Come explore the hills between Fairfield, Benicia, and Vallejo! You’ll be led by Jim Walsh and/or James Chang, both expert Solano Land Trust guides who know this area—known as the King-Swett Ranches—inside out. They’ll share insights about the birds and other wildlife that call this area home, and give you a great workout! Take advantage of this special opportunity if you can because the King-Swett Ranches are otherwise closed.
WHAT TO BE PREPARED FOR: (1) Arrive on time and be prepared to immediately carpool or caravan from the meeting place (see below) to the trailhead. (2) Participants of all ages are welcome, but they must be prepared for the following: A fast pace hiking 4-6 miles up and down rugged, steep, and slippery hills that are full of sticky seeds and thorny plants. There are very few trails and those that do exist are unimproved—expect rough, rocky, uneven ground, and off-trail travel. (3) These are working ranches where free-range cattle roam as they please. (4) Visitors must be accompanied by a docent at all times. (5) Since the ranches are otherwise closed, the entry and exit gate will be locked except for the start and end times of the hike. (6) There is no drinking water. (7) There are no bathrooms. (8) In order to protect wildlife, cattle, and rare plants—and for your pet’s safety—dogs are not allowed. (9) Take only pictures, leave only footprints. (10) Maintain a safe distance from cattle and wildlife, and be aware that this is tick, mountain lion, and potentially rattlesnake country.
WHAT TO BRING: (1) A backpack with plenty of water and snacks. (2) Boots or sturdy closed-toe shoes with good tread. (3) Long, sturdy pants and layered clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. (4) Protection from the elements (sun, wind, fog, rain). (5) Also recommended: Gaiters (to protect your legs from thorny plants), hiking sticks, bug repellent, binoculars, and a camera.
MEETING PLACE: Meet Jim and/or James promptly at the (unmarked) Park-and-Ride lot where McGary Road, Hiddenbrooke Parkway, and American Canyon Road intersect (on the Hiddenbrooke side of the American Canyon/Hiddenbrooke Parkway exit, off Interstate 80). (Jim has a white “TruGreen” pickup truck.) Be ready to immediately carpool or caravan from there.
WEATHER PLAN: Only very heavy rain cancels—call Jim at 916-870-4824 if the weather is uncertain.
REGISTRATION: RSVP (appreciated, not required) to Jim Walsh at 916-870-4824 or firstname.lastname@example.org.