, which has so far taken readers across the Golden Gate Bridge and through Golden Gate Park, I set out to find an urban trek from our San Francisco Downtown Hostel. There aren't many parks nearby big enough to warrant a trip, and the most popular walking paths downtown are between the many stores in the Union Square shopping district.