From Bicycle Sunday to Wunderlich Park: Plenty of Ways to Get in some Nature Play in the New Year!

The holidays are a time for family and friends; for giving back, sharing and taking time off to enjoy all that our California winter has to offer. It is also a time to reflect on the year that is coming to an end and to set some intentions for the year ahead. May we all have an intention to spend more time in nature, because it is good for our mind, body and soul.

To aid you in this goal of spending more time in nature, here are some upcoming events and fun ideas (from Bicycle Sunday to Wunderlich Park) to get you and your loved ones (or just you alone) out in a park!

  1. Bicycle Sunday will resume on January 6 from 9am-3pm and is a wonderful way to enjoy a bike ride along Cañada Road minus the cars. Due to holiday staffing schedules, Bicycle Sunday will not happen on Sundays, December 23 and December 30- we thank you for your understanding!
  2. Coyote Point– Take your kids to Magic Mountain Playground before visiting CuriOdyssey’s IlluminOdyssey, a winter light experience for kids open Tuesdays – Sundays from 10 am – 4pm until January 6 and open until 8pm on January 4.
  3. Crystal Springs Regional Trail– Get ready for the Crystal Springs Dam Bridge to reopen in early 2019! Stay tuned for more! (Yes- this is really happening!)
  4. Devil’s Slide– Identify seabirds, raptors and songbirds while enjoying the wind and waves…or catch a magnificent sunset.
  5. Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve– What better way to make good on an intention of being outside than a New Year’s Day Hike with the Friends of Edgewood? Join docent Todd Reimche for a fun and invigorating 4-5 miles New Year’s Day hike. Tuesday, January 1 at 10am.
  6. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve– Volunteer naturalists are in high demand! Register for the 2019 Friends of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve Volunteer Naturalist Training Class here. The class will consist of 11 Saturday classes starting February 2. Volunteer naturalists must be physically capable of navigating rocks and the reef and are required to volunteer a minimum of 6 hours per month. Registration deadline is January 25, 2019.
  7. Flood Park– Go for a mindful walk among the large native Oak and Bay trees or hold a picnic with friends and play volleyball.
  8. Friendship Park– Did you know San Mateo County Parks has a few pocket parks to serve the needs of unincorporated San Mateo County? This one is located in North Fair Oaks and has 31 raised vegetable beds that neighbors can host.
  9. Huddart Park– Go on a mushroom hike with park rangers on Saturday, January 12. Meet at the Zwierlein Picnic Area at 9am and discover the many species of fungus and lichen in Huddart Park and the role they play in our ecosystem. Register here.
  10. Junipero Serra Park– Plant native species near El Zanjon Creek with the Stewardship Corps on Saturday, January 5 from 9am-12pm. Registration is encouraged and training and tools will be provided. Light snacks and beverages will be available. Bring a completed Volunteer Agreement.
  11. Memorial Park– Learn about the amazing journey Steelhead Trout make on this 2-mile hike on Saturday, January 19 at 9am. Register here.
  12. Mirada Surf– Ride your bike along the California Coastal Trail and watch the surfers bob around at Surfers’ Beach.
  13. Moss Beach Park– Here is a second pocket park- saved by neighbors- read that history here.
  14. Pescadero Creek Park– Commune with nature in the largest park in our county parks system and look up for a kaleidoscope of leaves, wind and sky.
  15. Pillar Point Bluff– Check out big ocean waves and wonderful bird life. Please note that if Mavericks is called, Pillar Point Bluff will be closed to spectators for visitor and habitat safety on the day of the event. However, every other day, this is a beautiful park to appreciate the immense power of the Pacific Ocean.
  16. Quarry Park– Bring along your dog and search for the labyrinth.
  17. Sam McDonald– Hike to Chee-Chee-Wa-Wa (which means Little Squirrel), the cabin that Sam built for himself near Alpine Creek. Make sure to read up on Sam McDonald: Stanford legend, parks hero.
  18. San Bruno Mountain– Volunteer with San Bruno Mountain Watch and SSF Weed Warriors to save critical grasslands on San Bruno Mountain on Friday, December 28 and Saturday, December 29 from 9am-12pmmust register at least 2 days in advance.
  19. San Pedro Valley– Right after the next rain, hike the Brooks Falls Loop (2.2 miles) to see if the seasonal waterfall, Brooks Falls, is flowing at San Pedro Valley.
  20. Sanchez Adobe– Step back in time and visit the second oldest building in San Mateo County.
  21. Tunitas Creek Beach– Not quite a county park just yet, but don’t let that stop you from volunteering with TLC Locals in the New Year for beach clean ups.
  22. Woodside Store– In the New Year, check out this special slice of history offering a glimpse into the past of this once bustling logging area. Open Tuesday and Thursday from 10am-4pm and Saturday and Sunday from 12-4pm.

  23. Wunderlich Park– Check out the Folger Stable Carriage Room Museumopen on Saturdays from 10am-4pm. Exhibits include a life-size replica of a blacksmith shop, original 19th-century carriages, the history of the Folger and Wunderlich families, development of the Folger Coffee Company and much more!

We hope you found something you like and that your New Year is filled with parks and nature!

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