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2017 First Day Hikes Park List

This New Year’s Day 2017, California State Parks will participate in the 5th Annual First Day Hikes at 50 parks across the state. This national-led effort encourages people to experience the beautiful natural and cultural resources found in the outdoors with a seasoned guide so that they may be inspired to take advantage of these treasures throughout the year. 

Dedicated docents, volunteers and staff will show visitors the wonders of California’s state parks. Distance and rigor will vary per hike/activity, so visitors are encouraged to check out details of start times and description of hikes. For a complete list and detailed information on the California State Park’s First Day Hikes, please visit the First Day Hikes webpage

Visitors are encouraged to share their experiences on social media using the hashtags: #HikeInto2017, #FirstDayHike and #CAStateParks.


California State Parks First Day Hikes List
 (pdf)

In alphabetical order by County
(Updated December 22, 2016)

Butte County

Lake Oroville State Recreation Area:

Potter’s Ravine Trail: This 6.2-mile hike along the Potter’s Ravine Trail features a climb of 450 feet to Gobbler’s Knob and stroll along the lake. Along the way you’ll see a bald eagle aerie and a couple of historic sites. Bring a day pack with water, snacks and a camera. This is a moderate hike for children age six and older. Meet at 9 a.m. at the Lake Oroville spillway parking lot. Day use passes will be provided. For cancellation or other information call (530) 966-1311.

Calaveras County

Calaveras Big Trees State Park:

North Grove Trail: This hike is through the North Grove of Giant Sequoias to see Giant Sequoias up close. Winter conditions change the park into a beautiful winter wonderland with vibrant contrasting colors. This is an easy ADA accessible 1.67 mile if no snow.  Snow makes this a moderate hike and not ADA accessible. Hike depending on snow depth. The hike is limited to first 25 people on a first come, first serve basis. Meet at the Visitor Center/ Warming Hut at 1:00 p.m. Children  age 10 and older are welcome. Dress for cold windy conditions with warm water proof foot wear, hats, gloves and possibly snow shoes depending on snowfall. Bring snacks and or food, camera and water. Prepare for snow conditions and have chains for your vehicle. Weather conditions change rapidly in the Sierras and you should be prepared for rain and or snow. Pets are not allowed. This is an all-weather hike. For information call (209) 795-2334.

Columbia State Historic Park:

Susan Bakerville-Smith Trail: The trail elevation is about 2,000’ above sea level and winds through the oak woodland of the Sierra Foothills.  Likely things to see would be deer, birds, animal tracks, lichen and fungi. This is an easy 1-mile hike that starts at 10 a.m. and meets at the Schoolhouse Parking Lot. No pets are allowedBring water and snack and wear boots or shoes with good traction in case of mud. Rain will cancel. For more information about the hike or cancellation information, e-mail jeff.davis@parks.ca.gov.

Contra Costa County

Mount Diablo State Park: Mitchell Canyon – Back Creek Trail: Start the New Year off right on this rugged (strenuous) and hilly 5-mile hike. We will go up Back Creek Trail and beyond to make a figure eight loop. Moderately pace walk, with time to enjoy the views. Meet at the Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center (96 Mitchell Canyon Road, Clayton, Calf.) at 10:30 a.m. There is a $6 per vehicle entrance fee. Wear comfortable hiking boots, and dress for the weather. Bring snacks and liquids. Be prepared for mud, ticks, and poison oak. Any rain cancels. For information call (925) 837-2525.

Twin Peaks Hike – Eagle Peak Trail: Take a lovely little hike on the north side of Mount Diablo State Park. We’ll make our climb up the Eagle Peak Trail (at times steep with loose rock) and then return via the Mitchell Rock Trail. This hike features outstanding views of Back Canyon, North Peak, Diablo’s summit and Mitchell Canyon. Allow three hours for this four-mile hike with an elevation gain of about 1,200 feet. Steady relaxed pace. Meet at the Mitchell Canyon Trailhead at the end of Mitchell Canyon Road at 1 p.m. There is a $6 per vehicle entrance fee. Wear layered clothing and bring a snack and water. Be prepared for mud and poison oak. Any rain cancels. For information call (925) 837-2525.

Imperial County

Ocotillo Wells State Vehicle Recreation Area:

All Park Trails: Explore the park’s hundreds of trails and take part in a number of activities scheduled to welcome the New Year.  Join us at 8 a.m. or a cup of coffee, cider, or cocoa and then go for a ride on your favorite trail. Then join us back at the Discovery Center for off highway vehicle safety carnival games and a chili dog lunch that will start at 12 p.m. Map your OHV Ride, Riders of all ages can chose a trail and distance of their choice to ride – easy, moderate or strenuous. Bring water, OHV safety gear, and your OHV. Please follow all laws and park rules. Meet at Ocotillo Wells Discovery Center, 5172 Highway 78, Borrego Springs, CA, 92004.  For information call (760) 767-5391. 

Salton Sea State Recreation Area:

Iron Wood Nature Trail: Meet at the Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m. for the first Bird Walk of 2017.  Learn about the birds in and around the Salton Sea. The 2-mile hike will take approximately one and a half hours and be sure to wear comfortable shoes, a brimmed hat, and bring binoculars and water.  The Salton Sea Visitor Center is located at 100-225 State Park Rd, Mecca, CA 92254.  There is a $5 day use fee per vehicle to enter the park, and seniors age 62 and older are $4. Call (760) 393-3810 for cancellation information.

