Monthly Meetings

First Monday of every month
Next meeting: Feb 5, 2018 (Annual Dinner at Pietro's #2)

1st Monday each month (Except February)
7:00 pm.
Meetings are held in the cafeteria conference room
Vaca Valley Hospital,
1000 Nut Tree Rd, Vacaville.

For all planned walks in Northern California

Planned Vaca Valley Volks sponsored walks for 2018
• February 10/11, 2018 - Mare Island
• March 3, 2018 - Walnut Creek East
• June 2, 2018 - Marin Headlands
• October 13, 2018 - Rio Vista

Mare Island Flyway Walk
Feb 10-11, 2018


Walnut Ave. & Connolly St. Vallejo, CA 94952 (Mare Island)

9:00 a.m. - noon



DESCRIPTION: Vaca Valley Volks invites you to their annual Mare Island Flyway walk on February 10-11, 2018 in conjunction with the 22nd annual San Francisco Bay Flyway officers quartersFestival. The Flyway Festival is held on Mare Island and is an annual celebration of the migration through San Francisco Bay of more than 1 million shorebirds and hundreds of thousands of ducks, geese, hawks and other wildlife at the peak of migration . In addition to our AVA walk, there are guided and self-guided tours, wildlife shows, art exhibits, lectures and non-profit organizations and commercial vendors with items for sale.

Traditionally, Vaca Valley Volks makes a dated patch available for the flyway walk, with a different bird each year. This year will be no different, and the featured bird for 2018 will be the Black Necked Stilt. officers quarters But, in addition to our normal patch, we will also make a unique undated “Mare Island Crane” patch available which reflects back on Mare Island’s history as a Naval shipyard. The three cranes depicted are the same ones that once worked on Mare island’s three dry docks.

According to legend, in 1835, a number of the Mexican General Vallejo’s horses were being ferried across the Strait from the Contra Costa shore to Benicia when the crude barge capsized. Weeks afterward, one of horses, a white mare, was discovered grazing on the hillside of the island across the channel from Vallejo. From that day, the island was known as “Mare’s Island”, later shortened to Mare Island. patches The 11KM walk will go to the top of the hill to the old lighthouse site, to bunkers, circle around the Spirit Ship and geologic marker and the dry dock area. The former Mare Island Naval Shipyard was the U.S. Navy's oldest installation in the Pacific and during World War II turned out scores of ships and submarines. Warships damaged in battle were also repaired and refitted in the base's dry docks. It was an active navy base from 1854 until closed in 1996. The dry docks and submarine slips are still standing and can be seen on the walk. The walk proceeds along “Officer’s Row” where the higher ranking officers on the island lived. At 10,500 square feet, Quarters A is largest of the thirteen white Colonial Revival mansions which once lined Officers Row. Known as “ The Admiral’s Mansion”, it was once the home of the highest ranking Officer on Mare Island. The other twelve quarters on the row had 7,500 square feet each and had the same basic floor plan, which included a partial basement.

St Peters Chapel is the oldest continuously operational chapel St peters Chapelin the Navy. Built in 1901, it is a classic example of Victorian Gothic architecture with its tidy brown shingle, cream-colored trim, steep pitched roof and a soaring octagonal spire. The chapel is non-denominational and houses one of the largest collections of Tiffany glass under one roof. We hope to see you for a weekend of bird watching and history. For more information, check our web site

A patch is available. only You may participate free if no credit is desired. No refunds. The event is open to everyone.

Pets are permitted with leash except on the 5K San Pablo Bay Trail route. Wheelchairs and strollers would be difficult on the gravel roadway portion of this route as well as the compacted earth trail if wet. Not all sidewalks in the historical district have curb cuts. 5K is rated 1A and 11K is rated 2AKathy Gaehler,

W/B I 80 from Sacramento, Exit 33B onto Hwy 37 towards Novato/San Rafael. E/B I80 from San Francisco, Exit 33 onto Hwy 37 towards Napa/Novato. Continue on Hwy 37 about 2.5 miles to Mare Island Exit #17. Cross over the highway into Mare Island onto Walnut Ave. Continue about 1.3 miles to the stop sign at "G" Street. Continue ahead on Walnut Ave to the Flyway Festival and Start Point. The start point will be at the Vaca Volks booth inside the building. Actual building number and address was not available at time of sanctioning. Please visit for updated information.

Walnut Creek Walk
March 3, 2018


The Orchards at Walnut Creek: 2800 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek, CA 94598. (Start point will be at the amphitheater in the park area near the corner of Oak Grove Road and Shadelands Drive.))

