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Calendar of Activities

Enjoy the many free Outdoor Activities on Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District preserves. All activities are led by trained volunteer docents and are free of charge. Some activities require reservations. Please refer to the Reservation Information page for full details.

Click links below for full monthly listings

Reservation Process:

Reservations for a given activity are only accepted within the two-week time period prior to the activity date. The maximum number of people allowed for a group reservation is four (4) people. The online reservation forms activate in the individual listings two weeks prior to the date of the activity.

  • If your plans have changed after you have made a reservation and you are no longer able to attend, please let us know so that we can release your reservation to someone else.

  • For all activities, heavy rain at the activity location will cancel that activity. In the event of light rain or the threat of rain, the docent will make the decision at the designated meeting time and location.

  • Emails and voicemails regarding activities are not monitored after hours or over the weekends, but will be processed the next business day.


--October 2013--

Explorer Hike: Where Few Have Gone Before Strenuous Hike lunch bag Reservations Required
Wednesday • October 2
Purisima Creek Redwoods
Meet: See text below
10:30 am – 2:30 pm
Join docents Lynn Jackson, Laura Levin, and Dennis Smith as you explore Lobitos Ridge near the San Mateo coast – a portion of Purisima Creek Redwoods not yet open to the public. This special 4- to 5-mile excursion will provide you with a vision/concept of a future trail corridor connection from ridge to coast. Your hike will include some cross country travel while climbing 600 feet in pastures with cattle. Reservations are required and will be accepted on or after September 18. Directions to the meeting location will be mailed or e-mailed to you.

Arachnophilia Moderate Hike Kids Kids Reservations Required
Friday • October 4   
Monte Bello [See Where to Meet]
5:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Explore the world of arachnids with spider-loving docents Debbi Brusco, Jack Owicki and Sara Witt. With luck, a tarantula may cross your path as you search for sometimes-timid creatures that you might usually be inclined to avoid. This hike will cover 4- to 5-miles at a leisurely pace on the Canyon Trail, in addition to other trails. Capable, attentive children age 10 years or older are welcome. Bring a flashlight with a red filter or cellophane covering, plastic to sit on, and your meal. Reservations are required and will be accepted on or after September 19.

Early Bird Slow Ride intro bike lunch kids Reservations
Saturday • October 5
Long Ridge [See Where to Meet]
9:00 am – 12:00 noon
Join docents Patty Lovelace for a leisurely 7-mile ride through this Preserve. While this ride requires some basic mountain bike riding skills, you’ll be going at a leisurely pace that will allow less experienced riders to keep up and walk more difficult sections as necessary. Early birds get the worm so set your alarm for this ride! Reservations are required and will be accepted on or after September 19.

Preserve Pilates Moderate Hike lunch bag
Saturday • October 5
Picchetti Ranch [See Where to Meet]
10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Looking for new ways to stay active and healthy? Participate in the very first Pilates activity with intern/volunteer Michelle Conover. Soak in rays of sunshine, listen to the birds, and enjoy scenic views of open space while you tone and sculpt your body. You’ll begin with a 20 to 30-minute warm-up hike along the Zinfandel Trail, followed by 45 minutes of Pilates and 15 minutes of stretching in the grassy area. This is a beginning activity, however all levels are welcome! Please bring water, a yoga mat, and a great attitude. Participants should wear comfortable clothing and expect to have a refreshing workout! (Note: This activity is intended for participants 14 years or older and is not suitable for younger children.)Reservations are required and will be accepted on or after September 19.

HPHP Join us for a "1st Saturday" connection with nature by getting out on a Healthy Parks, Healthy People activity. Look for this logo and join the movement – have fun, feel fit, renew your spirit, and wear a smile all day long!!

Stop In and Explore Moderate Hike lunch bag dog-friendly Kids
Saturday and Sunday
October 5 and 6
Daniels Nature Center [See Where to Meet]
12:00 noon – 5:00 pm
As seasons change, so do the interactions of life at the edge of Alpine Pond…bring family and friends to discover the Daniels Nature Center on Saturdays and Sundays this fall between 12:00 noon and 5:00 pm. You can enjoy an audio nature tour (loaner listening devices available to “check out”), view displays about natural communities and larger-than-life pond strata mobiles, take a pond prowl, study live aquatic organisms “borrowed” from Alpine Pond with the assistance of a docent, or enjoy a picnic with your companions on nearby tables (pack out your own trash please!). Autumn is an delightful season for a visit.

