A Press Democrat Blog


A blog about Bay Area hiking…. mostly

The other side of Mount Burdell

[imagebrowser id=79] After Mount Tam, it’s one of the tallests peak in Marin County, but that doesn’t mean you’ve heard of Mount Burdell. I certainly hadn’t until a couple of years ago when I hiked Olompali State Park. If you’ve never heard of that one too, that’s just as understandable. Both are in northern Marin outside Novato and both are entirely overshadowed by their more prominent and popular larger neighbor to the south. Anyway, the Olompali trail was a five-mile-long… Read More »

Volunteer at Olompali SP

If you’ve never been to Olompali State Park, that small but interesting park just south of Petaluma, there’s no time like the present. An opportunity to pass along: “The California State Parks Foundation is seeking volunteers at Olompali State Historic Park (view a map). This work day will focus on the beautification of the park entrance. Projects include: refreshing the park entry sign, clearing weeds, and repairing split rail fencing. Teens 16 and up are welcome if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The… Read More »

Petaluma Adobe and other parks miscellany

Much of the attention over state parks closures has focused on a few popular spots, but there are many others around the North Bay that are also shutting down by next summer. And some have already trimmed their hours significantly, so if you’re looking for a new, but close to home, outing on a pleasant fall day, it may be time to get moving. East of Petaluma on Adobe Road, Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park provides a glimpse into the… Read More »

Go Giants! (and help state parks too)

In perhaps the feel-good promotion of the summer, the Giants are having a Grateful Dead tribute day in a few weeks as a fundraiser for some Bay Area nonprofits. One beneficiary will be the efforts to keep state parks in Sonoma, Marin and San Francisco counties open. The deal includes a pre-game party inside AT&T Park hosted by Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart (a Sebastopol area resident) and the most famous deadheader-turned-NBA-superstar Bill Walton. You will also get a Sonoma… Read More »

Grim news for state parks system

Here we go again. A year and half after avoiding the budget axe, it was announced today that a quarter of the state park system is slated to be shut down starting this fall. The news shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who has been living through California’s long fiscal nightmare. A day ago, the headlines were about 45 percent (yup, 45 percent) college tuition hikes. A week ago, it was widespread teacher layoffs. The parks closure is going to hit… Read More »

A visit to Olompali

I’m not a big fan of honorifics, but I’d have to say that the location of my most recent hike has to be the most-overlooked hiking spot in the North Bay, at least overlooked by me. I’ve driven through Marin County on 101 countless times and never once considered stopping at Olompali State Park, tucked away on the western side of the highway between Novato and Petaluma. I’m glad I took the time to hike there last weekend, for several… Read More »