Kern County

Red Rock Canyon State Park:

Nightmare Gulch Trail: Take an all-day 9-mile moderate to strenuous hike into Nightmare Gulch with a side trip into the well hidden “Secret Silent City”; participants will be back by approximately 4:00 pm.  The strenuous route option begins with a scramble over three ridges to enjoy the fabulous views, with an elevation gain/loss of approximately 3000’.  An alternate moderately strenuous route along dirt roads below the ridges is offered, with gain/loss of 1000 ft.  The hike then evens out and is easy to moderate, with mostly cross country, rocky and sandy terrain.

Please bring LOTS of water, sun protection; snack and lunch, comfortable hiking shoes, layered clothing. No dogs allowed on hike.  Young children are not recommended. No dogs are allowed. Meet at 9:00 a.m.at dirt lot on east side of Highway 14, 3/4 mile north of Abbot Road in Red Rock Canyon State Park.   For cancellation information we will post on our Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RedRockCanyonStatePark.

Lake County

Anderson Marsh State Historic Park

This park will offer two options this year the McVicar Trail and the Cache Creek, Marsh and Ridge Trail Loop. Hikers will experience grasslands, oak woodlands, willow and cottonwood riparian habitats and the tule marsh habitat of the Anderson Marsh Natural Preserve. Participants on both hikes are welcome to walk part way and make an early return at their own pace. Both hikes begin at 12:00 noon at the park off Hwy 53, between Lower Lake and Clearlake. Children of all ages are welcome. Participants should wear sturdy shoes and a hat. Bring water, snacks, and binoculars if they have them.

McVicar Trail:  A leisurely walk along the McVicar Trail and back, which leads from the parking lot to the shores of Clear Lake, across from Indian Island. The entire walk is a little over 7½ miles of mainly flat terrain and should take between 3 and 4 hours, depending on how many times we stop to admire what we see along the way.

Bring water, snacks and binoculars if you have them and wear sturdy shoes and a hat. This hike is suitable for all ages. Rain will cancel the walk.

Cache Creek, Marsh and Ridge Trail Loop: A 3½-mile loop that will include parts of these trails, passing by a vernal pool near the end. This shorter hike will take between 2 and 2 ½ hrs. Steady rain will cancel – to confirm, call (707) 995-2658 or email info@andersonmarsh.org.

Clear Lake State Park:

Dorn Nature Trail: The one-hour, 2-mile walk is on an easy trail that meanders along Kelsey Creek Slough and through woodlands of  cottonwood and willow trees.  The slow pace will give you the opportunity to experience the parks flora and fauna as if you were actually one of the park’s wildlife residents. Meet at 12:00 p.m. at the visitor center parking lot to start the walk.   Pets are not permitted. Entry into the park for walk participants will be free. The winter weather could be brisk and participants should dress appropriately and wear sturdy shoes and bring binoculars, water and snacks.  Rain will cancel the walk. Clear Lake State Park is located at 5300 Soda Bay Rd, Kelseyville, CA. Anyone having special needs should contact the Clear Lake State Park Sector Office Tuesday through Thursday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at (707) 279-2267. 

Los Angeles County

Hungry Valley State Vehicle Recreation Area:

Off-Road Vehicle Tour: Discover what make this park unique.This is an easy 5-mile ride tour of the Native Grasslands and Condor Mesa. Vehicle must be able to travel on dirt roads. Meet at the parking lot at the North Entrance at 10 a.m. Bring water, snacks and your OHV. Winter weather could cancel this event. For cancellation information call (661) 248-7007.

Oak Woodland Preserve Trail:Learn about Native American plant uses and visit a granary tree. This is an easy 1-mile hike, but you will need a vehicle capable for driving on a dirt road to the trailhead.  Meet at the trailhead off Maxey road at 1:00 p.m.  Children are welcome.Pets must be on a leash. Bring water, snacks, comfortable shoes and warm clothing. Winter could cancel this event. For cancellation information call (661) 248-7007.

Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area – Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook:

Overlook Trail: This easy 1-mile one-way hike provides some of the best views in the Los Angeles Basin. Children with adults are welcome. No pets allowed. Meet at the Overlook trailhead at 3:30 p.m. Be sure to pay for parking if using the lot. Bring sunblock, hat and water.Rain will cancel. For cancellation information call (310) 558-5547 or e-mail bhso@parks.ca.gov.

Saddleback Butte State Park

Saddleback Peak Trail: This 5-mile, moderate to strenuous hike will offer incredible views across Mojave Desert. Layered clothing highly recommended; it can be very windy at the top, because 1,000 foot of elevation gain. We will meet at Saddleback Butte State Park Day-Use Area, 17102 East Avenue J, Lancaster (corner of 170th St E and East Avenue J, 19 miles east of Hwy 14, near Lake Los Angeles) at 9:00 a.m.  Please bring water, sun protection, comfortable hiking shoes, layered clothing, snack, and optional lunch to enjoy in the park's picnic area after returning from the hikes. No dogs on California State Park trails. For cancellation Information check www.Facebook.com/SaddlebackButte.

Hike Across the Park: This 4.3 mile, 1 3/4 hour easy to moderate hike on the Little Butte Trail to the Equestrian Trail will offer beautiful high desert views over the Antelope Valley. This is a great winter’s hike. We will meet at Saddleback Butte State Park Day-Use Area, 17102 East Avenue J, Lancaster (corner of 170th St E and East Avenue J, 19 miles east of Hwy 14, near Lake Los Angeles) at 10:00 a.m. Please bring water, sun protection, comfortable hiking shoes, layered clothing, snack, and optional lunch to enjoy in the park’s picnic area after returning from the hikes. No pets are allowed. For cancellation Information check www.Facebook.com/SaddlebackButte.