Ride El Corte de Madera Creek Adv Bike Reservations
Sunday • October 6    
El Corte de Madera Creek [See Where to Meet]
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Explore the shaded forests and challenging single track trails of this beautiful Preserve on your mountain bike with docents Dave Kocsis and Earl Girbovan. This intermediate/advanced level ride drops steeply from Skyline Boulevard through mixed evergreen and redwood forests to El Corte de Madera Creek, 800 feet below, then climbs back to a vista point with a sweeping view of the Pacific before returning to your starting point. The total distance will be about 10 miles with more than 2,000 feet of climbing. Reservations are required and will be accepted on or after September 19.

Earthquake Walk Easy Hike Kids
Sunday • October 6  
Los Trancos [See Where to Meet]
2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Join docents Harry Cornbleet and Judy Fenerty for a fun and educational hike along the San Andreas Fault. On this 2- to 3-mile stroll, you’ll stop to discuss the wonder of plate tectonics, examine remnants left by thousands of major earthquakes, and learn how to prepare for future earthquakes.

Scenic Aerobic Hike Moderate Hike
Wednesday • October 9      
Rancho San Antonio [See Where to Meet]
10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Join docents Stella Yang and Stephen Buckhout for 4- to 6-mile, moderately-paced workouts in various preserves this fall. You’ll keep a steady pace and stop infrequently.
Note: Arrive early to find parking.

Halloween Bat Hike Moderate Hike lunch bag dog-friendly Kids
Saturday • October 12           
Skyline Ridge
Meet: Daniels Nature Center [See Where to Meet]
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Join Docents Mary Brunkhorst, Grace Yuan-Zweig, and Johnny Zweig for an exciting evening of bat watching at Alpine Pond. Learn about some of Halloween’s most interesting mascots and explore around Alpine Pond during a leisurely, 1-mile walk. Bats will hopefully visit the pond to hunt for dinner at dusk. While the hike content is appropriate for children, the bats are enjoyable for everyone, and all ages are welcome. Arrive by 4:30 PM and you’ll have time to visit the Daniels Nature Center before the hike.

Stop In and Explore Moderate Hike lunch bag dog-friendly Kids
Saturday and Sunday
October 12 and 13
Daniels Nature Center [See Where to Meet]
12:00 noon – 5:00 pm
As seasons change, so do the interactions of life at the edge of Alpine Pond…bring family and friends to discover the Daniels Nature Center on Saturdays and Sundays this fall between 12:00 noon and 5:00 pm. You can enjoy an audio nature tour (loaner listening devices available to “check out”), view displays about natural communities and larger-than-life pond strata mobiles, take a pond prowl, study live aquatic organisms “borrowed” from Alpine Pond with the assistance of a docent, or enjoy a picnic with your companions on nearby tables (pack out your own trash please!). Autumn is an delightful season for a visit.

Geology 101: The San Andreas Fault Moderate Hike lunch bag
Sunday • October 13
Los Trancos [See Where to Meet]
11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Hear how California emerged from the sea during America’s 200 million year westward voyage, how the San Andreas Fault was formed, how subsequent earthquakes have shaped the landscape you’ll traverse, and how a chunk of California will one day become a coastal island on a suicidal journey northward to eventually dive beneath Alaska. Docents Keith Johnsgård and Steve Brugler will lead this 2-mile outdoor moving classroom. (Note: This activity is geared for adults and is not suitable for children.) Reservations are required and will be accepted on or after September 26.

Let’s Have a Fall Look-About Moderate Hike lunch bag Kids
Wednesday • October 16
Long Ridge [See Where to Meet]
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Join docents Kay Rodriques, Greg Hughes, and Elaine Rossignol on this 5.5-mile fall hike. You’ll crisscross rolling hills, descend into forested valleys, walk along Peter’s Creek, and maybe see the season’s apples as you hike past an old orchard. Fall can be chilly; bring a light to medium weight jacket.

Explorer Hike: More Trails to Travel Strenuous Hike lunch bag Reservations
Wednesday • October 16
Teague Hill
Meet: See text below
10:30 am – 2:30 pm
If you haven’t been to this seldom-visited preserve, now is the time. If you have, you’ll be exploring new trails with docents Dennis Smith, Lynn Jackson, and Laura Levin. You’ll ascend steeply for 2 miles through a series of forested habitats to reach a high point where lunch will be enjoyed. Gullies or gorges? While descending on a loop trail you’ll see how deeply small creeks have cut into the land, and judge for yourself. Reservations are required and will be accepted on or after October 2. Directions to the meeting location will be mailed or e-mailed to you.

