“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 or join our mailing list to receive future hike announcements.
We now have a meetup page!
Toddler Explorers — Friday Discovery Walks
Toddler explorers hikes will be back mid-June. Stay tuned for more information!
Upcoming Family Explorers Hikes:
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).
Meet at 10am at Portola Redwoods State Park near the visitor center
9000 Portola State Park Road, La Honda
Parking fee $10 (cash only)
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 miles. This trail is not suitable for strollers and some creek hopping may be required. All children must be accompanied by a parent. Restrooms are available near the visitor center. The Sierra Club requires signing a waiver at the trailhead.
Sunday, July 1st, 2018, 9am-1 pm
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.
For those of adventurous spirit, we will climb steeply past some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Bay Area, through an old-growth redwood forest, and up a ten-foot ladder wet with the mist of a waterfall, all the way back to Pantoll Station.
Meet at 9am at the Pantoll Ranger Station (next to the restrooms)
3801 Panoramic Highway, Mill Valley
Parking fee $8 (cash only)
What to bring: Hat, sunscreen, walking shoes, comfortable clothes for walking, water, snacks, and a picnic lunch. Restrooms are available near the ranger station and on the beach, but please bring water with you.
This hike is for families with children of all ages who can walk 4 miles. This trail is not suitable for strollers. All children must be accompanied by a parent. The Sierra Club requires signing a waiver at the trailhead.
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.