Dowen Nature Trail: This half mile, ranger-lead interpretive tour along the nature trail, is an easy hike and will offer a chance to learn about the unique natural and cultural history of the local area.  We will meet at Saddleback Butte State Park Day-Use Area, 17102 East Avenue J, Lancaster (corner of 170th St E and East Avenue J, 19 miles east of Highway 14, near Lake Los Angeles) at 11:00 a.m.  Please bring: water, sun protection, comfortable hiking shoes, layered clothing, snack, and optional lunch to enjoy in the park's Picnic Area after returning from the hikes. No dogs are allowed on California State Park trails (with the exception of service animals).  The tour is paved for wheel chair/stroller accessible. For cancellation Information please check www.Facebook.com/SaddlebackButte.

Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park:

Welcome Walk (Miranda Loop): On this moderate hike you can see soaring sandstone formations form what we affectionately refer to as stone cathedrals. The park's otherworldly terrain has been compared to the planet Mars. The SSPSHP hike meets at the park's Andora entrance at 9955 Andora Street just south of Lassen Street at 11:00 a.m. California State arks Volunteers will lead a moderate 2.5-mile hike. Allow 2-3 hours. We will stay in the lower part of the park. Bring water and wear good shoes and long pants (flip flops and shorts not a good idea in this terrain.) Hats and sunscreen are always a good idea. Well-behaved dogs with owners on leash are welcome. Rain cancels the hike. Call the hike leader if you have any questions shortly before the walk at (818) 326-1533.

Marin County

Mount Tamalpais State Park:

Rock Spring Trail and Old Railroad GradeThis is a moderate to strenuous hike with three different routes to choose. This is a 9-mile roundtrip. Meet at the Rock Springs parking lot 15-20 minutes prior to the 9:30 a.m. start time to be organized into groups. Wear hiking boots and bring water and a light lunch. There will be some refreshments at the top. This hike is for children age 10 and older. No pets please.  This hike is scheduled rain or shine. This hike is made possible through a collaboration with Friends of Mount Tam which provides knowledgeable hike leaders.

Mendocino County

Hendy Woods State Park:

Discovery Trail: Stroll through ancient old-growth redwoods this New Years. This is an easy 1.75-mile hike. Meet at the day use picnic area at 11 a.m. Children 6 and older are welcome. No dogs are not allowed. Dress in layers and be prepared for rain.  Heavy rain might cancel. For cancellation information call (707) 961-0471.

MacKerricher State Park:

Laguna Point Boardwalk: Meet naturalist and interpreter Fred Andrews at the visitor center at 11:00 a.m. for this ¾-mile hike to Laguna Point for whale watching. Learn about the annual gray whale migration and about other marine mammals seen along the Mendocino coast. Binoculars will be available to help visitors study whales and other fascinating wildlife found near MacKerricher’s shores. This is a wheelchair accessible hike. Wear layered clothing and rain gear light rain is not a problem. Drive about three-miles north of Fort Bragg on Highway 1 and turn left at the MacKerricher State Park sign. After meeting at the MacKerricher visitor center, the group drives to Laguna Point, where you walk out to look for whales. Young children are welcome on this program. Heavy rain will cancel this hike. For more information please call (707) 961-0471.

Mendocino Headlands State Park:

Headlands Trail: Meet the docent at the Ford House Visitor Center in Mendocino at 1:00 p.m. Walk out to the Mendocino Headlands to look for gray whales. Learn about the annual migration of gray whales.This is an easy 1-mile. Age 3 years old is the minimum age for children on this walk. Dogs permitted on leash. Rain will cancel this event. Wear layered clothing. Bring binoculars, water and a camera. For more information call (707) 937-5397.

Russian Gulch State Park:

Fern Canyon to Falls Loop trails: Meet naturalist Dave Jensen in front of the recreation hall at 12:00 p.m. The park entrance road is located on the west side of Highway 1, three miles north of Mendocino, California. This will be a moderate to strenuous 5.5-mile out and back hike (2.75 miles each way) to the beautiful waterfall. You will learn about the park’s natural history from Dave Jensen, renowned birder and naturalist. This hike is suggested for children 10 years and older, and adults. Bring water, snacks, hat and binoculars with you. No dogs allowed on the trail for this hike. For more information call (707) 961-0471.

Van Damme State Park

Spring Ranch Bluff trails: Meet the docent at Highway 1 and Gordon Lane at 10:00 a.m. The parking lot is about two miles north of Little River, California, on Highway 1. This 3-mile hike goes downhill through the Spring Ranch property to bluffs overlooking the ocean to look for migrating gray whales. Learn about the annual migration of gray whales between Alaska and Baja. After looking for whales, you will retrace your path uphill to the dirt parking lot. One section of the dirt path is very steep. Children should be age five or older. Dogs must be on a leash. Bring binoculars, water and a snack. Wear layered clothing and hiking shoes. Be prepared for rain as this hike takes places rain or shine. For more information call (707) 961-0471.

Monterey County

Asilomar State Beach and Conference Ground:

Dune Boardwal and Beach: Enjoy amazing scenic views, bracing salt air, and abundant dunes flora and fauna, and seashore wildlife in these spectacular areas. Meet at the flag pole near Pheobe Hearst Social Hall on the conference grounds at 1 p.m. Children must accompanied by an adult. Terrain varies for this 2-mile hike. Bring water and binoculars (optional) and wear layered clothing and comfortable shoes. Dogs allowed on a six-foot leash. Rain could cancel. For cancellation information call (831) 646-6440.

Orange County

Crystal Cove State Park

Loop Trail: This 3-mile moderate hike is suitable for adults and children, but the trail is steep in some places and may be challenging for little legs. Meet at Berns Amphitheater (School-State Park entrance, follow signs to the campground) at 9:00 a.m. Dogs are not permitted on trails (Not even in a purse.)There is a $15 day use fee. Please bring water, sun protection, hat, comfortable hiking shoes, layered clothing and snack. Rain will cancel. Park closed the day after rain so if in doubt call (949) 494-3539 or check www.crystalcovestatepark.com.

