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unz031485469780Upcoming outings:

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, become a Friend of Bay Nature with a donation of $20 or more.

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 judith@baynature.org 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. An email with logistical details will be sent out to all registrants who have provided email addresses the week before the hike itself. Hike end times are approximate.

Tolay Lake Regional Park

Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument

Mt. Umunhum

Djerassi Resident Artists Program

Tolay Lake Regional Park, Petaluma

Saturday, September 23rd 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Join Bay Nature, Sonoma County Regional Parks, and Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria chairman Greg Sarris on a special hike through oak woodlands and grasslands, up to sweeping vistas of the region, in Tolay Lake Regional Park (south of Petaluma). We’ll learn about the tribe’s long relationship to this land and how, in partnership with Sonoma County Regional Parks, they are planning to fully open the park to the general public. This five-mile hike will traverse unshaded grasslands and climb up and down roughly 400-feet of elevation.

The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (gratonrancheria.com), represent the Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo tribal peoples of Marin and Sonoma. Tribal Chair Greg Sarris is a professor of creative writing and Native American studies at Sonoma State University. Greg is a noted author of essays, screenplays, and stories, including a forthcoming collection of stories, How a Mountain Was Made, to be published this fall by Heyday Books. Greg also wrote “The Charms of Tolay Lake” article in the current issue of Bay Nature.

Sorry, this hike is full. If you'd like to get put on the waitlist, email judith@baynature.org

Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument, north of Santa Cruz

Friday, October 13th, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. 
Bay Nature and the Bureau of Land Management are planning a walking tour of the much-celebrated Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument along the Santa Cruz coast. Not yet open to the public, the national monument’s 5,800 acres spans coastal prairies, redwood forest, riparian canyons, and grazing land. We’ll learn about the landscape, the purchase of the property, and its designation as the region’s newest national monument. We will be joined by Bay Nature board member Reed Holderman–the former Executive Director of both the Trust for Public Land-California and Sempervirens, which each played key roles in the transfer of the Cotoni-Coast Dairies properties from private to public hands. We will also be joined by an expert from the BLM. This will be a four-to-six mile hike over diverse terrain. There are no facilities—water, restrooms, etc—at Coast Dairies.

Sorry, this hike is full. If you'd like to get put on the waitlist, email judith@baynature.org

Mt. Umunhum, adjacent to Los Gatos, Santa Clara County

Sunday, October 22nd, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Our tour will start at the summit of this epic peak that has been closed to the public for more than 50 years. Mount Umunhum (“resting place of the hummingbirds” in Ohlone), is home to more than 60 unique species, and will at long last be opened to the public this fall. We’ll be among the first groups to receive a tour of the renewed site with Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s knowledgeable docent staff. We’ll spend the first 45 minutes at the mountaintop, enjoying the panoramic views and learning about the history at the site including the Amah Mutsun tribal band and former Air Force facilities, after which we’ll descend 1,165 feet on a scenic unpaved 3.7 mile way.

Sorry, this hike is full. If you'd like to get put on the waitlist, email judith@baynature.org

Djerassi Resident Artists Program / Open Space

Sunday, November 5th9:30-2:00 p.m.
Djerassi Resident Artists Program is sited on a gorgeous 583-acre property in the western San Mateo County. It is surrounded by open space, and offers spectacular views of the rural La Honda and San Gregorio communities, as well as sights of the Pacific Ocean. On this day, we’ll explore the beautiful rolling hills of this private, world-class artist retreat, decorated with site-inspired artworks. Visitors have the opportunity to see raptors, red-legged frogs, and one-of-a-kind outdoor sculptures.

Stanford University Professor Emeritus Dr. Carl Djerassi, the grandfather of the birth control pill, founded the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in 1979 after a family tragedy stirred him to support artists and their creative spirit.  Since then, the Program has developed a highly respected retreat program for emerging artistic talent from around the world.

This land is not open to the public, and the occasional public hikes that do occur there typically fill up just five to ten minutes after registration opens. We’ll be fortunate to have the company of Felicia Herron, Djerassi’s stewardship lead, and Drew Shell of Yerba Bioadvocacy. They will guide our traverse across grasslands, redwood forests, and wetlands. We’ll be traveling mostly on dirt roads and trails, with some uneven steep slopes, covering about two miles and a 500-foot elevation gain, and stopping around midway for a picnic lunch in the redwoods.

Sorry, this hike is full. If you'd like to get put on the waitlist, email judith@baynature.org

Recent past hikes

McLaughlin Eastshore State Park exploration
We walked through the Berkeley Meadow and North Strip during our McLaughlin Eastshore State Park exploration, led by local experts Bob Nisbet and Scott Possin.

Discovery walk at Heron’s Head Park
Bay Nature’s Eric Simons and California Center for Natural History’s Constance Taylor guided an exploration of Heron’s Head Park, a quiet stretch of nature providing eight acres of wetland habitat along the southeast waterfront of San Francisco.

Franklin Point wildflowers with Toni Corelli
Botanist Toni Corelli led us on a hike along the spectacular San Mateo Coast through coastal prairie, dune, and bluff scrub near Franklin Point in the northern half of Año Nuevo State Park.

Freshwater Fish at Quarry Lakes with a Fly Casting Clinic
On this outing, we “hooked 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.

Curry Canyon with Seth Adams
Seth Adams, the long-time Director of Land Conservation at SMD and an expert in all things related to the Devil’s Mountain, led a hike from Curry Point through ranch roads to Windy Point with incredible views from Windy Point, Knobcone Point, and Cave Point.

Pinnaces & Condors with Richard Neidhardt
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
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
Geology expert Andrew Alden led an exploration of the sands and geology of Rodeo Beach in the Marin Headlands.

Bird Walk at Cullinan Ranch
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 & Hike
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
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 hikes@baynature.org and we’ll get back to you pronto.

Bay Nature