8:30 a.m. - noon



fountain DESCRIPTION: Join the Vaca Valley Volks for a walk around the historic city of Walnut Creek on March 3, 2018. This is a totally new walk starting at The Orchards in the Shadelands part of the city. This area was named after the Shadelands Ranch, established by an early American settler of California, Hiram Penniman, in 1856 as one of the first and largest farms in California's Ygnacio Valley. Penniman planted a variety of fruit and nuts, including peaches, pears, apricots, grapes, almonds, and walnuts, as well as prunes, which served as Penniman's most important and most profitable crop. The original name of Penniman's ranch was "Shadelands Fruit Farm". Eventually the family passed away and in 1970 the foundation managing the property they gave the remaining 1.5 acres of land and the ranch house to the city of Walnut Creek, California. Today it is managed by the Walnut Creek Historical Society and has been open to the public since 1972. Shadelands
Built in 1975, the Shadelands development was Walnut Creek’s first business park and was originally designed as a traditional office and R&D center. It has grown ever since, and The Orchards at Walnut Creek development is a continuation of that growth. It is a lifestyle center with modern architectural and landscaping designs. From the start point at The Orchards, you walk through pleasant resident neighborhoods to the Ygnacio Valley Canal Trail. Following the Ygnacio Canal Trail, you will zig zag across the canal and pass along the Lime Ridge Open Area. Lime Ridge is located on the eastern edge of Walnut Creek on a dominant ridge leading to Mount Diablo. It contains some of the last remaining chaparral in Walnut Creek and a rich diversity of plant and animal life. Lime Ridge gets its name from the limestone in the area that was quarried by the Cowell Portland Cement Company.tunnel
After passing by the open area, you pass through a tunnel under Ygnacio Valley Road as you approach the championship 18 hole Boundary Oaks Golf Course on your left. Past the golf course, you turn to pass through Arbolado Park (with playground). Arbolado Community Park is a big park with bathrooms are located next to the upper parking lot. Leaving Arbolado park, you pass through more residential areas until you reach the Shadelands Ranch Museum. The ranch house was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 2016. After viewing the ranch house, you will walk by a farmer’s market. On the way back to the start point, you will pass Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, where you can adopt a walking buddy. Completing the walk you will pass by the Three Graces fountain and sculptures in an office
We hope to see you for a weekend of bird watching and history. For more information, check our web site

A patch is available. only You may participate free if no credit is desired. No refunds. The event is open to everyone

Very small hills, paved trails and sidewalks. Appropriate for wheelchairs or strollers. This event is open to everyone. Restrooms and water at Starbucks and Safeway near start, and in Arbolado Park (10K only). Many dining choices in The Orchards near start and at Farmers Market. Picinic tables in Arbolado Park. Dogs are not allowed in the Farmers Market -- pet owners will detour to visit the Animal Rescue Foundation.

From the North: Take 680 S to Walnut Creek; exit Right at North Main Street, exit 47, and circle right. Carefully move to Left lane over the next two blocks. Left at light onto Ygnacio Valley Road. *Continue east through Walnut Creek to Oak Grove Road, just before the big hill (Lime Ridge). Turn Left on Oak Grove Road and Left at next light on Shadelands Drive. Turn Left into first driveway into park area behind The Orchards shopping center.
From the South: Take I-680 N to Walnut Creek; at Hwy 24 junction, stay on 680 N toward Concord; Right at first exit 46B, Ygnacio Valley Road. Right at first stoplight at end of ramp onto Ygnacio Valley Road and continue east following directions from * above.
From the West: From Hwy 80 E, exit 8B to merge onto 580 E. Exit 19B and merge onto 24 E towards Walnut Creek. Get in 3rd lane from left to merge onto 680 N toward Concord then immediate right exit onto Ygnacio Valley Road. Right at first stop light at end of ramp onto Ygnacio Valley Road and continue east following directions from * above.
From the East: From Hwy 5 in Stockton, take Hwy 4 West (Charter Way). 0.4 miles past Byron, Left on Marsh Creek Road, toward Clayton and Concord. At Clayton, continue straight at stop light onto Clayton Road. At light by shopping centers, left onto Ygnacio Valley Road. Continue past Cal State East Bay and down the big hill (Lime Ridge). Turn Right on Shadelands Drive at the stoplight at the bottom of the hill. Turn left at first driveway into park area at The Orchards shopping center.
Park in the first lot near Shadelands Drive.

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This page last updated October 4, 2017

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