Placer County

Auburn State Recreation Area

Manzanita/Stagecoach Trails - Enjoy this easy to moderate 1-mile hike uphill through a manzanita forest out to a bench that overlooks all for bridges in the area including the Foresthill Bridge tallest bridge in California at 730 feet, and the historic Mountain quarries Railroad Bridge. Meet at the Range Office at 501 El Dorado Street Auburn at 10 a.m.  Children are welcome. Dogs are allowed on a leash.  Wear sturdy shoes, layers and jacket for light rain. Bring water and a snack. Heavy rain will cancel. For more information call (530) 885-4527.

Riverside County

California Citrus State Historic Park

Citrus Knolls Trail: Walk through the orange groves with knowledgeable docents and view majestic views of surrounding landscapes, mountain ranges and the City of Riverside.  Docents will discuss the historical citrus industry, history of Riverside, history of the park, and provide information on various citrus varieties and citrus culture.  After the 1-2 mile hike, guests will be invited to a free citrus tasting at the Visitor Center. Meet at the Visitor Center at 10:00 a.m. All ages are welcome. Bring water, comfortable shoes, hat, sunblock, snacks and a stroller for small children. Dogs are allowed on leash. Inclement weather could cancel. For information call (951) 780-6222.

Chino Hills State Park:

There will two hikes, one moderate and one easy hike through the Chino Hills. This is a partnership with the City of Chino Hills and its Healthy Hills program to promote healthy living for its residents. The first 100 hikers will receive a free backpack sponsored by the city. The event is limited to 200 participants. Hike leaders will organize groups of 30-35 hikers. The hikes begin at 8 a.m. Pre-registration is encouraged at https://www.chinohills.org/DocumentCenter/View/14012Th3. The hike is recommended for children 7 or older. Jogging style or or-road strollers may be accommodated on the easy hike. Pets are not permitted. The easy hike will be 1.5 miles and the moderate hike 2-4 miles long. Bring water, sun screen, a hat and snacks. Wear hiking shoes or boots for moderate hike. Tennis shoes are OK for the easy hike. For cancellation information call the park at (951) 780-6222.

Lake Perris State Recreation Area:

Russell Peak Trail:This approximately 5-mile strenuous hike starts simple with rolling fire road, goes into rocky trail with some steep elevation gain, little to no shade. Expect to see small animals and possible deer or coyote. Red tailed hawk is also around the area. On top the peak seek a glorious scenic view of Lake Perris. Meet at the Hunter’s Lot near the group camp at 10 a.m. for this 2 ½ hour hike. Bring water, closed toed shoes, jacket, hat and sunscreen and your walking stick.  This hike is recommend for children 8 years and older. No pets please. If you have any questions please call (951) 940-5647.

Grassland Trail: Breathe the fresh air and catch glimpses of local birds on this guided nature walk. This is an easy 1-2 mile walk with children of all ages welcome. The trail is not suitable for strollers however.Dogs are not allowed.Meet at the Hunter’s parking lot near the Group Camp Area at 10 a.m. Bring a jacket, and water and wear closed-toed shoes. For cancellation information call the park museum at (951) 940-5657.

Mount San Jacinto State Park:

Desert View Trail: This 1.5-mile hike will allow visitors to enjoy the high mountain environment in winter, with five different spectacular view points of the desert floor. This hike is easy to moderate in difficulty and takes place at altitudes over 8,500 feet. Snow may be present. Wear warm cold weather clothing and bring water, and snacks. This hike is recommend for children 5 years and older and does not have stroller or wheel chair accessibility. Hikers will meet at the Long Valley Ranger Station located near the top of the Palm Springs Ariel Tramway at 11:00 a.m.  For information about taking the tram click here. If you have any questions please call (760) 327-0222.

Salton Sea State Recreation Area:

Iron Wood Nature Trail: Meet at the Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m. for the first Bird Walk of 2017.  Learn about the birds in and around the Salton Sea. The 2-mile hike will take approximately one and a half hours and be sure to wear comfortable shoes, a brimmed hat, and bring binoculars and water.  The Salton Sea Visitor Center is located at 100-225 State Park Rd, Mecca, CA 92254.  There is a $5 day use fee per vehicle to enter the park, and seniors age 62 and older are $4. Call (760) 393-3810 for cancellation information.

Wildwood Canyon Park Property:

Nature Trail: Enjoy the natural surroundings of old oak groves and be prepared to catch glimpses of wildlife. This is a moderate hike of 2-3 miles.  Children are welcome but strollers are not recommended. Meet at the concrete area near the parking lot at 2 p.m. Bring a jacket and water and wear closed-toed shoes. For cancellation information call the Lake Perris museum at (951) 940-5657.

Sacramento County

Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park

Historic Water Canal Trail: This easy 1.5-mile accessible trail hike will provide the visitors an opportunity to learn about the historic water system that brought water to the Folsom Powerhouse.  Following the hike the visitors will have an opportunity to tour the exhibits and displays in the visitor center and the Powerhouse museum. Meet at the Folsom Powerhouse SHP Visitor Center at 10:00 a.m. This hike is for participants of eight years old and up. Things to bring include good sturdy walking shoes, layered clothing based on weather, water and snack.

San Benito County

Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area 

Beck Trail: Explore the wonders of local wildlife that call Hollister Hills SVRA home. The family friendly hike will allow kids to become wildlife detectives and discover interesting animal clues along the way that help their story. Meet at the Nature Area Entrance at 10 a.m. for this 1.5-mile hike. Children should be age 5 or older and the trail is not recommended for strollers. Dogs are allowed on leash. Bring water, snack, layered clothing and wear comfortable shoes. For cancellation information call (831) 637-8186.

