Join Docent Naturalists Frances Reneau, Helena Cohen, and Paula Maurano for the 14th hike in the “All Preserves” series celebrating Midpen’s 50th anniversary. This moderately-paced cultural and natural history hike will include a short interpretive walk around Upper Lake to learn a bit about Indigenous, estate, and Jesuit periods of the past. You’ll then enjoy a “lollipop loop” hike through the second growth redwood trees across Bear Creek Road on the Alma and Redwood Springs trails. There will be approximately 800 feet of elevation gain. Special stories and discoveries will engage and delight you. Bring your lunch and curiosity!
Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve was named, in part, for the lush redwood groves that cover the slopes. It is one of Santa Clara County’s best preserved, second-growth redwood forests – most of the trees you’ll see are less than 150 years old. Between 1850 and 1900, the rapid growth of San Francisco and San Jose fueled a high demand for lumber, and most of the old-growth trees in the region were felled. A few old-growth redwoods remain, likely passed over by loggers because of their unusual shapes, and are accessible from the trails.
Where to Meet
From Highway 17 take the Bear Creek Road exit, opposite Lexington Reservoir. (From southbound Hwy. 17, exit the highway and go under an overpass; road will curve right to a stop sign at Bear Creek Rd., turn left. From northbound Hwy. 17 exit highway and cross the highway via the overpass on to Bear Creek Rd.) Travel 1.0 mile from Hwy. 17 on Bear Creek Rd., as road curves left there will be a pedestrian crosswalk, turn left into the parking lot immediately after the crosswalk.
Photo: Courtesy of Midpen