In The Field

Upcoming outings:

Sat., November 5 – Curry Canyon with Seth Adams *Full
Sat., November 12 – Freshwater Fish at Quarry Lakes with a Fly Casting Clinic

Throughout the year, Bay Nature Institute organizes guided walks, hikes, and other types of outings to some of the parks and open spaces that we cover in the magazine. We find expert guides who can provide a deeper understanding of the places we visit, from Henry W. Coe State Park, to Fort Funston, to Tomales Dunes.

These outings are without charge, except for fees for parking, park entrance, transport, or equipment rental (as in the case of kayak outings). Reservations are required for most outings and they almost always fill to their limit well before the date. To find out in advance about upcoming hikes, subscribe to the magazine.

Better yet, become a member of Bay Nature’s Publisher’s Circle with a donation of $500 or more, and receive early notice of In the Field programs, as well as invitations to other special outings and events. Contact or call (510)528-8550 x105 for more information.

Upcoming hikes

Space is limited on these hikes. Registration is required and is limited to up to two people per email address.
A detailed logistical email will be sent out to all registrants who have provided email addresses the week before the hike itself.

Saturday, November 5 – Mount Diablo – Curry Canyon (Donor hike), 9:30 am – 3:00 pm

As devotees of Mount Diablo know, for years you’ve been able to take a hike east from the Curry Point parking area in Mount Diablo State Park on Knobcone Point Road to Balancing Rock. You walk for a couple of miles through beautiful oak-pine woodlands and chaparral to the eastern edge of the park and then … hit a fence. On the other side of that fence is Curry Canyon Ranch, a spectacular 1080 acre property that was recently purchased by Save Mount Diablo (SMD). Some day it will be open to public access. For the time being, however, access is limited. But not for a group led by Seth Adams, long-time Director of Land Conservation at SMD and an expert in all things related to the Devil Mountain. For this day’s outing, we will meet at Curry Point in the park and hike two miles to the property boundary, and then proceed for another 1.5 to 2 miles on ranch roads to Windy Point. Along the way we’ll have spectacular views from Windy Point, Knobcone Point, and Cave Point. We will then retrace our steps to Curry Point. The hike is long (6–7 miles) but moderate (i.e., some hills but no steep drops and climbs, unless we choose to the loop trip option which drops steeply 1,100 feet into Curry Canyon – and then back out – on the way back to Curry Point).

Sorry, this hike is now full. If you'd like to be added to the waitlist, email

Saturday, November 12 – Freshwater Fish at Quarry Lakes with a Fly Casting Clinic, 9:00 am–12:30 pm

There are many different ways to enjoy and “get into” nature. At Bay Nature, our default is to go for a hike. But for many people, there’s nothing like going fishing to connect with the natural world, and on this outing, we’re going to “hook up” with the East Bay Regional Park District and Trout Unlimited for an introduction to this ancient and popular form of nature-based recreation at Quarry Lakes Regional Park in Fremont.

We’ll start out with a 45-minute walk around the lakes led by supervising district naturalist James Frank, to get a sense of the habitat where the freshwater fish of the East Bay like to hang out. Then we’ll have the opportunity to learn some of the basic skills needed to catch a fish, such as setting up a rod and different kinds of casting techniques (all equipment provided). We’ll also learn some basics about aquatic bugs and watershed dynamics. And we’re invited to stick around afterwards for a picnic lunch by the lake (bring your own lunch!).

The program is free, but there’s a $5 charge per vehicle for parking.

Recent past hikes

Pinnaces & Condors with Richard Neidhardt
On Sunday, October 16, Richard Neidhardt, the coordinator of the volunteer condor tracking project for the nonprofit Pinnacles Partnership, in association with the National Park Service, led a spectacular 5.5 mile hike along the High Peaks Trail with the hopes of spotting condors.

Eden Landing Ecological Reserve
On Friday, October 14, during fall migration on the Pacific Flyway, California Department of Fish and Wildlife reserve manager, John Krause, led a walk for us to discuss the ambitious restoration process and the wildlife it benefitted.

Rodeo Beach Sand & Geology Walk
On Saturday, August 6, geology expert Andrew Alden led an exploration of the sands and geology of Rodeo Beach in the Marin Headlands.

Bird Walk at Cullinan Ranch
On Saturday, February 27, Don Brubaker, manager for San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and Francesca Demgen, coordinator of the Friends of San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge, led a 2.5-mile bird watching walk at Cullinan Ranch.

Salmon Creek Ranch Tour & Hile
On Saturday, July 23, rancher Lesley Brabyn guided a tour of her 400-acre Salmon Creek Ranch near the town of Bodega. The tour was followed by a moderate hike with a naturalist and a picnic on the property.

Lichen Hike on Mount Vision, Point Reyes
On Saturday, February 20, Shelly Benson, president of the California Lichen Society, led a lichen excursion on Mount Vision in Point Reyes National Seashore.

Get details on other upcoming Bay Nature events.


Have questions about our outings? Email us at and we’ll get back to you pronto.