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A Press Democrat Blog

Trailhead

A blog about Bay Area hiking…. mostly

Help build the East Slope Ridge Trail on Sonoma Mountain

From the Sonoma Trails Council:   We have begun construction of the new East Slope Ridge Trail on Sonoma Mountain and there are volunteer trail work opportunities coming up on Saturday, October 11  and Monday, October 13. On both days we  will meet to carpool to the work location at 9am at the Valley of the Moon Riding Club, 1005 Verano Avenue in El Verano (just west of Arnold Drive) and will work ’til about 2pm. Bring a daypack with lunch and water, gloves, a hat, and wear long… Read More »

The best hike in Sonoma County is…..

We asked our readers to name their favorite hiking spot in Sonoma County. Well, we asked readers to pick their favorites in a total of 84 different categories as part of our annual Best of Sonoma County Reader’s Choice Contest. The contest voting just ended, and the votes are now being tabulated. To no surprise, the best hiking spot was overwhelmingly Annadel State Park.  (The rest of the Best of Sonoma County winners will be announced on July 25 at… Read More »

The Sonoma County parks’ Trails Challenge 2014

Hike at five different county parks over the next six months and you’ll be a winner. Well, at least a winner in the first-ever “Trails Challenge” sponsored by Sonoma County Regional Parks. Here’s the information: ____________ The Trails Challenge is an invitation to explore the Regional Parks by hiking five or more trails featured in the Trails Challenge guidebook anytime between June and November. If you complete all five hikes and turn in a trails log, you can receive a… Read More »

Whether or not to hike alone

Reading how a 13-year-old shouted away a nearby mountain lion at a regional park in Glen Ellen this week reminded me yet again why hiking alone is not always the smartest choice. Another reminder came a couple of weeks ago when I was about to pull into a trailhead in northern California at Whiskeytown Lake and saw a few bear cubs scurry across the road directly to where I was about to hike. If I had been with a big group,… Read More »

Be a volunteer hawkwatcher in the Marin Headlands

More opportunities to get out. This one involves a bit of looking up. ______________________ The Golden Gate Raptor Observatory (GGRO) is currently seeking volunteers to help in its efforts to count, monitor, and track the Golden Gate migration, the largest flight of raptors in the Western U.S. A program of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, in partnership with the National Park Service, volunteers will complete a comprehensive GGRO training program offered only once a year in July, and early… Read More »

Earth Day to Memorial Day spring parks events in Sonoma County

Passing on information on several events planned by Sonoma County Regional Parks over the next five weeks. See their official release below.     Regional Parks presents Parks Celebration 2014, dozens of free adventures in Sonoma County’s parks and open spaces from Earth Day, April 22, through Memorial Day, May 26. Parks Celebration is an annual series of events highlighting the many ways to enjoy public lands. During Parks Celebration, you can experience favorite parks in new ways or explore parks… Read More »

A thoughtful hike to honor Jonathan Glass

This is a small community, and among those who are outdoors-oriented, whether in advocacy, government, conservation or just recreation (like me!), paths often cross. The handful of organizations that lead many hikes around here and work tirelessly for open space protection and preservation and access include LandPaths, the excellent Santa Rosa-based group that tragically lost its field director one year ago. Jonathan Glass’ death at age 36 shocked many, and there have been numerous tributes and memorials to his work… Read More »

Which national parks get the most visitors each year?

So the Golden Gate National Recreation Area was the most-visited part of the National Park Service last year. It attracted more than 14 million people. No idea how that number came about as whenever I hike there, I never check in, but maybe cars are counted and other measurements are taken. In any case, when I see a news report with a claim like that, I sometimes put on my old reporter’s hat (yes, I was a reporter long ago….)… Read More »

Another local (wildflowers) hike

See below from the good folks who run the Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen: ________________ Audubon Canyon Ranch (ACR), a leader in conservation science, habitat protection and restoration, and nature education, announced its Backyard Naturalist Program on Wildflowers will take place on Saturday, March 29, 2014, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Bouverie Preserve Biologist Jeanne Wirka will lead this class that explores the amazing world of angiosperms (flowering plants) at the preserve. Throughout the 535-acre preserve there are approximately… Read More »

Wildflowers at Pepperwood Preserve

More spring wildflower hiking news…. Information on the annual Wildflower Festival at the Pepperwood Preserve. Official details from the organizers: “Celebrate the beauty of Sonoma County’s native wildflowers and the majesty of the Mayacamas Mountains at Pepperwood’s 6th annual Wildflower Festival on Sunday, April 13, 2014 from 9am – 4pm. The festival is free and families are welcome. This year’s Wildflower Festival will include an array of activities for the whole family including self-guided hikes, interpretive hikes led by naturalists… Read More »

Hiking, meditation and Jack London

The headline kind of says it all. On my better outings, ‘meditative hiking’ is a redundant term for me, but not often enough. Check out this interesting opportunity at Jack London State Park this Sunday to take a real walk in the woods. It’s at the Glen Ellen park at 10am, Sunday, led by hiking guide Jeff Falconer. $10 fee in addition to parking fee (or parking pass) Click here for all the information. Tweet

Spring wildflower hikes around Sonoma County

  From the Sonoma County Regional Parks, it’s time for one of their spring traditions – wildflower hikes. I’ve been on a few of these over the years, and they are terrific. The details: Discover the spring beauty of your Regional Parks by joining our wildflower walks on Saturdays from March 22-May 3. These walks are free and led by volunteer Phil Dean, a Master Gardner who will identify native plants, discuss the drought’s impact on this year’s flower displays,… Read More »