February 4, 10:30am, Black Diamond Mines

Usually we start these things in late March or early April. Usually it's pouring rain in January and February, or the trails are super muddy from the previous rain. Usually we're inside and itching to go outside.

This is definitely not a usual year and so we're starting Outside Kids early. Why not?

Join us on Saturday, February 4 at 10:30am at Black Diamond Mines for a walk and lots of exploring. I have wanted to go here for years but the Atlas Mine and the Visitor Center have both been closed for repairs. Enough is enough and we're going anyway. 

And maybe if we schedule this and count on beautiful weather, the forecast will change to rain? That wouldn't be so bad.


Black Diamond is located in Contra Costa County, south of Pittsburg and Antioch. Take Highway 4 to the Somersville Road exit in Antioch, then drive south (toward the hills) on Somersville Road to the Preserve entrance. We'll meet in the parking lot near the Somerville Townsite.  Go past the Visitor Center and go until the road ends.


Ladybugs searchin'

We went looking.

We listened.  We found sticks.  We explored.

But we didn't get far enough up Stream Trail to find any.  Maybe mounds of ladybugs aren't something you seeking out, but just something to stumble upon.  

Getting there:

About it: 


Rock City

While Mount Diablo State Park is big and expansive, especially for little legs, Rock City is small and confining.  I personally like exploring big wide spaces, but these kids of ours sure loved Rock City.  Crevices to explore, rocks to climb, holes to squeeze through.  It's like a big jungle gym without the swings.

There is more to it, of course.  These exposed sandstone rocks have stories to tell.  There's a geology lesson here.  There are vistas and excellent picnic spots.  There's a map to navigate and signs to follow (or not).   

You don't have to walk far to get to Rock City from the parking lot.  And you won't find yourself traveling far beyond it.  So this isn't a 'let's go stretch our legs' kind of an outdoor adventure.  It's an adventure of balance, strength, coordination, risk-taking, and exploration.  Which is sometimes exactly what is needed.

Getting There: 

About it: