“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life.”
Learn more about the Loma Prieta Family Explorers.
We now have a meetup page!
Toddler Explorers Are Back!
Toddler Explorers now meet at McClellan Ranch on the 4th Wednesday of each month, 10am-11:15am.
2018 dates: September 26th, October 24th, November 28th, No hike in December due to the holidays
2019 dates: January 23rd, February 27th
Meet at the picnic table near the Audubon Society Nature Store at 10am.
Join the Family Explorers for a toddler discovery program at McClellan Ranch and cultivate your own and your child’s sense of wonder. Together, we will feed the birds, explore the creek, and enjoy a shared story-time. Magnifying glasses and other exciting tools of discovery will be provided. Bring a snack and water, sunscreen and a hat.
Restrooms are available at the preserve.
Please park in the overflow parking lot at 22243 McClellan Road, Cupertino. No parking fee.
Ages: 1month and up
The Sierra Club requires signing a waiver for participation in the program. You can find a copy of it here.
Upcoming Family Explorers Hikes:
Beach Hopping and Coyote Tales Hike at Wilder Ranch
Sunday, 9/23/2018 9am-1pm
4.3 miles, 100 feet in elevation
Join the Family Explorers on a beach hopping hike to Wilder Ranch. Our route will take us along the spectacular Ohlone Bluff Trail to three hidden coves. We will have lunch at Strawberry Beach under a magnificent rock garden before returning back to our cars. Binoculars are highly recommended whether you are an aspiring or expert birder as the coastline teems with songbirds, seabirds and raptors. We will also have an opportunity to spy for seals sleeping on the rocks.
1401 Coast Rd, Santa Cruz
Parking fee $10 (paid at gate)
What to bring: Picnic lunch, water, sunscreen, hat, walking shoes, comfortable clothes for walking, camera and binoculars (recommended).
**Please check the weather in Santa Cruz before coming in case it is cooler by the coast.
This hike is for families with children ages 6-12 who can walk 4.3 miles. All children must be accompanied by a parent. Restrooms are available in the parking lot. The Sierra Club requires signing a waiver at the trailhead.
Searching for Tarantulas at Henry Coe State Park
3.7 miles and 320 feet in elevation gain.
During the fall season, tarantulas begin to stalk Henry Coe’s lovely rolling hills and oak woodlands in quest of romance. We will come down the lovely Corral Trail, and follow Springs Trail to Forest Trail, searching for tarantulas and enjoying the park’s diverse habitats and magnificent views.
Meet at 9am at Henry Coe Headquarters
9000 East Dunne Street, Morgan Hill
Parking fee $8 (paid inside the visitor center)
What to bring: Hat, sunscreen, walking shoes, comfortable clothes for walking, water, and a picnic lunch.
This hike is for families with children ages 6-12 who can walk 3.7 miles. All children must be accompanied by a parent. Restrooms are available below the visitor center and in the campground. The Sierra Club requires signing a waiver at the trailhead.
Adventure Hike from Pantoll Station (Mount Tamalpais State Park) to the Sea
4 miles mostly downhill
(An additional 2.8 miles and 1300’ elevation gain to those who elect to hike back through Steep Ravine Trail. Expected return to Pantoll for this extra section is 4pm).
The Matt Davis Trail meanders through beautiful meadows, mixed forest, gorges, meadows dotted with wildflowers and right next to a cascading waterfall all the way down from Pantoll Station to Stinson Beach and the ocean below. We will follow the trail, exploring these varied habitats and their secrets and arrive at the beach exactly in time for a picnic lunch.
After the picnic, those of us who have had enough can accompany one of our leaders on the West Marin Stage Coach (fare: $2 adult, $1 child) back to Pantoll Station and the cars.
Portola Redwoods State Park Waterfall Hike
3 miles and 600 feet elevation gain (an extra 1/2 mile one-way to see Old Tree)
Join us for an interpretive hike to the enchanting Tiptoe Falls at Portola Redwoods State Park. On the way, we will cross a sparkling river, enjoy a wildflower show, and learn more about the ancient redwoods which still grow at the park. After our return to the car, you are welcome to join us for an optional side trip to view Old Tree (half-mile one way).
Wildflower Walk Through Forest and Meadow at Henry Coe State Park
3.7 miles and 320 feet in elevation gain.
The beauty of Henry Coe’s rolling hills and oak woodland is unmatched in the bay area as is its wildflower show in the spring. We will come down the lovely Corral Trail, in itself a wildflower destination, and follow Springs Trail to Forest Trail in a loop which will give us a peek at some of the park’s diverse habitats and the different flowers that grow there. Some wildlife viewing is likely.
Spring Wildflower at Almaden Quicksilver County Park
3.8 miles and 600 feet elevation gain
Join us for an interpretive spring flowers walk at Almaden Quicksilver County Park. Starting with a moderate climb, this partly-shaded loop will bring us the reward of beautiful views as well as an abundance of wildflowers: irises, poppies, baby blue eyes, blue-eyed grass, and more.
Early Spring Flower Walk to Frog Lake at Henry Coe State Park
4.5 miles and 640 feet elevation gain
Henry Coe State Park is one of the loveliest spring flower destinations in the Bay Area. We will begin our hike climbing the steep Monument Trail slowly enjoying wildflowers and woodland views along the way and then descending Hobbs Road to Frog Lake,. We will stop for a picnic lunch at the lake, searching for frogs and newts and watching for other wildlife. The return trip on the Flat Frog and Corral Trails will provide us with an opportunity to enjoy and discover more early spring wildflowers and a chance to view the elusive purple mouse ears.
Mushrooms and Early Flowers Walk at Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve
Hike through rolling hills and oak woodlands to discover one of the Bay Area’s best known spring flower destinations. This early in the season, we may encounter milkmaids, hound’s tongue, trillium, and other early wildflowers, and discover the abundance of mushrooms that pop up with the rains. Bring your flower identification books but don’t forget binoculars too, as this park is known for its raptors, including hawks, vultures, and sometimes even golden eagles.
Sam McDonald County Park Family Hike
Join the Loma Prieta Family Explorers in an interpretive walk through a lush redwood forest. We will hike up the hill through Heritage Grove, one of the few places on the Peninsula where it is still possible to see ancient redwoods, and pause often to explore the plants of the forest and learn about their Native American uses. We will stop for a picnic near the lovely Hikers’ Hut, where we can admire the view and perhaps even get a peek at the ocean, after which we will slowly make our way back down to the trailhead.