Saturday is The First Day of Autumn — Get Out There!

Take advantage of our area's 46,500 acres of open space this weekend and beyond.

Here are a few events and hiking opportunities put together by the Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District:

"Fresh Redwood Air," Saturday, Sept. 22, 10 a.m. Find out why you’ll be breathing some of the cleanest air in the world. Get to know the secrets a redwood forest holds with docents Bob Segalla, Madeline Brane, and Sam Berry on this moderately-paced, 7-mile loop hike with 1,100-foot elevation gain, starting from the lower ocean-side of this Preserve and returning downhill. This hike is suitable for capable children. You’ll enjoy the Craig Britton, Whittemore Gulch, and Purisima Trails. Reservations are required. At the Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve, Higgins-Purisima entrance located south of Half Moon Bay.

"Banana Slug Redwood Ride," Sunday, Sept. 23, 10 a.m. Docents Dave Kocsis, Patty Lovelace, and Earl Girbovan will meet you at the coast for a leisurely climb up to the Skyline Boulevard area, observing the many facets of life in the redwoods as you go. After a rest at the top, you’ll ride back down some of the best single-track around, through the fog or sun depending on the weather, with fantastic coastal views as you drop back to sea level. This will be a high- intermediate ride with a total distance of about 11 miles and 1,800 feet of climbing. Experienced youth cyclists are welcome. Reservations are required. At the Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve, Higgins-Purisima entrance located south of Half Moon Bay.

"Stop In and Explore,'' ongoing. Enjoy displays about nature and community, view pond strata mobiles, take a pond prowl, and study live organisms. At the Daniels Nature Center, by Alpine Pond at the Russian Ridge Preserve, Skyline Boulevard and Page Mill-Alpine Road. Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

"Woods, Wine, and Waterfalls,'' ongoing. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. This docent-led, leisurely paced five-mile hike takes participants along Bear Meadow, Orchard Loop and Zinfandel trails. Participants may make an optional visit to Picchetti Winery at the hike's end.

"Cool at the Top,'' ongoing. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Head up Black Mountain with Bob Segalla and Collin Lim to see why Mountain View got its name.

 "Explorer Hike,'' ongoing. Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Join docents Siefken Krieger and Bill Bauriedel on a moderately-paced excursion of about three to five miles with a variey of elevation gains. Reservations are
required. Meet: Hickory Oaks trailhead.

"Mammal Tracks and Signs,'' ongoing. 1-3:30 p.m. Learn to identify tracks, scat and other signs of Santa Cruz mountain mammals in this moving
outdoor classroom activity. Meet at Caltrans vista point.

"Witches' Butter, Sunny Side Up,'' ongoing. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Search for fungi on a 7-mile loop hike on the North Ridge, Whittemore Gulch and Harkins Ridge Trails. Meet at Whittemore Gulch entrance.

"Ride the Ridges,'' ongoing. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Docents Strether Smith and Anne Henmi lead an intermediate bike ride that mixes moderate climbs and descents with lots of sightseeing along Peters Creek Trail and throughout Long Ridge and Skyline Ridge areas. Meet at the Skyline Ridge Equestrian parking lot.

"Nature Through a Lens,'' ongoing. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. A leisurely 2- to 3-mile nature photography hike.

"Earthquake Walk,'' ongoing. 2-4:30 p.m. A 2- to 3-mile stroll to discover remnants of the effects of the 1906 earthquake. Discuss plate tectonics and how to prepare for future earthquakes.

For more information, call 650-691-2150, or go to  www.openspace.org.


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