Saturday, April 14, 2012

Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve

View Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve in a larger map

  • 24 miles of Hiking Trails
  • Panoramic view of Bay Area 
  • Grounds to fly model airplanes
  • Deer Hollow Farm (Educational center for schools)
  • Mountain Biking
  • Equestrian Trials
  • Wildlife

More Info
  • Free parking and free admission
  • Dogs are not permitted
  • Restrooms at the main parking lot trailhead
  • Maps available for free pickup at the trailhead
  • BBQ pits
  • Picnic tables

Missing gym on a Friday filled me with guilt and I wanted to make up to it by going on a fairly long hike during the week-end. I remembered one of my colleagues raving about the hiking trails in San Antonio Ranchero Preserve and after doing our research, decided to take the 8 miles PG&E trail, the longest trail in the preserve.

On a Saturday morning, we packed sandwiches, snacks, water and drove for about 20 min to reach the San Antonio Ranchero Preserve. There are several parking lots, each a little away from the other. We hunted high and low for a parking space and pretty soon found one, near the ground to fly model airplanes. It was entertaining to see so many people out there, enjoying the sunny weather and flying model airplanes.

Model Airplanes

PG&E Trail - Upper High Meadow Trail - Wildcat Loop Trail - High Meadow Trail - Deer Hollow Farm

Length: 8 miles; Elevation: 1200 feet; Time: 5 hours; Difficulty: Moderately Strenuous

At one of the trailheads, we picked up a map and were ready to roll on our long hike. We started on the Coyote trail, which soon connected with the PG&E Trail. The trail commences with a gradual ascend for about a mile that beguiled me into thinking that this hike was going to be a cake walk. I was so wrong! I never realized that I would be taking back those words soon. After the first mile, the trail undulated in steepness. There are a few parts of the trail where the clamber is so steep that my heart was pounding insanely hard. The nice thing was that the trail was well-shaded by the tall trees every now and then.

PG&E Trail

After lots of huffing and puffing, we finally made it to the top! A gorgeous view of the entire bay area with a clear view of the Dumbarton Bridge and a hazy view of the San Mateo Bridge stood in front of us. We took a break to grab a bite to eat, while enjoying the beautiful landscape and with the sense of accomplishment that we made it.

Panoramic View of Bay Area from atop the trail

We took the Upper High Meadow Trail to return to the parking lot via the Deer Hollow Farm. The trail started with a steep descend for a couple of minutes, then became gradual throughout the remainder of the trail. It took us through meadows that were not shaded at all whatsoever. The trail is rich with wildlife; we noticed several small flamboyant birds, lizards, rabbits leaping into the bushes and a deer grazing on the meadows. We then reached a spot where the trail forked into 5 different trails, with a small detour leading to a scenic viewpoint of the bay area. 

Flowers along the trail

We continued on to the High Meadow Trail, which to our pleasant surprise was well shaded by the tall trees on either sides of the trail. As the Deer Follow Farm closes by 4.00pm, I was bent on reaching the farm before then. Being a popular educational center, the farm was bundled with kids with their parents. It has a small garden, two pigs, hens, ducks, rabbits, cows catering to kids for educational tours. This farm is just about a mile away from the parking lot and it is stroller friendly as well, so most of the crowd is here. 

Deer Hollow Farm

The Deer Follow Farm trail has BBQ pits, picnic area with benches and tennis courts open to general public. We will definitely come back again, to take other trails.

Useful Resources

Nearby Locations

No comments:

Post a Comment