Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hike to falls, wildflowers, or plein air experiences

Yes, you can get your exercise and enjoy beautiful landscapes all in one outing! Here are three excellent ways:

SOLANO COUNTY: Bay Area Ridge Trail offers guided hikes to one of the most picturesque places in Solano County, Green Valley Falls. Dates are Saturday, May 25, 2013 and Saturday, June 08, 2013. Both are 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 - noon). Green Valley Falls flows all year long; the surroundings are beautiful and inviting even on a hot day. The hike is fairly short, but there are some steep and difficult spots.

Green Valley Falls, Solano County
Reservations are required and hikes fill fast. Fee charged. Limit 30 people.  Reservations on a first-come first-served basis. You must bring a photo ID, be older than 12 years old, and be accompanied by a parent or guardian if you are under 18.

SONOMA COUNTY: Jack London State Historic Park offers a variety of docent led programs and walks. Two walks, of “Grave Site and Wolf House,”  and “Beauty Ranch” last approximately 1 – ½ hours and are free beyond the entrance fees.  ($10 entry fee at the park for vehicles, $5 for those who walk or cycle in.) No registration is required. 

Another hike, on Saturday, May 25
is the final guided spring wildflower walk. “Park naturalists Deborah Large and John Lynch lead the walk to see Brodiaea, Crimson Columbine, native honeysuckle, several varieties of Clarkia, Ithuriel’s Spear, Ookow, Yarrow and possibly several native and nonnative orchids, which will be starting to bloom.”

This hike is from 10 A.M. to 1:30 P.M. Participants should meet in the Upper Parking Lot of Jack London State Historic Park (2400 London Ranch Road in Glen Ellen). Bring binoculars, cameras, water & light snack and wear sturdy shoes. Admission is $10 per person. Click here to pay in advance. (The additional parking fee of $10 per car must be paid at the kiosk upon entering).

You can also hike on your own in Jack London State Historic Park. The park has over 20 miles of trails that traverse through mixed forest, redwood groves, oak woodlands, and grassy meadows. The elevation varies from 600 to 2,300 feet.  

    Spring is in the air and with it often comes artistic inspiration. You are encouraged to bring “a journal, pencils, pens, and/or water colors, camera and binoculars, drinking water, sunhat, sun screen, insect repellent, closed-toe shoes, and a brown bag lunch or pot luck item.” The pace, route, and multiple stops will allow time to sketch scenes that catch your eye, or write some thoughts or poetry in your notebook.

    Directions: Meet in front of the Nature Center at Lake Solano Park & Campground, located at 8685 Pleasants Valley Road, just off Highway 128 near the town of Winters. The Nature Center is at the west entrance of the park. Map here

    Parking is $5 per vehicle, payable at the east entrance of the Park.  The walk is free.

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