Fairy Falls. Photo Hank Meals

January 28, 2019 – This weekend, nature and history lovers have two excuses to get outdoors. Hiking For Good and Outlandish Experience will offer two guided outings on local trails.

The first outing at Purdon Crossing on Saturday, Feb. 2 is part of an ongoing monthly “Sauntering” Series with Certified California Naturalist Steve Roddy.

On Sunday, Archeologist and celebrated trails author Hank Meals will begin his first in a year-long Yuba Trails and Tales series by venturing to Spenceville Wildlife Area.

With a vision to build a healthy community through connections to people, place and nature, Hiking For Good offers a full calendar of guided hikes, saunters and backpacking trips for folks of all ages, abilities and interests.

Started in the summer of 2018 with an overnight Backpacking Basics Series, Hiking For Good in partnership with Outlandish Experiences offers a variety of monthly outings for people who want to explore the trails of Nevada County. Besides the obvious good that comes from regular walks in the outdoors, learning about the natural world, spending time away from screens and meeting new friends in beautiful environments, Hiking For Good gives back a percentage of proceeds throughout the year to organizations and agencies that protect public access to nature, and/ or promotes environmental and social justice causes.

This summer look for a Beginning Backpacking overnighter in Grouse Ridge, an adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail for experienced backpackers from Donner Summit to the Sierra Buttes and a three-night trip into the heart of Desolation Wilderness.

Learn more about these and other outings, gear swaps, outdoor resources, and more by following Hiking For Good on Facebook and Instagram or visiting OutlandishExperiences.com.

WHAT: Purdon Crossing

WHEN: 10 am to noonish, Saturday, Feb. 2

LENGTH: 2 – 3 miles, out and back

DIFFICULTY: easy to moderate

COST: $25

REGISTER: OutlandishExperiences.com

Ready for a Walking Series that leaves no one behind? Join Laura Petersen of Hiking For Good and California Naturalist Steve Roddy for some of the best trails of the season on these outings designed for folks who, like John Muir, enjoy the act of taking it slow and “sauntering” in the outdoors.

The first saunter of the new year takes place at Purdon Crossing on the Yuba River. The elegant truss bridge at Purdon Crossing (1895) spans the South Yuba River and has a unique half trough design which makes this the only bridge of its kind in California. On our walk through a forest of madrone, cedar, Douglas fir and oak we’ll follow the gentle South Yuba Trail where we’ll learn about the people, history, and natural wonders of this beautiful stretch of Wild & Scenic River.

Held once a month, these shorter saunters are meant to immerse participants in nature to practice awareness and observation skills. Field guides, journals, cameras and binoculars are welcome and encouraged. Connect with nature, get healthy exercise, and make new friends. Look for future saunters at Table Mountain, the Sutter Buttes, and the little town of Washington.

WHAT: Exploring Spenceville: A Yuba Trails & Tales Series with Hank Meals

WHEN: 9 am to 3 pm Sunday, Feb. 3

LENGTH: 6 miles

DIFFICULTY: Moderate to Challenging (depending on skill level)

Elevation: 300 – 600 feet

COST: $50

Photo Hank Meals

Join passionate pedestrian Hank Meals on this Yuba Trails and Tales adventure into the heart of Spenceville Wildlife and Recreation Area, the first of a monthly series offered by Hiking For Good and Outlandish Experiences.

Spenceville Recreation Area is the largest publicly owned tract of blue oak – gray pine woodland habitat in the North Central Sierra foothills. It contains 11,942 acres, extending 10 miles from north to south and up to 4.5 miles east to west. Straddling the western boundary of Nevada County and the eastern boundary of Yuba County, the wildlife area is bordered on the west by Beale Air Force Base and on the north, south, and east by privately owned ranches and parcels.

Managed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, Spenceville is located within the Dry Creek drainage, which joins the Bear River near Wheatland. There are numerous ponds, creeks, trails and riparian zones. This special place of rolling hills under a big sky offers lots of trails with little climbing.

“We are very fortunate to have access to low elevation blue oak habitat in rolling hills, especially beautiful in late winter and spring. Most of this kind of landscape has been converted into housing tracts,” said Meals.

The recreation area is rich with evidence of human history – Nisenan, early townsites, important transportation corridors and the Beale legacy. Plan on getting away from it all with wild viewsheds that resemble what California used to look like.

Hank Meal’s Yuba Trails & Tales Series, exclusive to Hiking For Good & Outlandish Experiences, will explore different cultural landscapes at different elevations within the Yuba, Bear and American River Watersheds each month in 2019. Other trips to watch for include: Black Swan, Long Point, Blue Lake, Fordyce Creek, Canyon Creek, Lakes Basin, Mt. Lola (the highest peak in Nevada County), Chimney Rock, the Doolittle Trail and Hall’s Ranch.

Hank Meals is known for his extensive and intimate knowledge of his habitat. A prolific writer and author of several books on hiking trails in the Yuba Watershed, Hank shares information, stories and discoveries about the topography, natural history and culture of the Yuba River basin in the Sierra Nevada of California. He is a capable researcher, an experienced photographer, an avid hiker and a treasured trail guide. Read his blog at: yubatreadhead.blogspot.com

Laura Petersen is a Northern California journalist who has spent nearly two decades chronicling the people and landscapes of remote corners of The West. Fascinated by folk who make a rustic livelihood from the land, her writing and guided hikes examine the complexity of human relationships with nature. She is Wilderness First Aid Certified and completed the 170+ mile Tahoe Rim Trail in 2018. Contact her for more information about regularly scheduled and custom guided outdoor adventures at laura@hiking4good.com.