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Ring Around the Bay


San Francisco Bay is our largest open space, yet much of its shoreline has long been off-limits. Twelve years ago, the Bay Trail Project set out to change all that by creating a 400-mile ring of multiuse paths around the Bay. Now half complete, the Bay Trail is fulfilling its promise of increased access to the expansive vistas, rich wildlife habitats, and recreational opportunities of this incomparable estuary.

The Call of the Rails


The Bay Trail through the Palo Alto Baylands is among the best places to see the endangered California clapper rail and multitudes of other shorebirds.

Star Gazing and Night Hiking Resources


To See the Stars Well do I know that I am mortal and a creature of one day;but when my mind follows the massed wheeling circles of the stars,my feet no longer touch the earth…—Ptolemy, epigram to the Almagest Observatories … Read more

Banana slugs finding love.

Why are Banana Slugs so Slimy?


Back when I used to teach children about nature, I often relied on a “hook” to keep them focused. Slapping myself with stinging nettle was a great attention grabber, but banana slugs worked just as well and didn’t hurt as … Read more

The Gardener and the Quail


Years ago, there was a quail refuge on the outskirts of the town of Bolinas. Seeking to restore her yard to the coastal prairie it used to be, Bolinas writer Judith Lowry decided to shape her garden to meet the quail’s habitat needs. In the process, she discovered how a covey of quail can stitch together a sometimes fractious neighborhood.

Car Free on Mount Tam


Mount Tam’s Steep Ravine and Dipsea trails take you from conifer forest to open slopes to sandy beach. And, best of all, when you take the bus and not your car, you don’t have to walk back uphill afterwards.