'Discover Diablo' series returns with 24 scenic hikes exploring Mount Diablo

Save Mount Diablo seeks to spark community passion for Diablo Range

Save Mount Diablo is giving residents throughout the Bay Area and beyond the opportunity to explore the scenic wealth of the area around Mount Diablo State Park by participating in a series of hikes highlighting the region's natural splendor.

Save Mount Diablo’s “Discover Diablo” is a public hike program that offers a series of guided interpretive family walks, hikes and property tours. In its third year, the program will offer 24 opportunities for all trail-blazers seeking to explore the scenic beauty of the East Bay, with the next adventure scheduled for Saturday.

“It is the goal of the Discover Diablo program to build connections between people, Save Mount Diablo, and the land, helping our communities develop a strong sense of place and a deepened appreciation for our collective backyard,” said Ted Clement, executive director of Save Mount Diablo.

“Most importantly, we want to cultivate a love of the land in participants, as that is what it will take to ensure the precious Mount Diablo natural area is taken care of for generations to come,” Clement continued.

Trips will take participants on tours, both well-known and obscure, exploring all the nooks and crannies of the area in and around Mount Diablo.

Through the Discover Diablo initiative, organizers hope to build the organization’s membership base, spark community interest and passion for the Diablo Range, and according to officials, “engender community conservation by deepening connections to the land and nature.”

Averaging two hikes a month, events will typically take the form of either property hikes or family hikes.

Property hikes will take outdoor adventurers on land Save Mount Diablo owns and stewards, highlighting the importance of preserving wildlife habitats and the breathtaking beauty of the Diablo Range. Some properties are not yet open to the public, and will give hikers a rare opportunity to get first glimpse of these special areas.

Family hikes are for hikers of all skill levels and will emphasize specific ecological features or posses a designated theme.

Certain specialty series will also be available throughout the year offering educational opportunities such as the "Curry Canyon Ranch Photography Skills Hike" on March 17, which will offer a series of lessons and practice scenarios for aspiring photographers.

Another special opportunity is the "Mitchell Canyon Tarantula Hike." Held on Oct. 6, participants will get to meet the “gentle giants of Mount Diablo” on a guided tour in the midst of tarantula mating season.

“We are pleased to sponsor this opportunity for people to explore and discover the beauty of Mount Diablo, a wonderful natural resource in our own backyard, with experienced guides,” said Ann Notarangelo, external relations manager for the Shell Martinez Refinery, one of the program's sponsors. “We hope that people will enjoy learning more about the diverse habitats and the striking vistas while spending time outside with their families and friends.”

Outdoor enthusiasts have missed the first hiking opportunity of the year, but Save Mount Diablo has provided a second opportunity scheduled for Saturday, with the "Mary Bowerman Birthday Hike." A highly accessible trail, the course is mostly level and runs for a mile around the lower summit of Mount Diablo State Park, offering a spectacular 360-degree view of the area.

The "Mary Bowerman Birthday Hike" is projected to last from 10 a.m. to noon. Hikers are strongly encouraged to bring plenty of water, a snack, sturdy footwear and to dress in layers.

Hikes are free to participate in, but some will require paying a park entrance fee and all require interested participants to RSVP. Registration for hikes in March onward will open two months prior to each hike’s date.

For a full list or to reserve a spot, check out Save Mount Diablo’s website under the Discover Diablo subsection.

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Nominations due by Sept. 16 and Pleasanton Weekly are once again putting out a call for nominations and sponsorships for the annual Tri-Valley Heroes awards - our salute to the community members dedicated to bettering the Tri-Valley and the lives of its residents.

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