Nature at Night Moderate Hike lunch bag Kids Reservations
Friday • October 18
Monte Bello [See Where to Meet]
5:30 pm – 10:30 pm
When the sun sets, not all of nature goes to sleep. Some parts of nature are active in the cool darkness of night. Join Paul Billig, Debbi Brusco, and Katherine Greene as you witness the changes that occur along the Stevens Creek Nature Trail as day moves into night. The hike begins with a walk down the Canyon Trail where you’ll stop to enjoy the dinner you packed as darkness descends. Then using your flashlight, you’ll be looking as well as listening for the sights and sounds of nature at night. Red filters for your flashlight will be provided for those who need them. The hike will cover 3.5 miles with a 400-foot elevation gain. Reservations are required and will be accepted on or after October 3.

Ride Up and Around Black Mountain Adv Bike Ride
Saturday • October 19
Monte Bello
Meet: Picchetti Ranch [See Where to Meet]
9:30 am – 1:00 pm
This 3.5-hour ride with docents Linda and Glenn Wegner will traverse fire roads, single-track trails (including the new White Oaks Trail) and take riders down Stevens Canyon in a loop back to your starting point at Picchetti Ranch Preserve. Beginning with a 5-mile leg up Montebello Road, the overall ride will have 3,000 feet of climbing and cover about 20 miles (8 miles of which are on paved roads). An option for faster riders is to leave with docent Glenn at 9:45 am for a quick ascent up to Monte Bello Preserve and access to Black Mountain.

Introductory Geocaching Family Hike Moderate Hike lunch bag Kids lunch bag
Saturday • October 19
Los Trancos [See Where to Meet]
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
This fun and interactive outing is great for families and children (who can hike for 2-3 miles). Join docents Lyndall Erb, Jenny Whitman, and an REI Outdoor School instructor to search for geocaches, or hidden treasures, using GPS units supplied by REI (or you can bring your own units). Bring small trinkets to trade for objects you’ll find in the caches. This activity is an introduction to geocaching and is geared toward the first-time geocacher. (Note: This activity includes some off-trail hiking; long pants are recommended.) Reservations are required and will be accepted on or after October 3.

Fall Fruits, Berries, and Fungi Moderate Hike
Saturday • October 19
Long Ridge [See Where to Meet]
3:00 pm – 5:30 pm
The route for this 4.5-mile trek with docents Susan Bernhard, Chris MacIntosh, and Noa Doitel will be somewhat dependent on weather and what highlights may be discovered on this fall day. You might see apple orchards along Peters’ Creek Trail, Jikoji pond may have turtles if it’s a sunny day, and Long Ridge Trail has wide, expansive views if it’s clear. You’ll also look for the signs of seasonal change in fall fruits, berries and fungi.

Stop In and Explore Moderate Hike lunch bag dog-friendly Kids
Saturday and Sunday
October 19 and 20
Daniels Nature Center [See Where to Meet]
11:00 am – 4:00 pm
As seasons change, so do the interactions of life at the edge of Alpine Pond…bring family and friends to discover the Daniels Nature Center on Saturdays and Sundays this fall between 11:00am and 4:00 pm. You can enjoy an audio nature tour (loaner listening devices available to “check out”), view displays about natural communities and larger-than-life pond strata mobiles, take a pond prowl, study live aquatic organisms “borrowed” from Alpine Pond with the assistance of a docent, or enjoy a picnic with your companions on nearby tables (pack out your own trash please!). Autumn is an delightful season for a visit.

Plant Communities and Adaptation Moderate Hike lunch bag
Sunday • October 20
Picchetti Ranch [See Where to Meet]
10:00 am – 1:00 pm
There are a wide variety of plant communities in the Bay Area and many of them can be found in the Picchetti Ranch Preserve. Join docents Martin Manley and Linda Smith for a moderately-paced, 4.5-mile hike. You’ll discuss the varieties of plant communities in the Preserve and the ways that the plants have become adapted to unique environments. If the weather allows, you’ll take a lunch break at the picnic tables down by Stevens Creek. At the end of the trip you will have the option for a little wine tasting (on your own) at Picchetti Winery.

Long Ridge Loop Moderate Hike
Sunday • October 20
Long Ridge [See Where to Meet]
10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Explore the upper trails in this beautiful Preserve on a 5-mile loop hike with docent Mary Bernstein. You’ll walk the Peters Creek Trail through an old apple orchard, up to see and appreciate the grand views on the west side of the ridge. You'll hear about the history of the Long Ridge area as well as keep an eye out for late-blooming wildflowers (there are a few!).

