Walking at Doran Beach & Birdwalk

dog leash

Lately, we’ve been to Doran Beach a couple of times. Even with the newly paved road along the beach, we like to visit via the Birdwalk at Cheney Creek. Still part of Doran Beach Regional Park, it allows access through the wetland and can be a great birdviewing spot.

Since I’ve been practicing with my new phone/camera, these pictures are more utilitarian than beautiful as Mike supplies. (Gray pictures are from February and sunny pictures from March 2014)

From the parking lot at Birdwalk, there are two paved ramps up to the trail.

Trailhead for Birdwalk at Cheney Gulch Continue reading

Wednesday Walking News: Monuments, Memorials and well…Walks

Click on the headings for more to the stories…

Stornetta lands may soon be monument

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell walks around the tide pools in the recently opened Stornetta Public Lands along the Point Arena coastline on Friday, November 8, 2013. (Conner Jay/The Press Democrat)

Supporters of a two-year campaign to extend national monument status to a breathtaking stretch of southern Mendocino coastline are abuzz with speculation that President Barack Obama might use his executive authority to make it happen, and that he might do so soon.

A key reason for the anticipation is the president’s pledge two weeks ago during his State of the Union address to use his office “to protect more of our pristine federal lands.”

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What the Tafoni is at Salt Point?

On the way home from Mendocino, it is almost required that we stop at Gualala Point or Salt Point. Since the dog was ‘on the ranch’ we decided to stop at Salt Point State Park.

The park does have a couple of miles of flat trail and some amazing rock formation. But this view isn’t bad for a picnic lunch. (You can get to this spot by taking the road after the campgrounds, drive past the a-frame Visitor Center on a gravel road and you come to a terrific picnic ground.)

Gerstle Cove Salt Point

After lunch, we backtracked and went out to the end of the road and parked to the left – with another view south and overlooking the Gerstle Cove Marine Reserve, California’s first underwater park. Continue reading

World Class Point Arena?

We recently took a trip up the coast to Mendocino. As with many vacations, you miss important news. The day we left Elk for home, we heard that Pt Arena was number ‘3’ on someone’s best places in the world to visit. In the world? Huh? Good thing we were stopping in Pt Arena on the way home.

Things still looked rough in the block or two of downtown Pt Arena. Our favorite restaurant was gone. How was this place going to sustain world travellers?

Pt Arena Wharf Continue reading

Walking into History at Fort Ross

Sunday, the ocean was calm – hardly a breeze – truly pacific. We made our way up the winding Hwy 1 to Fort Ross.

In addition to the new construction at the Fort and new places seen – the Call House was open and the Russian Cemetery was easily found – we had a marvelous afternoon. (We were last here in 2010.)

Windmill Ft Ross

Fort Ross Windmill

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Where’s your First Day Walk?

I haven’t decided yet where I’ll be. But I know several groups are working Bodega Head and the Kortum Trail. Both excellent choices. Following are some other choices.

Click headings to find more information:


Walks all over the Bay Area and Northern California

New Year’s Day: Hikes, nature events
in the Bay Area and beyond

By Lisa M. Krieger – Mercury News -Posted:   12/23/2013 03:00:00 PM PST | Updated:   4 days ago

January arrives with the force of a Chinook wind. One year is finished; its tiresome episodes are closed. Now there’s just the future, so full of promise, urging us to take a big mental and physical leap forward.

Stop — look. So much has happened while we were indoors celebrating. The days are lengthening. The night stars are wheeling around Polaris. Tall trees lay down another ring. Vast flocks of migrating birds cluster onto winter waters.

Pull on a sweatshirt and boots and join nature as she embarks on a new season. All over the Bay Area, there are Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 activities to get the blood stirring.


Going to be in Doncaster? Maybe not, but excellent goals.

Walking festival to kick start new year

Published on the 30 December  2013 06:48

Doncaster Council’s ‘Get Doncaster Walking’ festival is returning for the start of 2014 and the year round programme is supporting the Walk Boost initiative encouraging people to ‘ditch the car’ and get to work by foot, public transport or cycling.



Enjoy brisk walks? Connecticut pitches
New Year’s Day hikes
of 1 to 5 miles at 4 state parks

First Posted: December 30, 2013 – 3:00 am Last Updated: December 30, 2013 – 3:02 am

HARTFORD, Connecticut — Hikers who want to chill out after New Year’s Eve parties can indulge themselves in four Connecticut state park hikes on New Year’s Day.

First Day Hikes are planned for Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden, Mansfield Hollow State Park in Mansfield, Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison and Osbornedale State Park in Derby.


New York?

Birder walks in New York City?


And after the walk on the first day – don’t forget to walk all the other days.

