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Central Coast Living: Explore SLO’s green hills this St. Patrick’s Day

Posted at 8:24 AM, Mar 14, 2019

If you haven’t already noticed, the Central Coast is looking a lot more green.

The recent rain has transformed our local landscape just in time for the greenest holiday on the calendar – St. Patrick’s Day. Instead of, or perhaps in addition to celebrating with green beer this weekend, you can celebrate by exploring the green hills of San Luis Obispo.

In November, local hillsides were dry and brown. Now, they are lush and green.

Hiker and mountain biker Shelly Paton and her dog have been patiently waiting for their favorite trails to dry out.

“This is when a staycation is the best kind of vacation because it’s rarely this green,” Paton said.

City rangers like Doug Carscaden have had to close many trails due to the wet and muddy conditions.

“We are above average for rainfall in the Irish Hills area,” Carscaden said.

However, with the arrival of dry, warmer weather, Carscaden anticipates trails will reopen this week.

Before you head out on a St. Patrick’s Day hike in the Irish Hills or any other trail, Carscaden reminds hikers to pick up after your pet, keep dogs on a leash, stay on marked trails and always pack out any trash.

“Just be aware of your environment,” he said.

The 4,000+ acres of public open space and more than 52 miles of trails in the city of San Luis Obispo are a reminder of how lucky we are to live here.

“On any given day you can go anywhere;There are just trails all over,” Paton said.

“The hills are just popping. The creeks are flowing,” said Carscaden. “It’s like there’s new energy out in the open space and it’s a great time to be out.”

Carscaden let us in on some local lore about how the Irish Hills open space got its name.

“I word I hear is that Irish settlers, years ago, it reminded them of home,” Carscaden said. “There are some rocks in the landscape, there are green hills and it just reminded them of home so they started calling it the Irish Hills.”

Share your photos of the gorgeous green hills using #beonksby.