New Year’s Day Hikes in Lake County

Anderson Marsh State Historic Park and Clear Lake State Park will once again celebrate New Year’s by participating in the fifth annual America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative on Sunday, Jan. 1.

The First Day Hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the new year by connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike on New Year’s Day at a state park close to home.

The hikes at Anderson Marsh and Clear Lake State Park – two of Lake County’s treasured outdoor venues – both start at noon.

At Anderson Marsh State Historic Park, participants will be able to choose two different free, guided nature walks.

The hike on the McVicar Trail will pass through oak woodlands, along the edge of the aquatic habitat of Anderson Marsh and end up at the gravel beach on Clear Lake across from Indian Island.

This will be a leisurely walk that will begin a noon and cover about seven and three quarter miles of mainly flat terrain. The walk should take between three and four hours, depending on how many times the group stops to admire what we see along the way.

The shorter hike will include parts of the Cache Creek, Marsh and Ridge Trails. This three-and-a-half-mile loop will include the Cache Creek riparian habitat, the Anderson Flats grasslands and the oak woodlands on Lewis Ridge. The hike will pass by an Acorn Woodpecker granary tree and a vernal pool. This shorter hike will take between two and two and a half hours.

Participants on both walks are welcome to walk part way and make an early return at their own pace. The exact routes that will be followed may have to be adjusted, depending on the weather and how wet the ground is on Jan. 1.

“This is a fabulous opportunity to experience the Anderson Marsh Natural Preserve, with the walks scheduled to experience many of the environments contained within the park, including: oak woodlands; grasslands; willow swamp/tule marsh and willow-cottonwood riparian habitats; a vernal pool, the creek and the lake,” said Henry Bornstein, a park docent who will lead the walks along with docents Gae Henry, Lisa Wilson and Tom McFarling. “Let’s get outside on New Year’s Day and share what we know about the geology and history of the area, and the flora, birds and other wildlife that we encounter on the walk.”

At Clear Lake State Park, meet with volunteer Brad Barnwell at the visitor center parking lot to start the walk down the Old Kelsey Creek Trail. Entry into the park for walk participants will be free.

The one-hour, one-mile walk is on an ADA-accessible trail that meanders along old Kelsey Creek through the cottonwood and willow trees.

The slow pace will give participants the opportunity to experience the park’s flora and fauna as if you were actually one of the park’s wildlife residents.

The winter weather could be brisk. Participants should bring water and snacks and binoculars if they have them, and a hat for protection against the weather. Sturdy shoes that can handle mud are recommended. Rain will cancel the walks.

Anderson Marsh State Historic Park is located on Hwy 53, between Lower Lake and Clearlake. For more information about the walk, email or call 707-995-2658.

Clear Lake State Park is located at 5300 Soda Bay Road, Kelseyville, and entry into the park is free for those attending the walk.

Anyone having special needs should contact the Clear Lake State Park Sector Office Tuesday through Thursday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 707-279-2267.

For further information on California State Parks go to .


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