Dan joined Bay Nature in 2004. A onetime professional cabinetmaker, he considers himself a lifelong maker of things and teller of stories. Dan has been working at the intersection of journalism and technology since, at age 16, he began learning reporting, page layout, and database design. His enduring interest in environmental issues crystallized into a career path in 1998 when he assisted former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass in a cross-disciplinary nature writing and ecology course at UC Berkeley, from which Dan received a Masters in English literature. In 1999, he became Associate Editor of Terrain, the erstwhile quarterly magazine of Berkeley's Ecology Center. In addition to editing and art-directing Bay Nature magazine, he is also Bay Nature’s chief technology strategist, fixer of broken things, and designer of databases and fancy spreadsheets. And he has even been known to leave the office and actually hike outdoors.
On the road west out of Morgan Hill, houses get fewer, roads get narrower, and Santa Clara Valley’s subdivisions give way to oak savanna. When you reach Sveadal, a private resort owned by the Swedish American Patriotic League, the time travel is complete: you’ve arrived at Uvas Canyon County Park, home to two creeks, half a dozen waterfalls, and traces of 19th-century homesteads.
The highlight here is the one-mile Waterfall Loop Trail, with additional hiking on seven miles of trails over the park’s 1,133 acres. Even in the driest time of year, the waterfalls on Swanson Creek and its tributaries are impressive, from 20 to 35 feet tall. Basin Falls, the most distant, drops into a round pool eroded into the underlying rock. The creek is littered with boulders that are remnants of long-ago landslides; water carries away smaller debris, leaving the rubble-strewn channel we see today.
About half the loop runs along a fire road, where wheelchair or stroller use is possible, with good creek views. All waterfall access is on narrow trails or footbridges.
Getting there From U.S. 101, take Bernal Road west. Turn left on Santa Teresa Boulevard. Travel south three miles; turn right on Bailey Avenue. Go two miles; turn left on McKean Road (becomes Uvas Road). After six miles, turn right on Croy Road. Go through Sveadal to the park. Open 8 a.m. to sunset. $5 to park. Dogs allowed on leash. No horses or bicycles.
Hike by Dan Rademacher, originally published in the January 2007 issue of Bay Nature magazine