Dan's Outside

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Rancho Cañada Del Oro Park Opening

CanadaDelOroCrowd2005|12|03: Park Opening. Rancho Canada Del Oro. December 3, 2005. © Copyright Dan Mitchell.
Park Opening. Rancho Cañada del Oro Open Space Preserve. December 3, 2005. © Copyright Dan Mitchell.

I made it – just barely – to the opening ceremony for the new Rancho Cañada del Oro Open Space Preserve in South San Jose this morning. And, yes, it really is inside the San Jose city limits, though you would never know it from your surroundings.

Tom Mangan2005|12|03: Tom Mangan. Rancho Canada Del Oro park opening. December 3, 2005. © Copyright Dan Mitchell.By the time I arrived for the 10:00 a.m. event (at about 10:05) the main parking lot was full and many cars had been directed up the road to an overflow lot. There were well over 100 people in attendance, perhaps as many as 200 all told. I was quite surprised since the first I had heard of this was yesterday and because the park is not in the most obvious or accessible location. Perhaps the beautiful, clear late-fall day had something to do with it.

Although I recognized almost no one in the crowd, Tom Mangan (of the Two-Heel Drive hiking blog – see photo at right) introduced himself, and we ended up hiking the loop trail to the top of the ridge together. Tom is an interesting guy. Although he is newer to this hiking business, he knows quite a bit about trails in the Santa Clara Valley, especially some in the east hills that I am not as familiar with.

The obvious route would go straight up the valley from the parking lot. However, if I understood correctly, one condition of acquiring this land was that the road used by existing landowners would not be open to the public. So our trail left the valley floor and contoured up and to (more or less) the north, finally intersecting the Bald Peak trail from Calero Park at a very high and open viewpoint. We continued up this ridge trail for awhile, getting to perhaps a half mile from the point where I ended my hike last weekend. Although I would have liked to have continued on to that point and then to the Serpentine Trail, time was getting short. We descended a steeper and shorter route back to the parking lot where I met Debbie Cashman (who works at my college) and her husband.

This seems like a nice addition to the chunk of land around and south of Calero Reservoir. There were still beautiful fall colors along the creeks and plenty of oak forests on the hillsides above, and views from the highest ridges are expansive.

(Note: Tom has told me that he posted his story on this event at his blog: http://tommangan.net/archives/cat_hiking_rancho_canada_del_oro.html)


December 3, 2005 Posted by | Events | 2 Comments


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