Find purple mountain majesty along Bay Area trails

Grassy hills blazing purple with lupine are a glorious signof spring here. About 200 species of lupines grow in all kinds ofhabitats. The species isn't particular about soil, but it likesgood drainage, which is why lupine is so often found splashedacross hillsides.

You can revel in the display by hiking in Marin's Mt. TamalpaisState Park, where lupine abounds around the Coastal Trail. Or takea tour of tiny Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge, where fourkinds of lupine are found. (Though the refuge is typically closedto the public, it's open for one guided tour this month.) In theSouth Bay, the wild hillsides of Henry W. Coe State Park holddozens of secret stashes.

INFO: To find lupine in Mt. TamalpaisState Park, hike about 4 miles one way on the Matt Davis andCoastal Trails from Pantoll Ranger Station ($4 per car; 801 State 1, Mill Valley; 415/388-2070) toLaurel Dell Fire Road. In Antioch DunesNational Wildlife Refuge, sign up for a free tour on May 8,2004 (Fulton Shipyard Rd. north of Wilbur Ave, Antioch;510/521-9624). In Henry W. CoeState Park ($4 per car; off U.S. 101 and E. Dunne Ave., Morgan Hill;408/779-2728), hike the 3 1/2-mile round-trip CorralTrail/Manzanita Point Rd./Springs Trail loop.

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