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Cool California winter outdoor adventures for the entire family

January 8, 2015 | Emily Moeschler

The days are getting shorter, temperatures are dropping, and hibernation might sound intriguing.  Fight the urge to retreat indoors because winter doesn’t mean your adventures have to stop.  On the contrary, winter is a terrific time to explore some of your favorite places or try somewhere new.  Get outside and enjoy activities that no other season offers in quite the same way. Maybe you’re looking for something fun to do with your family on the weekend.  Why not try one of these activities everyone in the family can enjoy? Flurries of activity

  • Want to learn more about track cycling or maybe hone your skills? The Hellyer County Park Velodrome in the South Bay area has you covered.  Riders over the age of 9 can learn or train at the only existing bicycle velodrome track in Northern California.  Track bikes are available for rent on a first come first serve basis, and be sure to check the web site for calendar and class information.
  • Feel like taking a hike in the Peninsula/Palo Alto area? The scenic Black Mountain Trail is a 9.4 mile out and back hike that’s mostly easy with the last mile to the top being on the steeper side.  The views from the summit make this a memorable hike for the whole family!
  • Make memories with your budding engineers at the Redwood Valley Railway in the East Bay area. Sit back and enjoy a short ride through the park while soaking in the scenery and sunshine.  This gem is tucked in Tilden Regional Park, which offers a variety of activities like geocaching, hiking and biking.  Spend the day taking advantage of all Tilden has to offer.
  • Take a ride to Marin County and explore Muir Woods. This majestic redwood forest is where John Muir once said, “This is the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world.”  Participate in talks, take guided tours with staff or try one of the two self-guided programs while learning about redwood ecology and the history of Muir Woods.  Families with children can enjoy several programs offered just for them.
  • Treat your family to the awesome hiking and climbing that Mount Diablo State Park in Clayton has to offer. If you’d like to see natural wildlife, try the Deer Flat trail or, if you prefer to see fossils, explore Fossil Ridge.  Maybe large sandstone formations and small caves sound interesting, Rock City is for you.  The overlooks, observation deck and summits are bound to peak interests for future visits!

In between exploring adventures, get outside for an old-fashioned game of hide and seek.  Be together, laugh and stay active throughout the winter.  It’s an amazing season to enjoy the excitement, beauty and serenity California has to offer! Summer is not far off, and making plans for camp is also a winter activity.  Be sure to like us on Facebook to get the latest Avid4 Adventure news! About the Author: Lynne Marsala Basche spent most of her career on the island of Manhattan at two New York publishing companies.  A multi-year Avid4 mom and a new contributor to the Avid4 website, Lynne’s writing adventures also take her to championing volunteerism and regional recreation stories as a staff writer for the Castle Pines Connection newspaper, as well as supporting separate large corporate communications programs.  By trying to keep pace with her mountain biking, rock climbing, snowboarding, lacrosse playing, unicycling, tae kwon do-loving 11-year old son, she, like most Avid4 parents, loves sharing the value of outdoor recreation and its positive influence on children’s health and confidence development.  Lynne lives in Castle Pines, Colorado and regularly immerses herself in outdoor activities with her family where she also runs her freelance writing company, Blue Spruce Creative