Ask the Naturalist

Ask the Naturalist: Shady Bay Area Hikes?

September 19, 2014

Q: I am looking for a state park with a shady fern dell or glade, possibly with a water feature such as a stream or waterfall, in the greater Bay Area. Any suggestions for a day trip, hopefully in the near future? — Scott

A: Scott, we have several state parks that will meet your requirement, though the stream and waterfall features are likely to be somewhat underwhelming at this point in the fall of a drought year. So if you want rushing water, you’ll have to wait until/if the rains return, which is not likely to be in the “near future”. However, you will find some water and plenty of ferns and shade.

These are the state parks you could choose from:

  • Samuel P. Taylor SP in Marin (near Lagunitas)
  • Mount Tamalpais State Park/Muir Woods National Monument in Marin
  • Big Basin State Park in Santa Cruz County (near Felton)
  • Portola Redwoods State Park in Santa Mateo County (west of Skyline Blvd)

— David Loeb, Publisher, Bay Nature

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