Discover & Learn

Get outside and explore your parks and preserves this spring.

Rangers Recommend

Loma Alta Preserve

Fog along the peaks of Loma Alta

Translating to Tall Hill in Spanish, this preserve offers magical views and athletic climbs. Start at the Glen Fire Road gate, through grassland and mixed oaklands. Continue straight on Glen Fire Road, hiking uphill. At the water tanks swing left to take Smith Ridge Fire Road, enjoying the scenic expanse. At the Sunrise Fire Road junction, turn around and head back down. You can also make a long loop around by continuing on Sunrise to Old Railroad Grade, and then Fox Hollow, back to the Glen Fire Road gate.

  • 4.5 miles
  • 900 foot elevation change
  • Strenuous

Indian Tree Preserve

Looking up into redwood trees at Indian Tree Preserve

Redwoods in Novato! Park along Vineyard Road and enter the Preserve on Big Trees Trail; switchbacks ease the climb. Enjoy views of Stafford Lake reservoir before hiking through sheltering redwood groves. Turn right on Deer Camp Trail to head back down the hill. Make a right at Upper Meadow Trail to complete the loop.

  • 4.2 miles
  • 700 foot elevation change
  • Strenuous

Free Ranger, Naturalist, and Volunteer Events

Naturalist Notes

Mission blue butterfly, an endangered species

Mission Blue Butterfly

If you see a Mission Blue, count yourself lucky. Due to loss of habitat from human development and invasive plants, these delicate creatures are on the federal endangered species list. Adults are small as a quarter; their blue wings dotted with two rows of black spots. Look for them on a sunny day in the Marin Headlands fluttering near silver lupine, summer lupine, or varied lupine. These three host plants are the only food source for their larvae, so they don't travel far. When conditions are cool or rainy, they take cover in the vegetation. Add sightings of Icaricia icarioides ssp. missionensis to iNaturalist.

Volunteer Opportunities

Young girl planting native flowers at Creekside

Creekside Restoration

Marin County Parks and One Tam are enriching important habitat areas at Hal Brown Park and Creekside Marsh. This community-based effort is installing a diverse palette of native plants at a site once dominated by invasive grasses and weeds. This is just one of many opportunities for volunteers to help support thriving and beautiful ecosystems in Marin County parks and preserves.