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Volunteer docents lead free hikes and other activities year-round on the preserves of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. Here is information about April activities from Leigh Ann Maze, communications specialist with the district.
Note: Some activities require reservations. For more information, call 650-691-1200 of go to www.openspace.org.
■ Sat., April 10, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve. "The 'Compleat' La Honda Creek." The original owner of this property thought this was the most beautiful piece of land on the Peninsula. Docents Bill and Marilyn Bauriedel will take you on all 4.5 miles of the trail system in this preserve and show you a magnificent old redwood, fields of wildflowers, and a spectacular vista point view of La Honda and Harrington creek watersheds. Directions to the meeting location will be e-mailed or snail-mailed to you. Reservations are required and will be accepted on or after March 27.
■ Sun., April 11, 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve (meet at Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve). "The Ohlone Way." This hike is about ethnobotany; how the Ohlone Indians used native plants long before Safeway, Rite Aid, and Home Depot came along. Join docents Keith Johnsgård and Ed Lange for a leisurely walk through four ecosystems (2-mile loop with a 275-foot elevation gain) with stops to discuss useful plants. During a 1-hour lunch break (bring your own), the docents will tell you about the history of Skyline Ridge, from the early Asian immigrants 10,000 years ago until today. This hike is designed for adults. Reservations are required and will be accepted on or after March 28.
■ Sun., April 11, 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve. "Wildflower Walk." This preserve is often known throughout the Bay Area for its spring wildflower display. Join docents Paul Billig, Debbi Brusco, Katherine Greene, and Tommi Smith as you take a leisurely afternoon stroll through the grasslands and woodlands to see the different varieties of wildflowers found there. The hike will cover 4 miles and about 300 feet of elevation gain along the Ancient Oaks, Mindego, and Ridge Trails, with a stop on Borel Hill. (Note: Parking is often difficult this time of year, so carpool with friends and arrive early if possible.)
■ Wed. April 14, 10:00 a.m. – noon. Monte Bello Open Space Preserve. "Scenic Aerobic Hike." Docents Bernie Larkin and Stella Yang are ready to get you moving in spring mode. Join them out on the trails to visit a variety of District preserves on these 3- to 5-mile, moderately-paced aerobic outings with few stops and lots of walking.
■ Thurs., April 15, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Monte Bello Open Space Preserve (meet at Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve). "TAX Day – Take a Hike!" Join docents Dick Gehrer and Tommi Smith for a 5-mile hike to Black Mountain along the Waterwheel Creek Trail. On a clear day, you should see some major landmarks of the South Bay from the top of the mountain. This preserve puts on a beautiful display of spring wildflowers just waiting to be enjoyed. You may want to bring binoculars for the views and soaring birds in action. Reservations are required and will be accepted on or after April 1. (Note: Participants will carpool to the hike location.)