Carmel itself is a garden and right in the middle of it there is another secret garden that can make you feel even more like a squirrel running through an endless forest of native plants.
Mission Trail Park (or Mission Trail Nature Preserve), designated as a nature park in 1979, provides for a fantastic one-and-a-half-mile-long hiking passage from Mountain View Avenue to Rio Road, where the Carmel Mission Basilica Museum is located and open for touring. Dogs are also able to enjoy this native plant garden that includes Monterey pine forest, coast live oak woodland, wetland, willow riparian corridor and a coastal prairie.
Now, many people and many dogs surely asked themselves a question: Is it possible to continue this heavenly but short hike, conquer the Carmel River, reach the ocean and make a walking loop back to Carmel?
The answer is: Yes. While some maneuvering around residential communities is a must, the intrepid walker can make it all the way to Carmel River State Beach, and from there continue south on a walking path to Monastery Beach. The lagoon is very peaceful. [AP]