Las Trampas: Bollinger Creek Loop Trail

Looking for a great trail to hike with young kids in San Ramon?  At under two miles, with a variety of scenery, this is one of my favorites spots in the region for a quick escape into nature! Photos taken February 19th, 2014 *** Las Trampas Regional Wilderness, San Ramon, California I’ve written about this one before… Hike: Bollinger Creerk Trail, Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Continue reading Las Trampas: Bollinger Creek Loop Trail

Chaparral Loop Trail: Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

The Chaparral Loop Trail at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch is a great trail to hike with kids.  First, the trail starts at the Greathouse Visitor Center, which, alone would be a great destination for a family with kids.  The visitor center is located within the mountain!  After exploring the visitor center for a bit, head out onto the trail.  The trail is … Continue reading Chaparral Loop Trail: Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

Halloween Fun: Spooky Night Hike

Saturday evening, we went on a fun “spooky night hike” at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont.  My son was looking forward to this event more than to trick-or-treating on Halloween night! Before sundown, we met with our hike leader (a naturalist / pirate), who gave the kids some safety tips before heading out.  Then he led the families up into the hills. Along the … Continue reading Halloween Fun: Spooky Night Hike

Mono Lake: Panum Crater

Due to the government shutdown during our visit to Yosemite National Park last week, we decided to head over to Mono Lake and hike the rim of a volcano instead!  Panum Crater, located just off Highway 120 near the South Tufa Area of the Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve, is part of a chain of volcanic cones called the Mono-Inyo Craters.   These are considered to … Continue reading Mono Lake: Panum Crater

Hike/Run/Bike: Bear Valley Trail, Point Reyes National Seashore

Earlier this week, we headed to Point Reyes National Seashore for an adventure on the Bear Valley Trail.  The trail from the Bear Valley Visitor Center to Arch Rock is just under nine miles.  Lush and green year-round, with the reward of gorgeous Pacific Ocean views at the end of the trail, this is one of my favorite trails in the entire San Francisco Bay … Continue reading Hike/Run/Bike: Bear Valley Trail, Point Reyes National Seashore

Climb on a Giant Tree! San Mateo Memorial Park

How often do kids get to climb on a really, really large tree? You’ll find the “largest tree” on the Sequoia Trail (at less than a mile long, the trail is perfect for young kids).  The trailhead is in the Tan Oak Picnic Area.  See trail description and hiking map here.. Sequoia Trail.  Note that the “largest tree” is the largest in the park, not … Continue reading Climb on a Giant Tree! San Mateo Memorial Park

Sticky post

San Francisco East Bay: 10 Great Paved Trails for Stroller Walks, Runs and Kid Bike Rides

The San Francisco East Bay has an abundance of paved trails, all excellent for stroller walks, runs and bike rides with the kids.  Here are ten of my favorites! Nimitz Way, Inspiration Point, Tilden Regional Park:  This was a favorite of ours during our stroller-walking days.  The trail over rolling hills begins at the Inspiration Point parking lot, on Wildcat Canyon Road (between Orinda and … Continue reading San Francisco East Bay: 10 Great Paved Trails for Stroller Walks, Runs and Kid Bike Rides

Rock City: Mount Diablo State Park

Love this place!! Great for both kids and adults… huge sandstone rock formations to climb, small caves to explore, gorgeous views, fun hiking trails… what’s not to like?? You’ll find Rock City in Mount Diablo State Park, on South Gate Road, near the Live Oak Campground.  For more information about Mount Diablo, visit the website… Mount Diablo State Park. Photos from our visit, June 21st … Continue reading Rock City: Mount Diablo State Park

Sibley: A Volcano, A Labyrinth, & Gorgeous Views

Did you know there’s a volcano right here in the San Francisco East Bay?  Yep, Round Top, a volcano so long extinct that it’s now lying on its side, is located in Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve in the Berkeley Hills.  On Sunday, I enjoyed a fun Mother’s Day hike around the Round Top Loop Trail with my husband and son.  For being such a short … Continue reading Sibley: A Volcano, A Labyrinth, & Gorgeous Views

Hike: Bollinger Creek Trail, Las Trampas Regional Wilderness

Yesterday, I hiked this section of the Bollinger Creek Loop Trail in Las Trampas Regional Wilderness with some friends.  It’s is one of the few trails in Las Trampas that is shade-covered.  It’s also relatively short, with the section along the creek and through the trees being only 0.69 miles (one-way).  This is a fun trail to hike with kids, as there’s a lot to … Continue reading Hike: Bollinger Creek Trail, Las Trampas Regional Wilderness

Ladybug Clusters: Redwood Regional Park

Photos taken January 27th, 2013 Redwood Regional Park, Oakland Interested in going?  The ladybugs cluster at Redwood Regional Park between November and February.  You’ll find them at the intersection of the Stream and Prince Trails.  Look on, around, and behind the bench, as well as across the trail, near (and on) the sign.  You can begin the hike at either the Skyline Gate Staging Area … Continue reading Ladybug Clusters: Redwood Regional Park

Hike: Indian Joe Nature Trail, Sunol Regional Wilderness

This lovely one-mile loop trail is one of my favorite hikes in the San Francisco East Bay to do with little kids.  My son and I hiked this regularly when he was three.  On Saturday, I walked the trail alone… a rare treat.  I enjoyed walking at my own pace, taking the time to stop and take photos along the way.  My son, now five, … Continue reading Hike: Indian Joe Nature Trail, Sunol Regional Wilderness

The Bench, East Shore Trail, Lake Chabot

When our son was a baby, my husband and I walked a lot at Lake Chabot in Castro Valley.  Each side of the lake has a 1.5 mile paved trail (the West Shore and East Shore trails), perfect for walking with a stroller.  When we would walk the East Shore Trail, almost every time, our son became fussy on the return portion of the path, … Continue reading The Bench, East Shore Trail, Lake Chabot

