TrailfinderYour Guide to Bay Area Parks & Trails

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Wildlife Sightings

by iNaturalist


Heron's Head Park

by 1buglady

A nice easy out-and-back, great for birds, kids, and leashed dogs. White-crowned sparrows go crazy in the bushes while, in winter, the Bay fills up with migratory waterbirds. The small restored marsh supports nesting American avocets and black oystercatchers, while whimbrels, grebes, terns, cormorants, and egrets are common.

Lands End Loop

by Bay Nature Staff

A morning outing to Lands End provides about as much wilderness as can be found in San Francisco; the beauty is so stunning, it’s easy to miss the ghosts. But walk a few minutes under the thick mantle of Monterey cypress and they’ll appear. Prop yourself against the crumbling walls of a concrete pillbox on […]

Roy's Redwoods

by Bay Nature

Tucked into West Marin's San Geronimo Valley, just a few hundred feet from Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, you'll find a meadow circled by bay trees, madrones, and enormous old-growth redwoods–some of them 250 feet tall. This is Roy's Redwoods preserve, a 377-acre park that's been home to a ranch, a commune, and even Ewoks for […]

Little Yosemite (Sunol Regional Wilderness)

by Matthew Bettelheim

  Hike by Matthew Bettelheim, originally published in the January 2007 issue of Bay Nature magazine   Calling the Sunol Regional Wilderness's Little Yosemite area a scenic gorge is like calling Yosemite a pretty valley. This little gem, tucked away along a stretch of Alameda Creek, has been made accessible to the public by an […]

Coyote Point Park to Redwood Shores

by San Francisco Bay Trail

This trip is a great way to experience the Bay Trail by bike along the shoreline of San Mateo, Foster City and Redwood City. Begin in the Eucalyptus groves of Coyote Point Park and follow a wide paved trail to Shoreline Park, across an award-winning bicycle/pedestrian bridge, around Seal Point Park for expansive views of […]

Alum Rock Park

by YerbaQuercus

I took public transit to Alum Rock Park. I had to walk 15 mins along Penitencia Creek in order to get into Alum Rock Park.  The weather was perfect for hiking. I started walking along the creek bed. There I saw many California native plants like: California Buckeye, California Bay Laurel, sticky monkeyflower, miner's lettuce […]

Marshall Beach Walk

by Jules Evens

  An easy to moderate walk on a gravel road, 2.8 miles round-trip. The approach to Marshall Beach is rather steep and may be slippery in the rainy season. The trailhead to the Marshall Beach begins after driving a couple of miles along the L Ranch Rd.,  out through the northern edge of the bishop […]

Point Reyes Light House Walk

by Jules Evens

The Outer Point Reyes Peninsula is a Mecca for both birds and birdwatchers during autumn migration. The month of September is the peak of songbird passage and when conditions are right—lack of strong northwest winds, night sky obscured by high overcast—migrant landbirds “fall out” on the outer point. The islands of Monterey cypresses that were […]

Earthquake Epicenter Hike, Forest of Nisene Marks

by Daniel McGlynn

If you're craving an adventure close to home, Forest of Nisene Marks State Park should be high on your list. Spanning a handful of ridges in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the park boasts 30 miles of trails on 10,000 acres. But bring your map. The trail system–a mix of fire roads, old logging roads, and […]

Tarwater Trail Loop, Pescadero Creek County Park

by Bay Nature Staff

This is not your average county park: It sprawls over 8,020 acres, encompassing the Pescadero Creek watershed, a major steelhead spawning stream that drains into Pescadero Marsh. The park–composed of the Sam McDonald, Memorial, and Heritage Grove units–has more than 26 miles of trails and sits beside Portola Redwoods State Park. The half-mile Heritage Grove […]

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