Topics ranging from birds of prey to local mining history will highlight a series of free outdoor walks to be offered this fall and winter by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Horsetown Clear Creek Preserve (HCCP).
"These outings are designed for families to enjoy," said Bill Kuntz, an outdoor recreation planner with the BLM’s Redding Field Office. "They are a great way to learn more about our natural world."
The offerings include:
"Celebration," Sunday, Sept. 21, noon. The Horsetown Clear Creek preserve will celebrate completion of parking improvements with a picnic featuring the Back 40 String Band. Cold drinks and snacks will be provided. Participants should bring sack lunches, if desired. Seating is limited, so participants should bring their own lawn chairs. Events are at the HCCP parking area, about seven miles west of Highway 273 on Clear Creek Road.
"National Public Lands Day," Saturday, Sept. 27, at 9 a.m. Volunteers are needed to pick up litter, remove graffiti and tear out old fencing in the Clear Creek Greenway. The BLM will provide tools, gloves and safety glasses. Volunteers can also work from the creek if they bring a kayak, canoe or inflatable raft or kayak. Organizers will provide a free barbecue lunch complete with door prizes. Meet at 9 a.m. at the HCCP parking area on Clear Creek Road.
"Close Up Encounters with Birds of Prey," Sunday, Oct. 5, at 10 a.m. Shasta Wildlife Rescue will show birds of prey and provide information about them. Meet at the HCCP parking area on Clear Creek Road, about seven miles west of Highway 273.
"Children's Event," Saturday, Oct. 11, at 10 a.m. Local teacher Pam Mills will lead a short hike to Clear Creek where children can learn about habitat improvements for salmon and native plants. Participants will make their own pine nut necklaces. Participants will meet at the HCCP parking area.
"Autumn Walk with Canyon Views," Sunday, Oct. 19, at 9 a.m. Retired Shasta College instructor Chuck Hornbeck will lead a hike on the BLM Cloverdale property. He will discuss mining history and present other facts about the area. The walk is moderately strenuous. Meet at the BLM Cloverdale parking area on Cloverdale Road between Clear Creek Road and Placer Road.
"Search for the Spawning Salmon," Saturday, Oct. 25, at 9 a.m. Mike Berry, a wildlife biologist from the California Department of Fish and Game, will lead a walk along Creek Creek. There will be close views of salmon as they swim upstream to spawn, and an opportunity to learn about ongoing creek restoration projects. The walk is moderately strenuous. Walking shoes are recommended. Polarized sunglasses will improve visibility into the creek. Meet at the new Gorge parking lot on the south side of Clear Creek Road, about five and a half miles west of Highway 273.
"Wild Trout and Fly Fishing in Clear Creek," Saturday, Nov. 1, at 2 p.m. Master fly fisherman Mike Mercer will demonstrate fly casting techniques and explain facts and secrets of Clear Creek trout. The event starts from the HCCP parking lot on Clear Creek Road, about seven miles west of Highway 273.
"Northern California Mushrooms," Saturday, Feb. 21, at 11 a.m. Botanist Susan Libonati, an instructor at Shasta College, will provide information and show samples of various mushrooms. She will discuss the safety of eating wild mushrooms. The event convenes at the HCCP parking area.
Information on all of these outings is available by calling the BLM Redding Field Office, (530) 224-2100.