My favorite spot in the San Francisco East Bay to take kids for a nature walk is Redwood Regional Park, but, for a variety of reasons, we haven’t visited the park for a few months. We had a break in the rain late this week, so we headed to the park for a walk and some playtime with friends. As has been happening lately, things didn’t go quite as planned. Usually, we walk from the Stream Trail, a relatively flat, paved path through the redwoods which is easily accessible for those in the group with strollers, from the Canyon Meadow Staging Area to Trail’s End (not really the end of the trail) and back. This is a lovely section, which takes you through a large meadow and then into the redwood, and is about a two mile out and back walk.
This week, however, we had to reroute, as the redwood section of the Stream Trail was closed for tree trimming. With so many little ones and two parents with strollers, the many beautiful trails up into the hills weren’t an option, so we decided to walk the flat section of the Bridle Trail. But first, the kids had a wonderful time playing in the meadow at the junction of the Stream and Bridle trails. I love the wildflowers here at this time of year!
The kids were excited, though, when it was time to move on, and they immediately sprinted ahead of the parents down the trail. Just around the corner, the trail became muddy with sporadic puddles. From the recent rains, there was a small stream of water rushing down the side of the trail. The kids again stopped to play, building dams in the little stream.
One of the boys preferred to jump in the puddles…
The kids played, and the parents walked and talked, and the kids played some more, and we walked some more, again and again, until we returned to our cars. A wonderful day!
April is a great month to see the wildflowers here. If you’d like to see them in bloom, I recommend you visit within the next month or so. You’ll find them in the meadows along the Stream Trail, between the Orchard and Trail’s End.
For a trail map, visit the Redwood Regional Park website… http://www.ebparks.org/parks/redwood. When hiking here with little kids, I always park at the Redwood Gate, which is accessible from Redwood Road, as this section of the park is the flattest. At this time of year, parking here is free, but note that there may be a fee to park here in the warmer months. Check out the website for details before you visit.