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Equinox and Full Moon Adventures:

Most of the parks in our local Santa Monica Mountain system offer a diversity of regular guided tours, special events and introductory adventures designed for all ages and virtually any level of skill.

 In the coming weeks, for example, there is a choice of Spring Equinox events that are well organized and include guided supervision. On March 19, the Franklin Canyon Ranch offers a 2 1/2-hour moderate hike and tour with a group leader describing the seasons’ changes, plant life and the constellations, too.  It all starts at 5:30 p.m., so you’ll witness the transition from daylight to full darkness.  Be sure to include binoculars in your gear! Call (310) 858-7272 x 131 for more information.

On March 20, you can double the experience by joining the Spring Equinox Amble at the Cold Creek Preserve.  Led by a Cold Creek Docent, you’ll wander through a charming wooded canyon, and learn about Native Americans’ food sources and culture.  The group departs at 9:30 a.m. for 2 hours.  Call (818) 591-1701 for details.

Topanga State Park has two upcoming events worth noting.  Also on March 20, there is a docent-led walk that explores the “Harbingers of Spring,” a great opportunity to discover Topanga’s wildflowers.  Call the Topanga Docents at (818) 758-1964 for information about this hike or a variety of other guided tours.  The following Saturday,  March 26, the good folks at California State Parks are leading a Topanga hike along the ridges and canyon trails.  While only an hour and a half, a Park Ranger will surprise, which is always a treat – and a chance to pick-up tidbits of trail lore from the folks on the front lines

Last, a less known hiking area, called Charmlee Wilderness Park, is offering a full moon hike on March 25, at 6:30 p.m.  This is an easy trek for all ages and an ideal way to learn more about our local parks with some qualified supervision.  Call (310) 317-1364 for details.

Of course, if you’re up for a totally unsupervised night-hike, with no lectures, Rangers or rules, you can join us on any Monday or Wednesday evening for one of 21 different treks.  We leave promptly at 6:30 p.m. (and usually return the same evening!)Fearless Readers interested in free Monday and Wednesday night hikes should contact Scott Regberg at (310) 475-5735.

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