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GREAT HIKES: Easy Adventures and Marshmallows, Too:

One of the local Santa Monica Mountain hikes that is on the regular schedule of our Monday-Wednesday night hiking group is the Santa Ynez Trail in the Pacific Palisades, north to Trippet Ranch.

For those of you not quite ready for night-time adventures, on Tuesday morning, August 23, at 8 a.m., a group organized by the Sierra Club will make the same trek, a full eight miles in a three-hour jaunt. Meet at the Santa Ynez trailhead in the Highlands (drive Sunset Blvd. to Palisades Drive, up the hill to Vereda de la Montura and turn left). Bring water, boots, lunch or a snack – and be ready for an easy-going 1000 foot gain.

There is always some reassurance having the Sierra Club supervise a hike, especially for novices. They do a great job in signing people in, assigning a leader as well as a “sweep” to monitor the slower paced participants.

If you’ve been wondering who the heck Sooky Goldman (of the Sooky Goldman Nature Center in Franklin Canyon fame) is, a special presentation on Sunday, September 4 at 10 a.m. will answer all your questions about Sooky as well as William Mulholland, and more. Presented by the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority and the William O. Douglas Outdoor Classroom, this program is great for all ages and much more interesting than it may seem. Our local parks have been championed by a relatively small number of devotees, and this is a valuable opportunity to learn how Franklin Canyon evolved and the educational service the center provides to children and families throughout the Los Angeles area.

One other unique hiking-related event that I have to tell you about is the Twilight Marshmallow Hike! Yes, go hiking and then roast marshmallows on Saturday night, September 10 at 6 p.m. at the Charmlee Wilderness Park. If you’ve never heard of Charmlee, take PCH toward Ventura, and go inland at Encinal Canyon Road. Bring your own marshmallows, they don’t weigh much, and be prepared to have old-fashioned fun for all ages. This is a 2-1/2 hour adventure; call (310) 317-1364 for more info. (This is the only marshmallow trek I’ve ever heard of – so don’t miss out.)

Fearless readers interested in free Monday and Wednesday night hikes, should call Scott Regberg at 310-475-5735. Don’t bring marshmallows.

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