Autumn in the Foothills Strenuous Hike lunch bag
Thursday • October 24
Rancho San Antonio [See Where to Meet]
10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Discover the beauty and diversity of the Santa Clara Valley foothills on a 10-mile, 1,600-foot gain hike through all of this Preserve’s habitats. Docents Fran Keeler and Ranjana Sharma will guide you through a variety of plant communities, from the canyons to the hilltops, including panoramic views from San Francisco to south San Jose. (Note: Arrive early to find parking.)

Woodrat Territory Moderate Hike Kids
Saturday • October 26         
Pulgas Ridge [See Where to Meet]
10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Visit the neighborhood of the dusky-footed woodrat as you explore the oak woodland and chaparral natural communities of Pulgas Ridge Preserve. Join docents Ann Reisenauer and Susan Bernhard for a 3-mile hike on the Blue Oak, Dick Bishop and Polly Geraci Trails. You’ll learn about this animal’s matrilineal community and admire their many-roomed stick houses.

Ohlone Medicine Moderate Hike lunch bag
Saturday • October 26
Long Ridge [See Where to Meet]
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Native Americans, including California Indians, had a great number of uses for the plants growing on their lands; the primary use was medicinal. Join docents Sarah Schoen and Susan Peterson on this 5-mile hike exploring the Peters Creek and Long Ridge Trails, with a lunch stop overlooking the western slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Learn ways that selected native plants were used to treat a number of ailments before the introduction of modern medicine.

Redwood Oxygen Moderate Hike lunch bag Kids Reservations
Saturday • October 26         
Purisima Creek Redwoods
Meet: Purisima Creek road entrance
10:30 am – 3:30 pm
Find out why you’ll be breathing some of the cleanest air in the world with docents Bob Segalla and Sam Berry on the Purisima and Craig Britton Trails. This easy-paced, 5.3-mile, 500-foot elevation change hike is suitable for capable children and has a downhill return. Reservations are required and will be accepted on or after October 10.

Stop In and Explore Moderate Hike lunch bag dog-friendly Kids
Saturday and Sunday
October 26 and 27
Daniels Nature Center [See Where to Meet]
11:00 am – 4:00 pm
As seasons change, so do the interactions of life at the edge of Alpine Pond…bring family and friends to discover the Daniels Nature Center on Saturdays and Sundays this fall between 11:00am and 4:00 pm. You can enjoy an audio nature tour (loaner listening devices available to “check out”), view displays about natural communities and larger-than-life pond strata mobiles, take a pond prowl, study live aquatic organisms “borrowed” from Alpine Pond with the assistance of a docent, or enjoy a picnic with your companions on nearby tables (pack out your own trash please!). Autumn is an delightful season for a visit.

Resolution’s 60th Anniversary Moderate Hike lunch bag
Sunday • October 27           
El Corte de Madera Creek [See Where to Meet]
9:30 am – 2:00 pm
Join docents Paul Billig and Chris MacIntosh to respectfully learn about the events of San Mateo County’s worst aviation disaster that occurred here 60 years ago. Many aspects of this beautiful Preserve will be shared with you, including a unique geological formation called tafoni. This is a moderate hike of approximately 5-miles along the Tafoni, El Corte de Madera Creek, Resolution, and Fir Trails and includes one long uphill climb (about 400 feet, over 1.1 miles).

Signs of Fall Moderate Hike Kids
Sunday • October 27
Pulgas Ridge [See Where to Meet]
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Join docents Liz Foreman and Kate Gudmundson to enjoy the early signs of fall on the Blue Oak, Dusky-footed Woodrat, and Cordilleras Creek Trails. In addition, you’ll take in the sweeping views of the Bay to the east and ridges to the west. This 4.5-mile hike will have a moderate pace with hills (an 800-foot elevation gain), and uneven terrain in places.


FALL (September, October, November)

Full Outdoor Activities Listing and Schedule

At-a-glance Listing



  Additional Information
Easy Hike Easy Hike
Moderate Hike Moderate Hike
Strenuous Hike Strenuous Hike
Easy Nature Ride Easy Nature Ride
Intro Bike Ride Intro Mtn. Bike Ride
Intermediate Bike Ride Intermed Mtn. Bike Ride
Adv Bike Ride Adv Mtn. Bike Ride
Adv Bike Ride Equestrian Ride
  Dog-friendly
Kids Kid-friendly
Kids Stroller-accessible
Kids Wheelchair accessible
Lunch Bring a meal/snack
Reservations Required Reservations Required

For the complete key to the symbols, please see the Outdoor Activities listing

September Activities

October Activities

November Activities

Open Space Views Newsletter

Become a Volunteer

Seasonal Highlights

Open Space Views Newsletter

Become a Volunteer

Reservation Information