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Stories from the valley

A Long Walk Cherished

Contributed by Jim Morris

I would give myself a D- grade for being able to slow life down. My pace seems more frenzied each year. However, I am occasionally smart enough to exhale and enjoy a gift we have in our midst- the beautiful Sacramento Valley!

Son RJ and I try to get in a few good hikes each year. Over the holiday season, we decided to return to Beale Falls, which provided special memories during our earlier visit.

This is a great hike, with serene countryside, majestic oak trees and lots of tranquility. You can hike for a long time without seeing a soul – as if the trail is for you alone! 

The waterfall is a nice payoff. RJ and I took a much longer route so we stayed at the lower part of the falls, which were wonderful.

The best thing about the hike was that, for those hours on the trail, we were largely electronics-free and engaged in the lost art of conversation; sometimes light, sometimes heavy. If we can pry ourselves away from our smart phones, simple pleasures and lasting memories have a chance to flourish. 

Our stop at Frosty’s Grill n’ Chill in Marysville was an almost literal cherry on top of our sundae. The food and service were fantastic. There’s nothing like a satisfying meal after exploring the countryside! 

Beale Falls is a moderate, approximately five-mile hike that’s free of charge. Please read up on it in advance, because it’s not the easiest to find. Also of note is there are no porta potties or benches on the route. 

As we plan our future adventures, we plan on mining what appears to be a great resource, the book 60 Hikes within 60 Miles.

What’s your favorite hike in the Sacramento Valley? If you don’t have one, I couldn’t encourage you enough to get out and explore our region. Great exercise is just the beginning of how you will benefit.