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Learn the Santa Monica Trails With a Pro:

Lots of folks would like to discover more about our local Santa Monica Mountain resources but feel more comfortable getting acquainted with new trail sites under the supervision of a Ranger, Docent or qualified Guide.The good news is that there is a plethora of opportunities offered every week, if not everyday, on a variety of nearby and easily accessible trails.The National Park Service’s “Roving Ranger” will lead a free surprise hike on Saturday, March 25, and provide special insights about topics like Mammal Tracking, Reptiles and Amphibians and more. Call 805-370-2301 for the location and theme of the monthly hike.On April 1, from 12-4pm, you can join Captain Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation for a free afternoon of hands-on wildlife preservation and tree planting at the Headwaters Corner, near Topanga and Mulholland Highway. This is a great way to check-out this under-utilized park and learn a little about our natural resources in the process. Call the Mountains Restoration Trust at 818-591-1701 for details.For some twilight fun, Leo Carrillo State Park is hosting a Campfire Event at 7pm on Saturday, March 25. A Ranger will be on hand for this one-hour flaming extravaganza, sponsored by the California State Parks. Call 805-488-1827 for more info. If you are up for more serious volunteer work, there are two trail work treks offered on Saturday, March 25. The Sierra Club sponsors a five-hour event beginning at 8am and provides tools and instruction. Call 310-559-3126 for details. At 8:30am, The Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council is hosting a six-hour trail work project. Neither of these require previous experience – but be sure to bring your own water, lunch and gloves. Trail work may not sound like fun, but you’ll enjoy hiking up to the site and the “work” is comparable to yard gardening – but out in the wild with a group of friendly folks. Lots of people are return volunteers and feel real satisfaction in being a part of protecting our trails.These are just a few of the many, many supervised hikes available. When you call any of the numbers above, be sure to ask about other dates and destinations – especially the Sierra Club, which offers a slew of options.As I often reference in this column, let me remind you that unsupervised hikes are always available on Monday and Wednesday nights at 6:30pm. No trail work, no Rangers, Docents or Guides – just straight ahead hiking on 21 different local trails.Fearless readers interested in free Monday and Wednesday night hikes may contact Scott Regberg at 310-475-5735.

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