Family destination: Audubon Canyon Ranch

It's nesting time for the Great Blue Herons and Egrets and one of the best spots to see them up close is at Audubon Canyon Ranch in Marin County.

It's also a terrific place for a free family outing.

The Bolinas Lagoon Preserve at Audubon Canyon Ranch is open from March 15 through July 13, Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays, 10 a.m. to 4p.m.

For more information, visit:

Directions to Bolinas Lagoon Preserve:

Bolinas Lagoon Preserve is located 3.5 miles north of Stinson Beach on Highway One.

*FROM THE SOUTH AND NORTH: Take Highway 101 north from San Francisco, or south from San Rafael to the Sir Francis Drake Boulevard Exit. Follow Sir Francis Drake Blvd. northwest for about 21 miles to Olema. Turn south (left) on Highway 1 and follow for about 10 miles to Bolinas Lagoon. Preserve will be on the left approximately 1 mile further.

*OPTIONAL ROUTE: Take Highway 101 north from San Francisco, or south from San Rafael to the Highway One/Stinson Beach exit. Follow approximately 12 miles to Stinson Beach. Continue 3 1/2 miles north to the preserve gate on right hand side of the highway.

About Audubon Canyon Ranch

Audubon Canyon Ranch protects the natural resources of its sanctuaries while fostering an understanding and appreciation of these environments. We educate children and adults, promote ecological literacy that is grounded in direct experience, and conduct research and restoration that advances conservation science a short half-mile hike to Henderson Overlook, a prime viewing platform into the heron and egret nesting site. Currently, the birds are beginning to arrive and wildflowers are blooming. Audubon Canyon Ranch will open its "gates" to visitors at Bolinas Lagoon Preserve in 2008 on weekends and holidays from March 15 to July 13 to give special access to the public for the annual nesting of Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets.

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