Monarch Butterfly Nature Preserve, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz

Within Natural Bridges State Beach, in Santa Cruz, you’ll find the Monarch Butterfly Nature Preserve, a grove of eucalyptus trees where thousands of Monarch Butterflies spend the winter each year.  The butterflies may be viewed by taking a short 0.75 mile Monarch Trail loop through the Preserve, or by simply taking the short, wheel-chair accessible Monarch Boardwalk to the viewing platform.  The monarchs are here … Continue reading Monarch Butterfly Nature Preserve, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz

Jewel Lake Trail, Tilden Nature Area, Berkeley

The Jewel Lake Trail in Tilden Regional Park is a great hike to do with little kids.  The loop is about a mile, is mostly flat, and has a fun variety of things to see and do.  I like to take my son on this walk whenever we’re in the Tilden Nature Area, usually to feed the animals at the Little Farm.  Be sure to … Continue reading Jewel Lake Trail, Tilden Nature Area, Berkeley

Silent Saturday: LaRiviere Marsh Trail, Don Edwards S.F. Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Photos from a hike I took this morning with my son at Don Edwards S.F. Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Newark, California .  We walked the the short 0.7 mile walk around the LaRiviere Marsh Trail, beginning at the Visitor Center. Continue reading Silent Saturday: LaRiviere Marsh Trail, Don Edwards S.F. Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Silent Saturday: Trail Through Time, Rock City, Mount Diablo

Photos from a hike in Mount Diablo State Park earlier this week with my Nature Time playgroup. We hiked a section of the Trail Through Time, from the Rock City parking lot to (and up) Sentinel Rock, allowing the kids to climb and play on and in the limestone rock structures and caves as much as they wanted.  Kid-heaven!! For more information about Mount Diablo … Continue reading Silent Saturday: Trail Through Time, Rock City, Mount Diablo

Article: 6 Tips for Outdoor Adventures with Kids

My article about getting outside for a hiking adventure with the kids has been featured on The Roundup at Circle of Moms! To read the article and pick up some tips about how to have a fun family hike, click on over to Circle of Moms here… 6 Tips for Outdoor Adventures with Kids. Happy hiking! Continue reading Article: 6 Tips for Outdoor Adventures with Kids

Fun Kid Hike: Kule Loklo Trail, Point Reyes

One of our goals this summer was to take our son to see a lighthouse.  There are a few in the Bay Area, but my favorite has always been the Point Reyes Lighthouse (see my post from yesterday:  “Point Reyes Lighthouse“).   My husband and I wanted to slip in a short hike during the outing to expend some energy after the long (to our … Continue reading Fun Kid Hike: Kule Loklo Trail, Point Reyes

Urbia Adventure #2: The Rocky Mountain Behind the Randall Museum

Yesterday, I wrote about our visit to the Randall Museum (see post here… “The Randall Museum, San Francisco”).  Whenever I visit a museum, I also like to schedule some outdoor play or exploration.  The Randall Museum is an excellent spot for indoor and outdoor nature fun, but we enhanced the experience by taking an Urbia Adventure.  Urbia creates self-guided treasure-hunting hiking adventures throughout San Francisco … Continue reading Urbia Adventure #2: The Rocky Mountain Behind the Randall Museum

Exploring the Ringtail Cat Trail, Las Trampas, Alamo

Another great Outdoor Discoveries outing!  Today, the naturalist took the kids up the Ringtail Cat Trail into Las Trampas Regional Park for a “beanstalk lunch hike” to learn about vines.  This is another of my favorite trails in the area, especially on a hot summer day, as the trail winds above a creek through a beautiful shade-covered canyon.  Here are a few of the cool … Continue reading Exploring the Ringtail Cat Trail, Las Trampas, Alamo

Walking with Friends, Inspiration Trail, Tilden … and Playtime at Orinda Community Park

On Sunday afternoon, we enjoyed a lovely 3-mile walk with friends on the Inspiration Trail in the Berkeley Hills.  This is a trail that has grown with us through the years.  My husband and I liked to hike here because of the gorgeous views of the San Francisco Bay, the Marin Headlands, and the Golden Gate Bridge, and, back then, we could veer off the … Continue reading Walking with Friends, Inspiration Trail, Tilden … and Playtime at Orinda Community Park

Hiking and Playing, Coyote Hills, Fremont

If you read my post yesterday, you know we attended the Nectar Garden Fun Day at Coyote Hills Regional Park on Monday.  I invited friends from my Nature Time! playgroup to attend with us, and the kids had a great time running around and playing after they were done with the butterfly activities.  A favorite for kid-play is the large grass field in front of … Continue reading Hiking and Playing, Coyote Hills, Fremont

Nature Time! Hike, Dublin Hills

We kicked off our Memorial Day weekend with a great hike with friends from our Nature Time! playgroup.  The kids had fun on the trail, playing in the tall grass, and stopping to check out insects (mostly stink bugs).  The weather  was breezy and cool, but the children didn’t seem to notice.  It makes me so happy to see a pack of kids running joyfully … Continue reading Nature Time! Hike, Dublin Hills

Birding with Kids, Shadow Cliffs, Pleasanton

Since the week my son turned three, we’ve been attending the East Bay Regional Parks Outdoor Discoveries program, a naturalist-led class designed specifically for three-five year-old children.  Each outing includes a hike and plenty of time for observation, exploration, and play.  To make the classes even more fun, I always invite friends from my Nature Time! playgroup to join us. Our class this morning was … Continue reading Birding with Kids, Shadow Cliffs, Pleasanton