When you think of urban animals, what comes to mind? Pigeons on the sidewalks? Creepy crawlies in the subways?
Just a few miles north of the city, the Marin Headlands is a superb spot to escape the hustle and bustle. As a bona fide urbanite, I was curious to find out what hikers, bikers, and bird-watchers have relished for years. In two days, I discovered that San Francisco's backyard offers much more to the intrepid visitor than iconic Golden Gate Bridge snapshots.
Spring has sprung, and at Audubon Canyon Ranch near Stinson Beach, that means the 100 pairs of great egrets and great blue herons which nest there are starting to mate and lay eggs. It also means the wildlife preserve is opening to the public for their visiting season, March 20 - July 11.
From the surf of San Diego to the sea bluffs of the Lost Coast, thousands of people across California are trading in their sand pails for trash bags on September 20, to take part in the 23rd annual California Coastal Cleanup Day.
Whether you're looking for an easy Sunday stroll or a rugged mountain path to explore, California State Parks' new online guide to hiking trails will have you strapping on your boots and making tracks across the shorelines and summits that grace the Golden State.
Stretching from Point Reyes National Seashore, south through the Marin Headlands and parts of San Francisco, to San Mateo County on the Bay Area Peninsula, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) contains more endangered species that any other national park in continental North America.