With myriad options for pursuing fitness goals, the question isn’t what to do, but where to start. Here, a local expert shares his ideal active day in Laguna Beach.
“My ideal day in Laguna starts with a hike along the fire trails,” says Ryan Kollock, personal trainer and founder of Code Green Fitness. “The dirt trails run from easy to difficult as far as steepness and terrain. Be sure to plan your route before you begin your hike.” You can access the trails from Alta Laguna Park and Moulton Meadows Park; however, Ryan cautions to look out for mountain bikers. From Meadows Trail, don’t miss hiking down to Dripping Cave, he says—the sandstone cave was purportedly used as a hideout by stagecoach robbers.
As the summer day heats up, cool off seaside. Grab a stand-up paddleboard—if you don’t own one, rentals are available from several businesses in town—and hit the ocean. While Ryan notes that the waters are less crowded before noon (and during the week), paddleboarding is a great way to get an afternoon workout in while beating the heat. “On a flat, clear day you can enjoy all the sea life from Main Beach to Pearl Street,” he says. “I have seen leopard sharks, stingrays, seals and occasionally you get to paddle with a school of dolphins.” A couple of Ryan’s favorite paddleboarding routes are from Cress Street Beach down to Montage and back, and from Cress Street north to Rockpile Beach at the south end of Heisler Park.
For more water time, visit Thalia and Brooks Street beaches for surfing, or Oak Street for bodyboarding and body surfing. “You can also head to Divers Cove in north Laguna and go snorkeling any time of day,” he says.
Once back on land, playing catch on the beach offers a surprisingly effective workout; bring a Frisbee or football.
It might be time for a rest as the sun dips below the horizon. Take a casual stroll along the beach or on the walking path at Heisler Park to enjoy the sunset. But the fitness-fueled day isn’t quite over yet: After dark, two lighted tennis courts at Moulton Meadows Park offer the opportunity for an evening match. Ryan, however, perfers to shoot hoops at the park.
He likes to cap off an active day by riding the trolley to Montage and slowing down with take-out food and wine. “There, you can walk and enjoy the sights, and after dark sit down at the outdoor fire pit, have a drink and make s’mores with the kids.”
— By Vickie Hogue-Davies for Laguna Beach Magazine