The Mercury News
5 WAYS TO GET BACK TO NATURE
It’s autumn, the weather is cooling and birds are beginning their migrations on the great Pacific Flyway. And the Bay Area’s parks and nature preserves make exploring the outdoors more tempting than ever.
While the continuing pandemic and the threat of wildfires have closed some nature centers or limited their use, there’s still plenty to see and do, from hiking the remains of an ancient Oakland volcano to exploring the Delta shoreline at the site of a major levee break 93 years ago.
Here are five possibilities to get you started.
1 Baylands Nature Preserve
If you want to see some of the bay’s last remaining undisturbed marshland, visit this 1,940-acre preserve. The protected area features 15 miles of multiuse trails, where you can explore tidal and freshwater habitats.
The Bay Area offers many destinations for birdwatchers, but many devotees consider the Baylands one of the West Coast’s best for viewing. Not only do hundreds of species make their homes here, the preserve also is a major stopover for migrating birds on the Pacific Flyway. We’re just now entering the best times for birdwatching.
DETAILS » Open daily from 8 a.m. until sunset at 2775 Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto. The preserve offers picnic tables and restrooms, as well as hiking trails. www. cityofpaloalto.org