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ladybug2I first heard about the ladybug hike in Oakland a couple of months ago and had it on my list of things to do this winter – basically during the colder months, all the ladybugs in the area gather to hibernate together in one place, and it’s a truly amazing sight!   And when I found myself with a Monday over winter break with no plans, I decided to take the girls out to see them.  We brought two friends, packed our lunch and headed out.  We followed the Stream Trail to where it meets Prince Trail, and it is really a beautiful walk, ladybugs or no.  The girls were running along the path, ooh-ing and aah-ing over the stream, the trees, and everything – you’d think they’d never been outside before!  Just when I was loosing hope that we’d see any ladybugs, we hit the Prince Trail junction and there they were.

ladybug1

On every stick, leaf, branch, fence post and sign you could see.  We ate our lunch and held some ladybugs and checked it out for 20 minutes or so before heading back.  All in all a really wonderful way to spend the first half of the day.

ladybug3 ladybug4If you’re interested in doing the hike, it’s located in the Redwood Regional Park in Oakland.  Follow the Stream Trail until it meets Prince Trail and there they are.  It’s about a 3 mile hike round trip when you start from the Skyline Gate Staging Area.  We brought a bob stroller in case any little legs got tired, and it took some effort to get back up the trail on the way back, but it can be done – a regular stoller will definitely NOT work since it is a dirt path (with some muddy patches).  Happily, all the older girls (ages 5-6) ended up walking the whole thing easily – the only one that needed a bit of a push on the way back was the 3 year old.  Happy exploring!

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