Here's the release from the State Parks about Jan. 1 hikes.
Wilder Ranch State Park-- First Day Hike in the Backcountry
Tuesday, January 1 from 9:00am to 1:00pm. Bring a lunch
Meet docent Bill Perry at Wilder Ranch’s Parking Lot for a moderately strenuous 6-mile three-hour hike to explore the natural and cultural history of the upper hills of Wilder Ranch State Park. Wear sturdy hiking shoes, bring water, snacks and lunch and dress in layers for changeable weather. Call (831)426-0505 for more information. Please leave pets at home.
Natural Bridges State Beach -- Spend New Year’s Day with the Monarchs
Tuesday, January 1 at 2:00pm
Stroll along the half-mile boardwalk with a park docent to discover the qualities of the park’s gently sloped, tree-filled arroyo that provides sanctuary to park visitors, ample wildlife and an overwintering population of monarch butterflies that cluster in the trees at Natural Bridges State Beach. The monarch butterfly boardwalk is wheelchair and stroller accessible. Please leave pets at home.
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park -- New Year’s Day Hike “A River Wild”
Tuesday, January 1 at 11:00am
On this 4 hour / 5 mile moderate pace hike we’ll visit some of the park’s “back-country”. Initially traversing old growth Redwood and Douglas-fir forest, we’ll enjoy a little-visited part of the San Lorenzo River canyon along the River Trail and descend to take our break on river side sand bars. Maximum elevation change is about 500 ft. Suitable for adults, and youth who are diligent hikers.
Dress in layers for changeable weather and temperatures. Bring sturdy walking shoes, water and snacks. Meet at 11:00 AM in front of the Nature Store (edge of parking lot) at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Please leave pets at home. Enter the park from Hwy 9 just south of downtown Felton, CA. Heavy rain cancels.
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park -- New Year’s Day Observation Deck Hike
Tuesday January 1 at 12:00 noon
On this 3.5 hour / 4-5 mile moderate hike we’ll explore four amazingly different habitats – riverside (riparian) broadleaf forest, old growth redwood forest, upland pine-oak woodland and the rare and endangered Santa Cruz sandhills. Because these diverse habitats are very close together with abrupt transition zones we can experience a wide variety of plants and animals in a very short distance. From the park’s Observation Deck we’ll enjoy 360 degree views of the Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay. Maximum elevation gain is about 500 ft.
This moderate hike is suitable for adults, and youth who are diligent hikers. Dress in layers for changeable weather and temperatures. Bring walking shoes, water, sun protection and snacks. Please leave pets at home. Meet at 12:00 PM noon in front of the Mountain Parks Nature Store (edge of parking lot) at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Heavy rain cancels. (hike travels along several trails).
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park -- New Year’s Day Critter Safari
Tuesday, January 1 at 1:00pm
On this 2 hour leisurely walk we’ll uncover the tracks and other “signs” that animals leave. We’ll reconstruct the hidden lives of deer, hawks, ducks, bobcat, lizards and more – to see how they survive in our rivers, forests and grasslands. Children from age 6-up are encouraged to attend accompanied by a parent. Dress in layers for changeable weather and temperatures. Bring walking shoes and water; length is approximately 1.5 miles along several park trails. Meet at 1:00 PM in front of the Mountain Parks Nature Store (edge of parking lot). Heavy rain cancels. Please leave pets at home.
Big Basin Redwoods State Park -- New Year’s Day Redwood Loop Walk
Tuesday, January 1, at 1:00pm
How do these grand redwoods grow to be so old? So tall? How are they important to humans? Join us for this fun and informative guided half-mile easy stroll through a magnificent old-growth redwood forest. Meet the famous Mother Tree, the Father of the Forest and the incredible Chimney Tree on this 90-minute walk on the half-mile redwood loop trail that is stroller and wheelchair accessible. Meet at Park Headquarters. Rain cancels. Please leave pets at home.
Pescadero State Marsh Preserve
Tuesday, January 1 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
This moderate guided two-hour hike will explore the natural and cultural history of Pescadero Marsh, an important stop on the Pacific flyway and nesting grounds for Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons. Meet at the central Pescadero State Beach parking lot, located along Hwy 1 approximately ¼ mile north of Pescadero Road.
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum Age for Kids: 8 years, accompanied by parent
Restrictions: no dogs
Length of the Trail: 3 miles round trip
Things to Bring: Wear sturdy hiking shoes, dress in layers for changeable weather, and bring binoculars if you have them
Cancellation Information: Rain cancels. Call (650)726-8820