San Diego County

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park:

Panoramic Overlook: Come experience in this 2-mile moderate hike, across the desert and up the Panoramic Overlook Trail (steep, but short) for good views of Borrego Valley and Font’s Point. Meet at the Anza-Borrego Desert State ParkVisitor Center at 2 p.m. Children welcome must be able to distance. Also bring water, hat, sun protection and snacks, hiking poles (optional)  and wear hiking boots. No pets are permitted. For cancellation Information call 760-767-4205. 

Bill Kenyon Overlook Trail: Come and experience this 1.5 mile moderate hike, over uneven, rocky ground to a beautiful desert overlook. Meet at Yaqui Pass Primitive Camp at 9:00 a.m., on Highway S-3 south of Borrego Springs. Children welcome, but must be able to hike 2 miles. No pets are permitted. Also bring water, sun protection, hat, and snacks and wear hiking boots. For cancellation information call 760-767-4205.

Ocotillo Wells State Vehicle Recreation Area:

All Park Trails: Explore the park’s hundreds of trails and take part in a number of activities scheduled to welcome the New Year. Join us at 8 a.m. or a cup of coffee, cider, or cocoa and then go for a ride on your favorite trail. Then join us back at the Discovery Center for off highway vehicle safety carnival games and a chili dog lunch that will start at 12 p.m. Map your OHV Ride, Riders of all ages can chose a trail and distance of their choice to ride – easy, moderate or strenuous. Bring water, OHV safety gear, and your OHV. Please follow all laws and park rules. Meet at Ocotillo Wells Discovery Center, 5172 Highway 78, Borrego Springs, CA, 92004. For information call (760) 767-5391.

South Carlsbad State Beach:

South Ponto Beach Sandy Beach and Bluff Overlook Trail: Join California State Parks for the annual “Land and See” First Day Hike. Gather at 9:00 a.m. at the South Ponto Day Use Lot Restrooms for this 1-mile hike. Hikers will stroll along the shore to learn about the animals that live and feed on our sandy beach. Then climb to the top of the bluff overlook to look for dolphins, sea lions and hone your skills for the upcoming whale season. This is an easy hike of about a mile. Children are welcome. Bring comfortable walking shoes, binoculars, and sun protection. Pets are not allowed. Stormy weather could cancel. Call (760) 438-3143 for information.

Torrey Pines State Natural Preserve:

Beach Trail: A ¾ mile trail (2-miles round trip), with a 300 feet elevation change, that is a rustic footpath through the upper reserve, with beautiful ocean views, then descending on switchbacks and multiple staircases. Final access to the beach is granted via stone steps and metal stairs.This is an adult hike. Bring water, a hat, sunscreen and sturdy shoes. Please stay on the trail. No food or pets are allowed.  Meet at the Torrey Pines Lodge and Visitor Center at 10:00 a.m. or 2 p.m.  Rain cancels. For information call (858) 755-8219.

Razor Point Trail: This a moderate 2.5-mile guided hike through the natural preserve with ocean views. About 2/3 mile to the Razor Point overlook, the trail meanders through coastal sage scrub with dramatic views of sculptured sandstone gorges and gnarled trees. The Yucca Pont Overlook, accessible from both Razor Point and the Beach Trail, features yucca flower display in the spring, examples of sandstone erosion and patterned sculptures called Tafoni. This an adult only hike. Bring water, a hat and sunscreen. Please stay on the trail. No food or pets are allowed.  Meet at the Torrey Pines Lodge and Visitor Center at 10:00 a.m. or 2 p.m. Rain cancels. For information call (858) 755-8219.

Guy Fleming Trail: This 2/3-mile level loopoffers two scenic lookouts with panoramic views. This trail has the greatest variety of wildflowers, ferns, cacti, and habitat diversity in the reserve. This is an adult hike. Bring water, a hat, sun screen and wear sturdy shoes. Please stay on the trail. No food or pets are allowed.  Meet at the Torrey Pines Lodge and Visitor Center at 10 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.  Rain cancels. For information call (858) 755-8219.

Parry Grove Trail: A strenuous ½ mile loop hike, secluded, with a steep entry/exit with 118 stone steps. Drought and bark beetle infestation has devastated the Torrey Pines in this grove, but it is recovering. The Whitaker Garden, a native plant garden, is at the trailhead. A new overlook looking over the Canyon of the Swifts and Razor Point delights the senses. This is an adult hike. Bring water, a hat, sun screen and wear sturdy shoes. Please stay on the trail. No food or pets are allowed.  Meet at the Torrey Pines Lodge and Visitor Center at 10 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.  Rain cancels. For information call (858) 755-8219.

Broken Hill Trail: This is a moderate 4-mile long hike. About a ½ mile north on the park road brings you to a 1.3 mile trail via the South Fork and 1.4 mile via the North Fork down to the beach. This trail joins the Beach Trail just above Flat Rock. This is the Reserve’s longest trail through chaparral and sagebrush with a scenic overlook with views of eroding sandstone cliffs. This is an adult hike. Bring water, a hat, sun screen and wear sturdy shoes. Please stay on the trail. No food or pets are allowed. Meet at the Torrey Pines Lodge and Visitor Center at 10 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Rain cancels. For information call (858) 755-8219.

Tijuana Estuary Natural Preserve: Bird Walk "Fast Food and Fine Dining": Come experience some of the many feeding habits of the over 370 birds found in Tijuana Estuary with Bird Walk Docent Extraordinaire Kevin Hamm. This is a easy 1-2 mile hike. The hike starts at starts at 3 p.m. and meets at the Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center, 301 Caspian Way, Imperial Beach, Calif. Children are welcome but little ones need to be in back packs. Wear layers and bring water and snacks. To RSVP call the visitor center at (619) 575-3613. For more information visit the web site at www.trnerr.org.

