Ridge Trail: Santa Teresa 2019-11

Another section done, November 2019, one the last of the transit accessible sections in the south bay and east bay. I took Capitol Corridor to Diridon Station, light rail to Santa Teresa, and bus to McKean Road, near the trailhead. I walked up to Mockingbird Trailhead, which is the end of the Almaden Quicksilver section that I’d hiked in October 2018 (no post). There is a gap on surface streets, then the trail follows Alamitos Creek down and Calero Creek up, through suburban neighborhoods and then agricultural land.

sycamores along Calero Creek

The trail then heads steeply uphill into Santa Teresa County Park. It was raining off and on all day, with more rain visible to the west over the Santa Cruz Mountains, so the trail was muddy, but there were people out hiking on this day after Thanksgiving. Just before reaching the Pueblo picnic area, there is a ridge trail sign that is impossible, pointing three different directions, but the correct route is towards the picnic area, or to the right in the opposite direction. I sheltered at the picnic area to wait out a short downpour, then headed up the fire road to Coyote Peak. Coyote is supposed to be one of the best views around, but the views were obscured by low clouds and rain. The official trail ends at this point, but is likely to head east down through private lands to Bailey Avenue.

I headed down trails out of the park at an informal trailhead on Bernal Road. Though this will not be the final alignment, it is the practical gap to fill from Santa Teresa to Coyote Creek, so I walked the Bernal Road to the junction with the Coyote Creek section of the Ridge Trail, 6 km. This is not a pleasant walk; it is along a wide arterial road with heavy traffic and very poor crossings of side streets and freeway on-ramps and off-ramps. Presumably the Bailey Road alignment will be more pleasant.

This was a largely transit access trip. I took Capitol Corridor to San Jose, light rail to Ohlone/Chenowyth station, and bus 83 (weekday only) to the junction of Almaden Parkway and Harry Road, very close to the trailhead. On the east end, it was a fairly long walk to transit from the Coyote Creek junction, and due to a poor bus schedule I just walked all the way to the Santa Teresa light rail station. Then the reverse of all this back home.

Circumnavigation progress: 527 km of 612 km (380 miles), 86% of existing trail, plus 81 km of gaps.

Photos on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/allisondan/albums/72157712067223436

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