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From the Editor

Park News

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Along the Trail: Member Notes

The Trail Companion

Summer 1999

Park News

State of California

     The State budget has been approved, and it allocates several million dollars to preserving land and building trails in our area. Some of the projects mentioned in the San Jose Mercury News for State Parks are

  • a bike trail in Half Moon Bay
  • a 6,100 acre addition to Henry Coe State Park
  • a trail linking Los Alamitos Creek Trail to the Guadalupe River Park Chain
  • buying the 4,800 acre Palo Corona Ranch in Monterey

     In addition, the Bay Area Conservancy will receive $10 million which it will use to buy and preserve land in the Bay area, and the San Francisco Bay Trail will receive $2.5 million.

Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District

     Bear Creek Redwoods: This 1,065 acre addition to the MROSD was just approved at the end of June. It lies above Lexington Reservoir, south of Los Gatos and west of Highway 17. The land will be closed to the public for up to 5 years while the District inventories wildlife areas and historic buildings on the site. The area will be suitable for hiking and fishing, and may become open to mountain biking and horse riding. MROSD plans to hold public hearings on how the land is to be used. The land purchase was a cooperative effort between the MROSD and the Peninsula Open Space Trust - the District is purchasing the lower portion of the parcel for $15 million, while POST is taking out a loan of $10 million to buy the upper portion. POST expects to start raising funds to pay off the debt soon. Call POST at (650) 854-7696 to contribute or for more information.

      El Corte de Madera: The MROSD board decided to concentrate on Area 2 (Skeggs), a portion of El Corte de Madera not covered in the original trails plan. Despite great opposition from the mountain biking community, MROSD has decided to close some of the popular technical trails, known to cyclists as Devil's Staircase, Nosebreak, and Outhouse trails, and improve some of the others in the area. One other technically challenging trail, known as Voodoo/Totem, will be retained and cyclists will gain access to the Sierra Morena (Blue Hair) trail.

     Rancho San Antonio: Although many people came out in support of constructing a new trail to replace the PG&E access road from the upper end of the Black Mountain single-track trail all the way to the top of the ridge, MROSD weighed the project against proposals for work elsewhere and decided against the reroute for this year. One of the difficulties is that PG&E will continue to need access to the transmission towers; options for a new trail could include replacing the existing road with a new road that would serve both trail users and PG&E. If that alternative doesn't work, another option may be a parallel trail for trail users while the road remains open for PG&E. Windy Hill: One of the two main projects for 1999/2000 is a new trail which will be opened to link the parking lot on Portola Road to Spring Hill Trail. Some work has already been done on the trail, which passes by Sausal Pond.

Santa Clara County Parks

     12 Santa Clara County parks will begin charging a $4 parking fee beginning next year - the parks are Almaden Quicksilver, Alviso Marina, Anderson Lake, Calero, Chesbro Reservoir, Chitactac Adams, Lexington Reservoir, Rancho San Antonio, Santa Teresa, Stevens Creek, Uvas Canyon and Uvas Reservoir. The additional monies will go towards providing services and rangers at these parks as well as to offset a 5 percent cut in funding from the county due in 2002. The county already charges $4 for its other parks, but access by bicycle or foot will still be free for all county parks.

     Almaden Quicksilver Park: The park has opened a section with new trails in the Mine Hill area. The newly-opened section had been closed due to mercury contamination, and includes a few buildings constructed by the miners who lived there while the "quicksilver" mining was in its heyday. The county has removed some contaminated material while burying the rest under several feet of soil to prevent leaching.

     In addition to opening a new section, the park has opened access to mountain bikers for a one year pilot program. During this time, volunteers will monitor trail use. If you wish to volunteer for trail monitoring or join their Trailwatch patrol, call John Heenan, the county parks Volunteer Coordinator at (408) 354-6583. Trails allowing mountain bikes are accessible via the main park entrance (Hacienda Entry) on Alamitos Road. Oh, and dogs are now allowed in the park, too, as long as they're on a leash.

     Calero Reservoir Park: The Peninsula Open Space Trust has been busy. In addition to helping MROSD with the Bear Creek Redwoods park (above), they've also helped to double the size of Calero by channeling part of a $5 million grant from the Packard Foundation towards helping to purchase Rancho Canada de Oro. The new acquisition is not yet open to the public.

City of Sunnyvale


     The San Francisco Bay Trail recently came 2.75 miles closer to completion when a section between Calabazas Creek and the West Channel opened in Sunnyvale Baylands Park. 210 miles of the eventual 400-mile Bay Trail have been built so far. When completed, users will be able to bike or hike completely around the bay.

     All the information in this article was gained through newspaper articles, websites, and minutes from agency board meetings. If you hear of news relating to trails, parks or open space in the San Francisco Bay area, please let us know. Contact us at , (650) 968-7065 or 3921 E. Bayshore Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303. Simply letting us know where the information can be found is all that we need. Writing up a summary is even more appreciated.

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