Lichens are found all around us, growing in nearly every habitat. Commonly overlooked, these cryptic organisms have been used to monitor air quality since the early 1800s. Within the last 20 years, researchers have found that lichens are sensitive to climate change.

Join Shelly Benson, the president of the California Lichen Society for a ramble around Pierce Point Ranch to enjoy the lichens found on old wooden structures. You’ll be amazed at how many lichens grow on old ranch fences!

Meet at the Tomales Point Trailhead. From Central Marin (or from further afield), take Sir Francis Drake Blvd. west through Marin County. Go past Fairfax, the San Geronimo Valley, Olema, continue several miles past Inverness (on the west side of Tomales Bay), ascend then descend a hill; then, at the fork in the road, bear right onto Pierce Point Rd., and follow it to the end.lichen