San Luis Obispo County

 Morro Bay State Park

Morro Strand South: Take a 1-mile stroll along the beach to learn about geology, sea live and shore animals. This an easy hike for all ages though children must be accompanied by an adult. Wear a jacket, and shoes that can get wet and water. No pets are allowed.  Meet at the Morrow Rock parking lot at 3 p.m. Rain will cancel. For more information call the Morro Bay Natural History Museum at (805) 772-2694.

Oceano Dunes State Vehicle Recreation Area

Geology of the Dunes Trail: Hike one of California’s last unaltered dune complexes. Learn the geology of the dunes as well as dune vegetation and sea birds. Meet at the Ocean Dunes visitors Center, 55 Pier Avenue, Oceano Calif at 11 a.m. Children must be age 9 or older. Wear sturdy shoes for walking on sand dunes. Pets on a six-foot leash are welcome. Rain could cancel. For information call (805) 773-7187.

San Mateo County

Ano Nuevo State Park:

Guided Elephant Seal Walks: Año Nuevo means “new year.” What better way to start 2017 than with a moderate 3-mile hike.  Tours are from 8:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Purchasingreservations in advance are strongly recommended at ReserveCalifornia (800) 444-4445 or anonuevo.reservecalifornia.com. Cost is $7 per person. Visit large colony of Northern elephant seals and watch the bulls defend their territory, while pregnant females ready to birth their pups.  Please meet at the Marine Education Center.  Layers, sturdy shoes, and rain gear is strongly advised, no pets, no umbrellas or strollers. The walk will happen, rain or shine—hopefully rain! The hike is recommended for all ages children must be accompanied by parent. For more information, please call (650) 879-2025 or see the parks website at  www.parks.ca.gov/anosealwalks.

Equal Access Seal Tours: Año Nuevo means “new year.” What better way to start 2017 than with an easy 1.5-mile (wheelchair-accessible boardwalk) hike.  Tours begin at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Purchasing reservations in advance is strongly recommended at ReserveCalifornia (800) 444-4445 or anonuevo.reservecalifornia.com. Cost is $7 per person. Visit large colony of Northern elephant seals and watch the bulls defend their territory, while pregnant females ready to birth their pups.  Please meet at the Marine Education Center.  Layers, sturdy shoes, and rain gear is strongly advised, no pets (Service dogs admitted with previous notice). Due to limited space, each person with mobility needs can bring up to two guests/assistants,) no umbrellas or strollers. The walk will happen, rain or shine—hopefully not rain. The hike is recommended for all ages children must be accompanied by parent. For more information, please call (650) 879-2025 or email Ano.EqualAccess@parks.ca.gov.

Burleigh Murray Ranch State Park Property: Mills Creek Trail: Take a journey back in time along Mills Creek at Burleigh Murray Ranch State Park. This easy walk is two-miles. Along the way you will learn about the lives of early pioneers.  Please meet at 10:00 a.m.at the Burleigh Murray parking lot located on Higgins-Purisima Road 1.5 miles east of Highway 1.  Bring water, closed- toe shoes, snacks, layer clothing, and binoculars (recommended.)  Recommended for children age 7 and older accompanied by parent. All pets must be on leash.  Rain Cancels. For information call (650) 726-8819 or HMBparksvolunteer@parks.ca.gov.

Pescadero State Natural Reserve: Percadero Marsah Natural Preserve Trail: Join us for a 2-mile stroll along the Sequoia Audubon Trail to discover what makes this marsh an important stop along the Pacific Flyway. Meet at the Pescadero State Beach central parking lot o Highway 1 about 1/4 north of Pescadero Creek Road at 10:00 a.m. Bring water, good walking shoes and dress for weather.  Snacks, sunscreen and binoculars are recommended.  Children of all ages are welcome, accompanied by parent. Pets are not permitted on the beach or in the marsh.  Rain cancels. For information call (650) 726-8819 or HMBparksvolunteer@parks.ca.gov.

Santa Barbara County

Carpinteria State Park:

Beach and Bluff Walk to the Rincon: Join us for an approximately 7-mile round trip moderate hike along the beach and bluffs of Carpinteria to Rincon Point. Docents will make a stop at the seal rookery and visit other interesting points along the way. We will meet at Carpinteria State Beach Kiosk (Entrance Station) at 1:30 p.m.   Please bring water, sturdy shoes good for both water and sand, also sun protection and a camera if desired. Children must be able to walk for up to three hours. There are three restrooms along the way. Dogs on leashes may walk the beach portion but must return by beach as they are not allowed on the bluff trails. There will be free parking that day for hikers.For cancellation information call (805) 684-2811.  

Santa Cruz County

Big Basin Redwoods State Park: (Park headquarters is located at 21600 Big Basin Way, Boulder Creek, CA, 95006.For cancellation information on all Big Basin Parks, call (831) 338-8861.)

Shadowbrook Trail: Join Docent Tom Batley as he guides you on a less-traveled trail that takes you by Union Creek, to the Sempervirens Falls and back through the redwoods. This is a four-mile, 3.5-hour hike. This moderate hike is suitable for adults, and youth 8 years old and older accompanied by parent. Bring water and good hiking shoes. Meet at Park Headquarters 21600 Big Basin Way, Boulder Creek, CA, 95006 at 11 a.m. In case of rain, Tom will lead a hike up beautiful, and paved, North Escape Road.Heavy rain cancels.  For cancellation information call (831) 338-8861. 

