An outdoor start to the new year

Start the new year off to a great start with ocean views and tide pools in Carpinteria, or explore sandstone formations in the Simi Hills, two of dozen California locations offering guided first-day hikes on January 1st.

California State Parks have partnered with trail systems across the United States to help people ring the doorbells outdoors in 2022. More than 85,000 attended nationwide in 2020. The program, led by America’s State Parks, can help people connect with nature and explore cultural resources in the great outdoors, organizers said.

This year, California parks from San Diego to Big Sur are participating, including Carpinteria State Beach, Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area, and Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park near Ventura County.

Difficulty and distance vary by location, so organizers recommend checking hiking or activity descriptions and tee times in advance. The parks also urged hikers to visit for the latest COVID-19 guidelines and additional safety tips.

A full list of participating state parks can be found at

Visitors to Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve gaze at this photo of 2019 seals and pelicans.

Where: Campsite and Bluff Trail

When: 10 am

Park: Day parking

What to Expect: An easy to moderate hike will explore the State Beach area. The trail includes a stroll through the campsite next to the old tar pits and the tidal pool. It ends on the cliff overlooking the ocean.

Length of the hike: Almost a mile one way. The hike takes 60 to 90 minutes.

Old: All ages but children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Tips: Bring water, dress in layers, and wear good walking shoes or shoes. Rain will break off the hike.

Contact: [email protected]

Park location: Palm Avenue, Carpinteria

Source: California State Parks

Where: Check-in at the Hungry Valley Park Activity Center.

Just: 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Park: The Edison Canyon Campground, near the north entrance to the park, is widely used as a daytime parking lot. The activity center is located next to the ATV campsite.

What to Expect: The organizers said the guided rides are suitable for all ages and abilities. Bring water and wear appropriate riding equipment, including a helmet.

Old: All ages are welcome, but children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Tips: Dress in layers and bring water and snacks. Rain will interrupt the journey. Get updates at

Park address: 5301 Ralphs Ranch Road, Gorman

Contact: Callista Turner at [email protected]

Source: California State Parks

Where: Andora Trailhead

Time: 11 clock

Park: Parking lot on Andora Avenue adjacent to Oakwood Cemetery, 9955 Andora Ave., Chatsworth.

What to Expect: The park offers four options for hikers.

  • Welcome Walk: This trail offers a view of the stacked sandstone formations in the Simi Hills. Difficulty: Intermediate with an ascent of 284 feet and a descent of 299 feet. Route length: 1.5 miles.
  • Welcome walk, slow and gentle: this hike avoids climbing to a panoramic mountain. Difficulty level: medium.
  • Miranda Loop: Hike the historic Miranda Homestead and take in views of the San Fernando Valley. Route length: 2 miles. Difficulty level: difficult.
  • Stagecoach Trail: Hike the historic Stagecoach Trail, which once served as the Butterfield Overland Stagecoach Route and was called “the Devil’s Slide”. Difficulty level: difficult. Distance: 3 miles with inclines greater than 20% incline. There are high steps on rock faces and organizers recommend trekking sticks or a walking stick to compensate.

Old: All ages are welcome, but children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Tips: The organizers said they should wear sunscreen and long pants because the brush is thick and sticky. A light jacket or long sleeved shirt and hat are also recommended. There is poison oak, but guides try to avoid it. Wear sturdy walking shoes and bring water. Some hikers like to bring a walking stick. Temperatures over 90 degrees or rain will cancel the hikes.

Contact: [email protected]

Source: California State Parks

Cheri Carlson covers the environment for the Ventura County Star. You can reach them at [email protected] or 805-437-0260.

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