Ladybug Hike at Redwood Regional Park Oakland California

Staying near downtown Oakland I never imagined I could walk through a redwood forest just a few minutes away from the bustling city and traffic. A wonderful retreat from the mayhem of city life. But it gets even better. A friend told me about the incredible Redwood Regional Park ladybug overwintering spot.

Everyone has seen ladybugs in the garden or maybe even in the house occasionally. But what if I told you that you could see THOUSANDS of ladybugs all in one place? Every winter the ladybugs host their own reunion and gather together to keep warm and maybe do some canoodling. They pay no attention to the curious humans watching them.

Read on to learn more about the Redwood Regional Park ladybugs.

 

Oakland Redwood Regional Park Ladybug Hike

 

California is a great vacation spot – tourists swarm to the beaches and cities and vineyards every year. But animals and insects also love to visit California for some warmth in the wintertime.

There are the Monarch butterflies wintering in Goleta California, near Carpinteria.

And the sea lions gather around in San Francisco, Carpinteria, and Point Reyes Seashore for mating and pupping season.

Then there’s the beautiful surprise of seeing dozens and dozens of ladybugs covering branches and fence posts in Oakland. And when you look a bit further you see there are thousands of ladybugs!

 

Dozens of ladybugs cluster on a stick

Look at the sticks and twigs for clusters of ladybugs

 

Take a closer look around and see the orange sticks and twigs are really a giant mass of ladybugs.

 

Small branch completely covered in ladybugs

Some tree branches become entirely covered with ladybugs

 

You’ll probably see a lot of mushrooms at Redwood park too. I saw big clusters of multi-color mushrooms that I think are turkey mushrooms…but I could be wrong!

Just remember, never taste wild mushrooms unless you are a mycologist or have consulted with one. Always good advice to not put stuff in your mouth unless you are certain it isn’t poisonous, right?

 

Possibly turkey tail mushrooms growing on a downed tree at Redwood Regional Park

Mushrooms growing on the bark of a downed tree in the park

 

Small mushrooms at Redwood Regional Park in Oakland

You’ll see lots of mushrooms growing along the trails at Redwood park

 

Okay, let’s get back to the ladybugs!

Did you know that ladybugs are a type of beetle? The ladybird beetle to be precise. And the scientific name for ladybug (or lady beetle) is Coccinellidae. There are a few thousand species of lady beetles in the world!

In the United States there are around 500 kinds of ladybugs.

 

A lone ladybug atop a moss covered fence post

Some ladybugs are solo travelers too!

 

Where to find the ladybugs at Redwood Park

Start your hike at Skyline Gate Staging Area. Take the Stream Trail and start watching for the ladybugs right around the Eucalyptus Trail and onward to Prince Trail.

 

Redwood trees at Oakland Redwood Regional Park hiking trail

What a wonderful surprise to hike the redwood trails in Oakland California

 

Look at the fence posts and the gate. Also watch on the ground for twigs and sticks – the ladybugs will cover them entirely. The clusters of ladybugs are remarkable to see.

Have a look at this map of Redwoods Regional Park to get familiar with the layout of the trails.

The trails are well marked with signage along the way and at trail intersections.

 

Stream Trail signage at Redwood Regional Park in Oakland

East Bay hiking is wonderful at Redwood Regional Park

 

Hiking trail sign at Redwood Regional Park in Oakland CA

Trails are well marked at Oakland CA Redwood Regional Park

 

When do the ladybugs show up?

The ladybugs migrate in November and will stay until late winter – around the end of February.

Peak season for the ladybugs is around the end of January to early February.

 

 

Fence post covered in moss and ladybugs

Fence posts seem to be a favorite place for the ladybugs to gather

 

Why do the ladybugs go there?

Scientists are not certain as to why some ladybird beetles gather in large groups while others spend the winter alone. It could be they stay together to stay warm, as well as to have the opportunity to mate.

 

Ladybugs on the end of a twig

Ladybugs everywhere!

 

More about Redwood Regional Park

  • Over 1,800 acres with several trails to hike
  • Watch for deer, rabbits, squirrels, and golden eagles
  • Picnic benches and picnic areas available for reservation
  • Camping in the park – but no fishing allowed in the park
  • Horseback riding and hiking are popular at the park

Address: 7867 Redwood Drive, Oakland CA
Hours: 5 am to 10 pm daily

 

Moss covered tree trunks at Redwood Regional Park

Moss blankets these trees by the stream along the hiking trail

 

Directions to the Ladybug Hike

The address for Skyline Gate Staging Area is 8940 Skyline Blvd

  • From downtown Oakland take Castro Street to the Hwy CA-24 ramp (left lane)
  • Merge onto I-908 East and stay left to continue on to CA-24 East
  • Take the CA-13 South Exit
  • Then take Exit 4 for Moraga Ave E
  • Continue on to Mountain Blvd
  • Turn Left onto Snake Road and continue straight to Shephard Canyon Road
  • Turn right onto Aitken Drive
  • Take a left onto Evergreen Ave
  • And turn right onto Skyline Blvd – park at the Skyline Gate Staging Area lot

Have fun exploring the wonders of nature!

 

Other wonders of nature

Oldest Oak Tree in Texas – The BIG Tree – Goose Island State Park
Portuguese Man o’ War – Looks Pretty but Don’t Touch!
40 Fun Facts about Gopher Tortoises in Florida

Check out these posts to help you plan your trip to California

Point Reyes California Day Trip to Lighthouse – Beaches and MORE!
Muir Woods Hike the Redwood Forest Marin County California Coast
Carpinteria California Beaches 7 Fabulous Spots for a Beach Day
Palm Springs Travel Guide (2019 Edition)
Mount San Jacinto Park – Desert to Mountain Palm Springs Day Trip

 

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Oakland California ladybug hiking trails

Oakland California nature trails Redwood Regional Park

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About the Author

Susan Moore spent 7 months traveling around Southeast Asia back in the 90's. Returning to Canada she found a job working on rotation in Siberia Russia. She later moved to Austin Texas where she started a bookkeeping business, allowing her to work remotely. Currently Susan is in year 4 of living a nomadic life, roadtripping around the USA and Canada and writing about her experiences with a focus on hiking and cultural encounters. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

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