Redwood Grove Loop Walk: How do these grand redwoods grow to be so old? So tall? How are they important to humans? Join us for this fun and informative easy guided half-mile stroll through a magnificent old-growth redwood forest. This easy hike is suitable for all ages. Bring walking shoes and water. Meet at park headquarters at 1:00 p.m. Heavy rain cancels.  

Buzzard’s Roost Hike: Join Docents Kathy Willott and Glenn Joy for a hike to Buzzard’s Roost. We’ll take an early hike starting at 9 a.m. in hopes of seeing things that might be hiding later in the day and share our findings as we go. We’ll watch the environment change as we climb and enjoy the view from the top. Hikers should be able to do a steady uphill grade for 2.5 miles (elevation gain about 1,200 ft.), but we’ll go at a pace that allows us to enjoy what we see. Wear good walking shoes, dress in layers and bring snacks. Meet at Park Headquarters. 

Hike to Ocean View Summit: Escape the crowds on this 6-mile loop through shaded forest to a hilltop view of the coast. Join Docent Steve Stolper as we climb the Meteor Trail through the trees, gaining 600 feet before emerging at Ocean View Summit. After a relaxed lunch we descend back into the forest and return to headquarters. Bring at least one liter of water, lunch, snacks, and appropriate clothing. This hike runs rain or shine. Meet at Park Headquarters at 10 a.m. and expect to spend 4-4/12 hours on the trail. 

Coffee Talk and Crafts: Come to the Sempervirens Room next to Park Headquarters for free coffee or hot chocolate from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This is a great way to start your day in Big Basin. Docent Norm Beeson will be happy to answer your questions about the park and help get you going on the right trail. And bring the kids for a fun craft activity.

Castle Rock State Park:

Summit Meadow, Fire road and Skyline to the Sea Trail: The focus of the hike will be the human and natural history of the area. Meet at Sepervirens Point off Highway 9 at 9 a.m. Children must be 10 years or older. No pets are allowed. The 3.5-mile trail is not accessible. Wear sturdy hiking shoes, sun protection and layered clothing. Bring food and water. For information e-mail cal.ranger@aol.com.

Saratoga Gap/Ridge Trail: Hikers will enjoy spectacular vistas, a discussion of local flora and history. Meet at the park’s main parking lot at 9:30 a.m. this is a moderately difficult 3-mile hike. This is recommended for children 10 and older, but an active younger child would be fine. No pets please. Wear sturdy shoes and layered clothing. Bring water and snacks. Weather could cancel. Call (408) 291-8273 for more information.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park: (There is a $10 day use vehicle entry fee for to the park)

Old-Growth Redwood Loop to Cable Car Beach: On this two-mile, easy hike we’ll venture to old-growth redwoods and San Lorenzo River and learnredwoods grow to become the tallest organisms on earth. We’ll also learn how important banana slugs are to the redwood ecosystems and why are there so few old growth trees left. This easy hike is suitable for all ages. Bring walking shoes and water. Please leave pets at home. Meet at the Visitor Center at 1 p.m., enter park from Highway 9 just south of downtown Felton, CA.  Heavy rain will cancel. Call 831-335-8418 visitor center docent desk for information.

Redwood Loop – History Hike: Walk through the towering old growth redwood forest and learn the history of the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, from the tribes of the Ohlone to the Californios, from Welches ranch to Santa Cruz Big Trees County Park.Meet at 11 a.m. at the visitor center located in the Day Use area off Highway 9 in Felton. Children are welcome. No pets are allowed. This is an easy 1-mile ADA accessible trail. Bring water and snacks For information call (831) 335-8418.

Barrel Mill Trail – Ladybugs: Hike through a 100 year young forest on a journey to view the swarms of over wintering ladybugs.Join us at one of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Parks hidden treasures and explore the beauty of Fall Creek. This is a 6-7 mile hike. Meet at the Fall Creek Parking Lot – approximately 1.2 mile up Felton Empire road from the Highway 9 intersection at 8:30 a.m. Children must be able to complete a 5 hour hike. No pets are allowed. Dress warmly for cold mornings and bring water and snacks. This hike will be held rain or shine. For more information, call (831) 335-8418.

Bird Walk –Meadow Trail: Join us for an easy morning 1-3 mile avian stroll to potentially view and hear the over wintering birds of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The residents can be from hawks to Juncos, and maybe even a woodpecker or two. Meet at 8 a.m. at the visitor center located in the Day Use area off Highway 9 in Felton. Children must be able to be calm and quite so as not to disturb or scare birds. No pets are allowed. Bring water and dress warm. Bring binoculars (some will be available.) Heavy rain may cancel. For information call (831) 335-8418.

Fall-Creek-Lime Kilns: Hike through a 100 years young forest to examine evidence of the logging history and discover how the Bay Area was built. Join us at one of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Parks hidden treasures and explore the beauty of Fall Creek. Meet at the Fall Creek Parking Lot – approximately 1.2 mile up Felton Empire road from the Highway 9 intersection at 9 a.m. This is a moderate 3-4 mile hike. Children must be able to complete a four-hour hike. No pets allowed. Bring water, and wear warm clothing (mornings can be cold.) Rain will cancel. Call (831) 335-8418 for information.

Observation Deck: Take a moderate 4-mile hike to the park’s observation deck. There and back again – from the redwoods, to the river, to the sand hills, come and experience the multitude of habitats that can be found here. Enjoy a panoramic view while eating lunch with the acorn woodpeckers before returning to the redwoods. Meet at 11 a.m. at the Visitor Center located in the Day Use area off Highway 9 in Felton. Children must be able to complete a 3.5 hour hike. Bring water and lunch. No dogs or pets please. This hike will be held rain or shine. For more information, call (831) 335-8418.

