Although ongoing epidemics and the threat of wildfires have closed some nature centers or restricted their use, there is still much to see and do, hiking the remains of an ancient Auckland volcano. From exploring Delta Beach to a large levy break. Several years ago.
Here are five possibilities to get you started.
Baylands Nature Conservation
If you want to see the last remaining movable swamp of the bay, visit this 1,940 acres. There are 15 miles of multi-use trails in the protected area, where you can find marine and freshwater habitats.
The Bay Area offers many places for bird watchers, but many devotees consider the Gulf to be the best place to see the West Coast. Not only have hundreds of species made their home here, but the Pacific Flyway is also a major obstacle for migratory birds. We are just entering the best time to watch birds.
Details: Open at Palo Alto on 2775 Ambercadero Road from 8 a.m. to sunset. Features safe picnic tables and toilets as well as hiking trails. www.cityofpaloalto.org
Sable Volcano Regional Safe
If you didn’t know there was an extinct volcano in the backyard of Auckland, you’re probably not alone. The area, once known as Round Top Park, is one of the original parks in the East Bay Regional Park District. Today, the defender is named after Robert Sabley, who helped locate the district.
Roundtop, one of the highest peaks at 1,763 feet above sea level, was formed by volcanic activity that began about 10 million years ago. Over thousands of years, pressure from the Hayward and Moraga faults began to push lava and volcanic debris to the surface, lifting the Berkeley hills, folding bed beds and tilting the volcano toward it. Excavations and excavations at the northern end of the conservation have exposed various parts of the ancient geology.
Take a walk, study the formations and guide yourself to the park’s most impressive geological sites. The main Skyline Boulevard Staging Area has a rugged visitor center to point you in the right direction.
The 31-mile East Bay Skyline National Amusement Trail, part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail System, takes you between Wild Cat Valley and Anthony Chabot Parks and Round Top Loop Trail Circles Round Top Peak.
Details: The park is open from March to October from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and November-February from 6 p.m. The park has three entrances, including the Sibley Main Staging Area on the 6800 Skyline Blvd. In Auckland, the Huckleberry Staging Area 7227 is half a mile down the road on Skyline Blue D, and the old Tunnel Staging Area off Quarry Road on the park’s Orenda side; www.ebparks.org/parks/sibley/.
Big Break Regional Beach.
The Great California Delta offers many options to experience outside, but the Big Break Regional Coastline, which is part of the 1,150-square-mile Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, is a good place to start.
The Big Break marks the site where an Asparagus farm sank during the Levi break of 1928, the farm sank, and the largest estuarine atmosphere on the Pacific Coast was created.
Sacramento and San Joaquin – two of California’s largest rivers – pass through the Big Break, which is located on the banks of the San Joaquin. Slightly below, two freshwater rivers, which melt with ice in the Sierra, meet the salt water flowing from the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
This confluence creates a “shore effect”, adding to the habitat of a variety of land and aquatic animals. It is estimated that the Big Break is home to 70 species of birds and many species of mammals, including many specialty wildlife species, listed creatures or endangered or endangered. Black reels, northern harriers, white-tailed kites, yellow-breasted chats, great blue seagulls, great egrets, snowy egrets, green seagulls and white-faced ibs in fodder slopes and freshwater swamps.
The Western Lake Turtle, a special species of California, also lives here. Females lay their eggs on sandy edges. Beavers, smiles and river otters also live in the big break.
There are many paths, an interpretation center, a canoe and cake launch, a fishing pier and Delta Discovery Experience, a 1200 square foot interpretation center on Delta Watershed.
Details: Park times vary, but doors are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in October and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on 69 Big Break Road in Oakley. The Visitor Center is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. www.ebparks.org/parks/big_break/.
Teldon Regional Park
Tilden has been called the jewel of the East Bay Regional Park System for good reason. The 2,079-acre park has trails for pedestrians, as well as a carousel, a lake, a botanical garden and a steam train. Also in the safe and secure areas there are abundant wildlife that are as beautiful as they are welcoming a variety of animals.
Trains and gardens may be the most popular features of the park. The little train travels along a beautiful path to the edge of the park, which offers a wonderful autumn color. And the Botanic Garden is the world’s most complete collection of California native plants, including rare and endangered species.
Details: Berkeley Park gates are open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., with main entrances from Wildcat Valley Road and Grizzly Peak Boulevard. www.ebparks.org/parks/tilden/.
Elastic Natural Area
Seven exclusive natural habitats can be found in this 40-acre Santa Clara Park, which opened in 2001 after voluntary efforts to restore California’s native flora and preserve wildlife habitat.
The park was originally used as a seasonal tent for the O’Hallon Indians, and the park is named after a chief of the Olstok O’Hallon.