In folk tales, the forest is a place of magic and danger; it is a place where strange things might occur, and where frightening people might live, it is the home of monsters, witches and fairies. If you are not afraid of all of those creatures, a walk through the forest is a wonderful place to get some exercise.
I found an interesting article online about 12 of The Most Enchanting Forests in The World. Forests are also great for your immune system. Trees release phytoncides that protect them from insects and rotting. This organic compound is beneficial to us as well. As we inhale the phytoncides, our stress hormones decrease. It’s been proven to help with depression, anger and anxiety. I do not need this scientific explanation to enjoy my walks in the woods. We have one in San Francisco, not far from our house, on Mount Davidson. Of course there is an incredible Sequoia Forest in Muir woods in Marin, but the only time we went there was when someone visited us from out of town. Nowadays, there are so many tourists that there is no place to park your car, and to get there you have to take a shuttle. There is a cluster of Eucalyptus trees near Stow Lake where we sometimes go for a walk. But for a real walk in the forest we drive to the Sea Ranch, or to Calaveras County to visit the majestic Big Trees State Park with the giant sequoia trees (and they are really giants). But those trips are a three-hour drive each way and therefore reserved for longer vacations. To my great surprise, we recently discovered a great forest/park, a half-an-hour drive from San Francisco.
On Mother’s Day our daughter Alona, who lives in Tiburon, took us to Larkspur for a walk in Bolivar Park. Magnolia Street, which leads to the forest, is across from Perry’s Restaurant. We drove to the end and prayed for legal parking, since it is a residential area. But it was worth the effort. When I stepped into the woods, I felt like I was in an enchanted forest. We are blessed to live in this area full of wonders.