Spring wildflower walks at Mt. Diablo coming

By From page A7 | March 7, 2011

The Sacramento Walking Sticks would like to invite the public to join them on two different wildflower walks on the northern slopes of Mt. Diablo over the weekend of March 19-20.

Neither of these walks goes to the top of Mt. Diablo, nor are they suited for strollers and wheelchairs. The family dog will need to stay home on this excursion because they’re not allowed on any trails in the California state parks.

The walks will begin at the Clayton Community Park, 7411 Marsh Creed Road in Clayton. People can register for the walks from 9 a.m. to noon on both days; they are expected to be finished by 4 p.m. Everyone can walk for free and if they want “volkswalk credit,” they will pay $3 per walk. Water and restrooms are at the registration point only since there are no amenities along the trails as the state park is mostly undeveloped. People should always carry enough water to avoid dehydration.

Both walks require you to drive to a remote start and walk into the park unless you want to add an extra 2K (1.2 miles) onto each by walking instead.

The first walk goes up Donner Canyon Road at an easy grade and then joins a steep, narrow and slippery trail as it loops around an upper canyon with waterfalls. The 5K (3.1 miles) route is rated 2; while the 10K (6.2 miles) route is rated a 4.

The second walk will take people on a dirt trail across the lower reaches of the mountain to the Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center (with water and restrooms), through a native plant garden and then up Mitchell Canyon Road. The 5K (3.1 miles) walk is rated a 2 while the 10K (6.2 miles) walk is rated a 2+.

There will be carpooling opportunities from Sacramento for both days of the event. Participants are encouraged to bring sack lunches as there are many opportunities to stop along the routes and enjoy the views. The added bonus is after the walks, you may stroll the streets of the quaint town of Clayton with its fun shops and restaurants.

The beauty of volkswalking is that it takes hikers to a place they probably would never have thought to go on their own. Once there, you can enjoy the well-laid out route planned by the host club and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city along the way or before and after the walk. These walks are never timed so you can stop along the way to take pictures or get a good power-walk in if you’re in training. These outings are perfect for families with children of all ages because the walking is great exercise for everyone.

The Sacramento Walking Sticks walk in all kinds of weather so come prepared by wearing layered clothing and carrying extra shoes and socks for putting on afterward. Don’t worry if you come alone as there will be small groups going out throughout the morning for all the routes.

The Sticks are the largest volkssport club in the USA with over 500 members. You do not need to be a member of the club to participate. Membership is $5 for seniors 55 and older, $8 for individuals under 55 and $14 for families. Group walks are offered on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and Wednesday evenings as well as on nights that have full moons.

The Sacramento Walking Sticks meet the second Thursday of every month at the SMUD Headquarters Building in the Conference Center, 6201 S St, Sacramento  at 7 p.m.

Press Release

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