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Let’s Go Chasing Waterfalls (and Wildflowers and Mushrooms)

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 (Sumiko Scott via Getty Images)

California has been pummeled by storms in recent months, but the benefit of that never-ending rain cloud is all the makings for a beautiful Bay Area spring. Rivers are gushing, wildflowers are blooming, mushrooms are sprouting and waterfalls are tumbling in places they haven’t been seen in years, We’ll talk to  a panel of nature-lovers about what to look for and the best places to see the glories of spring.

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  • Check out the website of the park you plan to visit before you head out to make sure that the trails are open, if you need a reservation for parking, etc.
  • Always bring plenty of water.
  • Always bring hiking boots and maybe a change of shoes for afterwards.
  • Stay on trail. Do not step into the meadows! Stepping into the meadows can cause tremendous damage to the million seed bank that lies there waiting for the right moment to germinate. It can also destroy bees, caterpillars, butterflies, and other insects that rely on these flowers to support our local ecology.
  • Foraging: Learn the characteristics of the edible species of mushrooms and the characteristics of the poisonous lookalikes.

Bay Area hikes and waterfall sites:

Dog friendly Bay Area hikes and waterfall sites:


Radhika Thekkath, president, Santa Clara Valley chapter of the California Native Plant Society

Tracy Salcedo, outdoor guide author, has written multiple books about hiking in California, including “Hiking Waterfalls Northern California: A Guide to the Region's Best Waterfall Hikes.”

Brad Day, publisher, Weekendsherpa.com - A free weekly e-mail about accessible outdoor adventures in the Bay Area.

J.R. Blair, amateur mycologist and retired lecturer in Biology at San Francisco State University.


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