One of the things I love about hiking is a beautiful simplicity; you set off down a trail and you follow it until you’re finished. In this ideal, the trail is your guide, an undemanding companion indicating the way forward, leaving you to your thoughts and the scenery. Some trails are really like that; most are not.
Since returning home at the end of September from a backpack on the Pacific Crest Trail — an easy-to-follow, good guide of a trail, at least on the section I undertook — I have not had much time for hiking. But for the time-strapped hiker, short, local trails exist, places to get outdoors with a minimum of travel and planning. In that spirit, earlier this month I set off to find Redding’s Westway.