Tuesday I completed a little more of the Bay Area Ridge Trail, the Coyote Creek south and north sections, plus the part of Penitencia Creek that I’d not done on the previous trip. I had set aside all day for this trip, thinking of it like it were a hike and considering the distances, but of course bicycling was much quicker and more efficient. When I’ve been hiking a lot and not bicycling as much, I start thinking of distances solely in terms of walking, and forget that bicycling is the most efficient form of travel ever invented.
I took Capitol Corridor to San Jose Diridon, VTA light rail to Santa Teresa, and VTA bus 68 to Morgan Hill, then rode the 3 km to the trailhead of Coyote Creek Parkway in Anderson Lake County Park.
The Coyote Creek Parkway is paved all the way, and mostly in good condition. Sometimes it has a walking verge off the pavement, and sometimes not. The path sometimes follows the creek closely, within the riparian area, but often veers away into drier areas. The south section, to Metcalf Park, is lightly used and mostly feels very natural except for a few places where is comes close to Highway 101. The north section is much more heavily used, by bicyclists and walkers and unhoused people, and feels much more urban with proximity to the freeway and more road crossings, though it passes through some nice city parks.
The official trail ends at Tully Road in San Jose. From this point I followed streets and a few short sections of trail to the Penitencia Creek trailhead. The creek corridor is much more constrained in this section, and a creekside trail may not be possible along the length, though I’m sure that some can be.
The Berryessa BART station, when it opens, will be the end of this Coyote Creek route and the start of the Penitencia Creek Parkway, an urban trailhead. But the station is not due to open until fall (of some year – it has been delayed multiple times) so I don’t know what the trailhead will look like.
I rode the Penitencia Creek Parkway path, some of which is paved and some dirt, to the point I’d left off on the previous trip, very close to the VTA Penitencia light rail station. Light rail to catch the Capitol Corridor at Santa Clara Great America, and then off on a side trip to San Francisco, because I had so much time left over.
My trail totals are now 434 km of 683 km, 64%, and 56 km of gaps and side trails.
I checked trail conditions for the Granite Chief Wilderness, the area of the Sierra Nevada where I usually spend most of my summers, and it looks like the snow is still deep in several areas, so I’m going to do one or two more trips on the Ridge Trail, in Napa and Sonoma counties, and then head to the mountains mid-month. As much as I’m enjoying the Ridge Trail, I want to be in the high, cooler country.
Photos on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/allisondan/albums/72157709411500371
Category search for Bay Area Ridge Trail