Happy New Year,

Lynn Millar

Doran Beach Revisited

dog leashThe latest YMCA walk started at the Bird Walk, just north of Doran Beach entrance. We made a loop around the dredge pond and admired the view to the mountains north to Tomales Pt. to the south and west to Bodega Head.

Crossing the marsh we stopped to see a flock of Great Egrets lining the marsh on watch. Dianne, the egret’s photographer, said last week they were all perched in a cypress, as if the tree was decorated for the season.

We proceeded to the beach and had much more sand than in the pictures below, even though it was near high tide and a full moon.

Great Egret

Great Egret courtesy of D. Hunt

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Walking at Goat Rock

Goat Rock and the rest of Kortum Trail.

Just south of the Russian River and the town of Jenner, CA is access to Goat Rock part of the Sonoma Coast State Park. The beach, with soft sand and a steep slope, does not make for ideal walking. But it is worth a visit.

Last week with offshore breezes the coast was warm and sunny. The fall is often the best time to visit the coast because the summer fog is gone. We drove north on Hwy 1 from Bodega Bay and turned off at Goat Rock. This picture shows Goat Rock and the north end of the Kortum Trail.

Goat Rock near Jenner

Goat Rock

Just past the parking lot for Blind Beach (that means it’s below a cliff and not visible from the road), we could get a view of the Goat Rock beach. At this time of year – before the rains – the Russian River is closed by a sandbar to the ocean. It was also low tide, so the waves weren’t washing over the beach.

Beach across Russian River at Goat Rock

We chose to park at the lot to the right and to the north. The dunes are not as big as the ones looming at Bodega Dunes. On a beautiful sunny day, it did not seem so tough.

To the north by the river is a favorite hangout for harbor seals. Please keep your distance from them. They have enough trouble from the occasional visit of an elephant seal. No dogs are allowed on the beach to protect the seals.

Up a dune Down a dune

Sometimes when we walk along this beach, we see harbor seals playing in the surf. Today brown pelicans were controlling the fishing.

Brown Pelicans at Goat Rock

Past the parking lot at the actual Goat Rock is another beach and another great view.

View South from Goat Rock

This next picture is taken of that arched rock from the road above.

Arched Rock at Goat Rock

The beach walk continues – best at low tide – for another half mile.

Blind Beach south of Goat Rock

Back near the north parking lot and towards the river we enjoyed a view of the Russian River and Jenner. Several kayakers were enjoying the calm day.

Russian River at Jenner

Kortum Trail

We have reported on the Kortum Trail many times and walked it many more times. Just not this section of the trail because it is steeper. It starts near those cars close to the Blind Beach parking lot. First part climb the hill to where this picture was taken.

Kortum Trail above Blind Beach

And then go down the hill. Overall it’s about 300′ in elevation change. Yes, still too much for me.

Above Kortum Trail

Once you get down this hill, there are plenty of plateaus and a few creek crossings. It’s about 4 miles to Wright’s Beach.

Kortum Trail looking South

The northern part of the Kortum Trail area was grazed until the 1990s and the southern part until the 1980s. Guess that’s why the spring wildflowers are better in the south. And in winter? it’s just raw beauty.

See you on the trail!

Words by Lynn Millar, Photos by Mike MIllar, copyright 2013, available upon request.

Distance: Goat Rock -  About 2 miles round trip from sandbar at the Russian River to Blind Beach. Kortum Trail: About 8 miles round trip from Blind Beach to Wright’s Beach.

Cost: Use your state pass. Otherwise, $8/vehicle or $7/senior

Picnic tables: a few with wind protection from the dunes by the north parking lot.

Dogs: For most of the Sonoma Coast under CA State Parks, dogs are not allowed on the trail. Here’s a link to where dogs are allowed.

Bathrooms: Real building, flush toilets, cold water at each parking lot at Goat Rock. Pit toilet at Shell Beach on the Kortum Trail.

Click for More Kortum Trail: Above Shell Beach and Wright’s Beach.

Plastic Seas Start in Your Creek

And end up in your food.

A couple of years ago I wrote a post It’s 10PM, Do You Know Where Your Trash Is?, after being distressed by the amount of plastics piled in Santa Rosa Creek.  Included in the post are some references for more information and some ways to help.

This blog post is thanks to the gracious and smart Barbra & jack Donachy. It provides an elegant explanation of what plastics do in our water.

Thanks and please help take care of our water.

Lynn Millar

Plastic Seas: From Water Bottles to Cigarette Butts, It All Becomes Tiny Particles, and It’s the Tiny Particles that are Most Deadly

Posted by Barbra & Jack Donachy on October 1, 2013

jellyfish micro purple n

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