MROSD offers Coastside hikes in January

Press release

By on Fri, January 2, 2009


NOTE: We’re expanding the definition of "Coastside" here to include land adjacent to Skyline, even if it’s on the other side of the hill. Consult the Midpeninusula Regional Open Space District website for a complete list of upcoming hikes.

Docents for the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District have scheduled free outdoor activities in January, all taking place on the District’s permanently preserved open space lands throughout the South Bay, Peninsula and Coastside areas. These guided hikes are a great way to explore the beauty of nature in winter including birding, mushroom hunting, animal tracking and earthquake hikes, among others. Please help the District introduce these free opportunities to your audience by listing the following outdoor activities. Note that some activities require reservations. For further information, to make a reservation, or to obtain directions, please call 650-691-1200 or refer to the District’s Web site at

Saturday, January 10
Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve, meet at Purisima Creek Road entrance
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
"Breathe Deep in the Redwoods"
Find out why you’ll be breathing some of the cleanest air in the world. Get to know the secrets a redwood forest holds with docents Bob Segalla and Collin Lim on this moderately-paced, seven mile loop hike with a 1,400-foot elevation gain from the ocean-side of this Preserve. You’ll enjoy the Soda Gulch, Harkins Ridge, and Whittemore Gulch Trails. Reservations are required and will be accepted on or after December 27.

Saturday, January 17
Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve, meet at Purisima Creek Road entrance
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
"Redwood Forest and Chaparral"
Join docents David Milburn, Susan Peterson, and Colin Lim for a seven mile hike encompassing two ecosystems. You’ll begin in the redwood forest along Purisima Creek and ascend Harkins Ridge Trail (about 1,000-foot gain) through the chaparral. At the junction with Soda Gulch Trail, you’ll descend through chapparal before hiking back into the redwood forest and through a tranquil canyon where tributaries flow into Purisima Creek.

Saturday, January 17
Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve, meet at Whittemore Gulch entrance
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
"Fungal Fun"
Join docents Chris MacIntosh, Jack Owicki, and Kay Partelow and try to find stars, bird’s nests, jelly and other fungi on a seven mile adventure. Hiking up and down Harkins Ridge and Soda Gulch Trails in different environments (1,000- to 2,000-foot elevation gain), you’ll get the hang of noticing the sometimes camouflaged but always fascinating fungi that flourish in winter. Enjoy the variety of size, shape, and growth habits on this non-technical fungus appreciation hike. The rain (or lack of) will determine what you’ll see. Bring boots for mud, stamina, and your curiosity.

Sunday, January 18
Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve, meet at Russian Ridge
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
"Waterfall on Old Page Mill"
Hike down past Alpine Pond with docents Paul Vadopalas and Kandis Scott on Old Page Mill Trail to view a waterfall created by the overflowing pond, and return on this two mile, leisurely-paced hike. Bring your camera to capture a six-foot waterfall occurring only during the rainy season.

Saturday, January 24
Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve
12:00 noon – 3:30 p.m.
"Tracking: The Basics"
Learn to identify and differentiate the tracks and scat of our mountain canine and cat predator families, and how deer tracks can tell interesting tales. Docents Keith Johnsgård and Jenny Whitman have been sharpening their tracking skills and will lead you on a five mile hike through prime tracking areas of this preserve in search of signs of critter passage. There are two steady, long climbs with 600-foot total elevation gains along the trails, including Ancient Oaks, Ridge, and Borel Hill Trails. Hope for mud!

Sunday, January 25
Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve
10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
"Winter Discovery Walkabout"
Enjoy a five mile, moderately-paced hike in a lovely preserve with docents Rebecca Pickart and Suzanne Schleck to see the winter transformation of the grasslands and oak forests. You’ll look for life forms that awaken with the winter rains following months of summer dryness along the Ancient Oaks, Hawk Ridge, and Bay Area Ridge Trails.