A&E

Nature's balm

Take a hike to escape the holiday chaos

Whether you love the holidays or find them taxing, it's a great time of year to take a pause from all the shopping and parties to reconnect with nature. On Saturday, Dec. 19, at 10 a.m., Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District will host a free group hike at Picchetti Ranch Preserve, located above Stevens Creek Reservoir about 30 minutes from downtown Palo Alto. Dubbed "Escape the Holiday Madness," the moderately-paced 4.5-mile hike will be led by experienced docents who will introduce participants to local plant communities. Weather permitting, hikers will share a picnic lunch at Stevens Creek. Wine lovers can linger at the end of the hike for a tasting at Picchetti Winery.

No registration is necessary. Meet at the preserve's parking lot on Montebello Road. To learn more, go to openspace.org.

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