Discover & Learn

Get outside and explore your parks and preserves this winter.

Rangers Recommend

Rush Creek Preserve

Great blue heron

Look here for herons and egrets near the water, chickadees and woodpeckers in the trees, and raptors in the sky. It's a favorite spot for migratory shorebirds. Enter the gate off Binford Road on to wide, easy sloping Pinheiro Fire Road, with Rush Creek Marsh Wildlife Area on your left. The road curves right, around Cemetery Marsh. Turn left to continue on Rush Creek Fire Road. At the junction, turn left again, and loop back using the North Levee Trail and back the way you came on Pinheiro. If North Levee is closed due to tidal flooding, just head back out the way you came.

  • 4 miles
  • Mostly flat
  • Easy to moderate

McInnis Marsh

Gallinas Creek marshland

Walk out along the 100-year-old levees where Las Gallinas and Miller Creeks flow into San Pablo Bay. This wetland is a focal point of history, as well as a harbinger of the future. The marshland was first diked in the early 1900s, to create a cattle ranch. When it became public land, in the 1970s, park facilities, including a golf course, were built. Later, wildlife biologists discovered the marsh is habitat to protected species: black rail, Ridgeway’s rail, and salt marsh harvest mouse. And hydrologists learned that natural tidal flows provide resilience against flooding. As sea level rise increases breaching of the man-made barriers, researchers are working with the local community, exploring ways to help the shoreline adapt.

  • 2.4 miles out and back
  • Mostly flat
  • Easy

 

Naturalist Notes

Field of Baby Blue Eyes in bloom

Baby Blue Eyes

A hardy annual native, these delicate, sky blue flowers are also easy to grow in backyard gardens. Look for fields blooming when weather warms after a rainy season, before summer brings too much heat. They attract large numbers of native bees, helping pollinators thrive. Add your sightings to iNaturalist.

Volunteer Opportunities

Young girl planting native flowers at Creekside

Stewardship

No group volunteer events are being scheduled at this time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Park and open space volunteer coordinators continue working to coordinate limited stewardship opportunities in some locations. For more information, please contact volunteer coordinators: