He also brought his daughters Wanda and Helen with him while John Muir explored the landscape around his Martinez house. He wrote about one of their Contra Costa strolls: “Another glorious day, mostly strong sunshine.” This magnificent property, named after his daughter, is now a public treasure. He took a fine fragrant stroll … the babies were delighted.

The 325-acre farm, once part of the landholdings of Muir, was not included when the U.S. The John Muir National Historic Site was established in 1964 by the National Park Service. In 1991, the NPS agreed to purchase the property from local rancher Gordon Strain, but the agreement reached the verge of failure. By pledging the funds needed to complete the purchase, JMLT stepped in to save the house.

“Now, you can take a” fine fragrant stroll “of your own on Mount Wanda. Intend to go on a full moon stroll, wildflower stroll or bird walk seasonally, each sponsored by the National Park Service. Hike, ride, horseback riding or take your dog for a walk through the oak woodland and grassy hills of the property, dotted with indigenous wildflowers such as California buttercup, shooting stars, woodland star, lupines and fiddlenecks.

Take the trail to Mount Wanda and see views of the Strait of Carquinez and the surrounding hills. As it ascends the summit, coast live oak, blue oak and valley oak line the route. Mount Diablo and the surrounding hills become evident once at the top. Views of Mount Diablo, the Carquinez Strait and Briones Park are provided by the more radical John Muir Nature Trail. You may even notice cows around the valley grazing in the sunlight on a clear day.

Recently, JMLT signed an agreement to buy an additional 44-acre property adjacent to Mount Wanda’s southern boundary. This strategic acquisition would preserve the quality habitat of wildlife that would otherwise have been developed as residential housing.

From I-80: On Highway 4, travel east. Take the Alhambra Avenue exit and turn right. Onto Franklin Canyon Road, make a sharp right. At the Alhambra Avenue and Franklin Canyon Road intersection, park in the lot.

Image courtesy of Jeffreymendel Jeffrey Nash – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50308966

After visiting the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, California, make sure to stop by these other gems:

  • Rankin Aquatic Center
  • The Cobra Experience – Museum & Event Space
  • Hidden Lakes Park
  • Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline
  • Radke Martinez Regional Shoreline Park
  • Barrel Aged Cocktail Bar at Barrelista
  • Roxx On Main
  • Five Suns Brewing

All of these secret spots are located just a short distance from our location in downtown Walnut Creek, Spaulding Concrete at 1461 Locust Street!