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Free to the public: docent-led outdoor activities

This information was submitted by Leigh Ann Maze, a spokesperson for the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.

Docents for the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District have scheduled free outdoor activities in July, all taking place on the district's open space preserves throughout the South Bay, Peninsula and Coastside areas. Some activities require reservations. For more information, call (650) 691-1200 or go to www.openspace.org.

Friday, July 24, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Windy Hill Open Space Preserve

"Wander Windy Hill"

Join docents Robin and Les Wrigley for a scenic, aerobic, 8-mile hike through chaparral and woodland. You'll hike up Hamms Gulch Trail, lunch up at the top, traverse Lost Trail, and then descend Razorback Ridge Trail.

Saturdays and Sundays, July 25-26, noon – 5:00 p.m.

Daniels Nature Center

"Stop In and Explore"

Bring family and friends to visit the Daniels Nature Center on Saturdays and Sundays this summer between noon and 5:00 p.m. Enjoy displays about the natural environment, study aquatic organisms "borrowed" from Alpine Pond with the assistance of a docent, or enjoy a picnic with your companions on nearby tables (pack your trash!)

Saturday, July 25, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve

"Gaspar de Portola ~ Alive and Well"

The fruits of explorer Portola's 1769 expedition are alive in the modern day Bay Area. Docents Ed Lange and Ellen Johnson will walk his route and discuss his motives, methods, and mistakes. Remember, he was looking for Monterey. You'll hear all about the wayward expedition while enjoying 5.5 miles of Pulgas Ridge Preserve trail.

Sunday, July 26, 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve

"Lions and Us"

Join docents Keith Johnsgård and Collin Lim for a beautiful natural history hike on Skyline Ridge (a 4-mile circle route with an elevation gain of 275 feet each way). During a 1-hour lunch break (at the midway point) Johnsgård will tell you all about mountain lions, discussing a number of attacks on humans to illustrate how a little knowledge and preparation can reduce your risk when traveling in lion country. The subject matter is not appropriate for young children. Reservations are required and will be accepted on or after July 12.

Friday, July 31, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve (meet at Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve parking lot)

"Nordic Hike"

Nordic walking burns more calories than traditional hiking while reducing stress on your knees and hips. Bring hiking poles if you have them – come along even if you don't. Docents Rebecca Pickart and Suzanne Schleck will lead you on this vigorous, fast-paced, strenuous, aerobic (no stopping) trek of 5 miles with 200 to 600 feet of elevation gain along the Blue Oak, Hassler, Dick Bishop, Dusky-footed Woodrat, and Polly Geraci Trails.

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