I mentioned before that it's tough to walk around Cupertino. People are kind to pedestrians, but the city is really designed for bikers and drivers. Luckily, there are plenty of places you can drive to for a short hike or long jaunt in the great outdoors. One such place is Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve, a mere five minute drive from our house.
Rancho San Antonio has quickly become my favorite local park. It's part of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, over 60,000 acres of beautiful, wide-open space across three counties. Rancho San Antonio is 3800 acres and home to the third-largest California bay laurel tree in the state.
Wildlife is abundant in Rancho San Antonio. All 23 miles of hiking trails offer the opportunity to see families of deer and squirrels, gorgeous birds, and tiny lizards.
|Leave me alone, I'm trying to blend in! Hahahahaha
You could spend hours on the hilly PG & E Trail or do a quick loop on flat Coyote. I'm usually somewhere in-between, so my favorite hike is the High Meadow Trail. It's uphill, but only takes about 30 minutes to reach the summit. For a little effort you get an amazing payoff.
|The view of Silicon Valley.|
And if all that isn't enough for you, the preserve also has a working farm. Deer Hollow Farm houses a variety of traditional farm animals and produces food onsite. The farm has a huge vegetable garden and an education center for kids. It's also historically significant, a throwback to Santa Clara County's farming days. Some of the old machines are still on display.
|Like this tractor from the 1920s|
I haven't been to any of the other preserves, but I have a feeling Rancho San Antonio is one of the best. We'll see if this holds true as I continue to explore my new left coast surroundings!