Photography and Ecology – Observation Loop Trail: Beginner to advanced photographers and nature enthusiasts alike are invited on a hike through towering redwoods and rare ancient marine deposits discovering panoramic views along the way. Sunlight filtering through the redwoods, a glistening river, and breathtaking views make this hike ideal for photographers. We will be discussing the natural history of the park in addition to compositional elements. This is a moderate to strenuous 5-mile hike with steep inclines. Join us at 12 p.m. at the Visitor Center located in the Day Use area off Highway 9 in Felton. Children must be able to hike up to 4 hours over steep terrain. No Pets allowed. Bring water, snacks and a camera. Wear layered clothing. For information call (831) 335-8418.

Natural Bridges State Beach:

Monarch Butterfly Grove: Come see wintering monarch butterflies with this easy ½-mile hike. Hikes leave from the visitor center at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. All ages welcome. Not pets please. Bring water and dress warm. There is a $10 per vehicle entrance fee. Rain could cancel. For information call (831) 423-4609.

Portola Redwoods State Park:

Old Tree Trail: This is an easy ½ mike through the old-growth redwood grove. Among the questions to be answers are: How do redwoods grow to become the tallest organisms on earth? How important are banana slugs to the redwood ecosystems? Why are there so few old growth trees left? Meet at 11 a.m. at the Park Visitor Center the park is located 3 miles down Alpine Road off Highway 35 in La Honda. All ages are welcome. No pets please. The trail is not accessible. Wear warm clothes and sturdy shoes. Bring water. For information about possible cancellations, e-mail rosenelson@parks.ca.gov.

Wilder Ranch State Park:

Back Country Hike: This is a strenuous 7.5-mile hike into the back country through redwood groves and the reward of panoramic views. Minimum age is 16. Bring water, lunch and hiking shoes. No pets please. Hikers should meet at the Wilder Ranch Interpretive Center at 9 a.m. Parking is $10 per vehicle for the day.

Old Cove Landing (Coast Nature Walk): Step into 2017 with a moderate 2.5-mile hike while exploring plants, animals, geology and great views of coastal bluffs. Meet at the Wilder Ranch Interpretive Center at 11 a.m. for an easy guided hike. This a Family Friendly trail though little ones should be carried or in a trail-worthy stroller. Bring a snack, water, binoculars, and wear good walking shoes and a hat.  Rain cancels.  Wilder Ranch is located at the northern end of Santa Cruz off Highway 1 at 1401 Coast Rd. Call (831) 426-0505 for cancellation information.

Sonoma County

Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve:

Pioneer Trail: Ring in the New Year outside. This hike is brought to you by Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods and California State Parks. This family-friendly hike will meet at 10:00 a.m. at the visitor's center and go until 12:00 p.m. Guests will be treated to a fun and easy walk under the magnificent old growth redwood trees with stops to view the rushing waters of Fife Creek. The hike will be led by experienced docents from Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods. Participants are encouraged to dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes, bring a water bottle and snacks. All ages welcome. The event is free. Heavy rain cancels. For more information, please contact the Stewards office, at 707-869-9177 or stewards@stewardscr.org.

Fort Ross State Historic Park:

Cemetery Trail Walk/Talk - Beach/Reef Trail: This is a beautiful walk along the Fort Ross creek ending at the cemetery. A 20-minute talk on the cemetery will be offered once there. We will then walk back out to the beach and over to the Reef Campground where we will have our packed lunches. Along the trail we might see some early spring wild flowers, as well as vistas of the ocean view and possibly Whale spouts. At the beginning of the hike Kashaya Elder Lorin Smith will greet us, offering a blessing to start our new year. Meet at 10:00 a.m. in the upper parking area. For this moderate 3-mile hike children are welcome. No pets please. Bring water, snacks, sunscreen, and good hiking shoes. Shoes might get wet if   the creek has water in it. To check on cancellation, contact the park at robinjoy.wellman@parks.ca.gov or call 707-847-4777 for latest updates.

 Jack London Park:

Mountain Trail: Take a moderately strenuous hike to the summit of the park, where you will be rewarded by beautiful views of the valley floor. Expect a fun and friendly eight-mile round trip hike to start off the New Year. This hike is suitable for adults and youth 12 years old and up. We will meet in the Ranch parking lot at 10:00 a.m. Wear sturdy shoes will be hiking on uneven terrain; bring water, hiking poles and lunch. Rain will cancel, no pets please. For additional information contact Deborah Large at large@sonic.net.

Sonoma Coast State Park:

Kortum Trail: Start the year out right and bring your family on a hike out at the coast. This hike is brought to you by Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods and California State Parks. We will meet at 1:00 p.m. at the Shell Beach parking lot and go until 3:00 p.m. On this easy walk, the group will meander through rare coastal prairie habitat on the Kortum Trail. Views of the ocean and the nearby boulders make this a magical experience. The hike will be led by experienced Stewards docents. Participants are encouraged to dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes, bring a water bottle and snacks. All ages welcome. The event is free. Heavy rain cancels. For more information, please contact the Stewards office, at 707-869-9177 or stewards@stewardscr.org.

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park:

Bald Mountain Loop: Celebrate the New Year with a hike to Bald Mountain. This 6.5 to 7.4-mile hike (final route will be determined by trail conditions) will include a climb of 1,500 feet, featuring fantastic views of Sonoma Valley, Napa Valley, and San Francisco.  The hike is suitable for adults and youth 11-years-old and up. Be prepared for inclement weather. Pack a lunch/snacks and water. We will meet in the main day use parking lot at 10:00 a.m. (parking fee applies). No pets on trails and for cancellation Information contact John Roney, (707) 833-5712 or john@sonomaecologycenter.org although no RSVP is required.