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Home | 2015 BAO Hikes

2015 BAO Educational Hikes

Explore Santa Clara County's open spaces and see waterfalls, ancient redwoods, breeding birds, mining ruins from the 1800's, newborn animals and 360 degree views of Silicon Valley while learning about Silicon Valley's agricultural history, earthquakes, geology, wetland restoration, native plants and local culture and history. All hikes include a picnic lunch. Registration is required and space is limited, so please sign up as soon as possible using the registration button below. Once you register, we will send details about the meeting location and other important information. To hear what others think of our events, click testimonials.

BAO members get a discount on the hikes. BAO membership is free. If you are not already a BAO member, and want to join to receive discounts, please Click Here before registering for the hikes.

Please click the registration button below to register for the hikes.

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If you need a ride to the event or you would like a buddy to meet you there, please email us at share@bayareaolderadults.org

Hike 1: The Best Views of Silicon Valley

BAO Sierra Vista Hike

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Join us for a guided hike with spectacular views of the surrounding hills, the sprawling city of San Jose, Mount Hamilton and the Santa Cruz Mountains on new trails opened just this past summer. This is a moderate, three–mile hike with a 500 foot elevation change. Our hike leader will teach us about the Calaveras Fault that runs through the park and the wildlife that calls the park home including the magnificent trees and majestic birds. We hope to catch glimpses of hawks and golden eagles. Lastly, we enjoy a picnic lunch with a 360 degree view of Silicon Valley.

Location: Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve in San Jose

Hike 2: Walk through the 1800’s Mining Era

BAO Almaden Quicksilver Hike

Wednesday February 25, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM

Did you know that San Jose is the site of California’s oldest and most valuable mine that produced $70 million in mercury back in 1845? Our guide will lead us on a moderate four-mile roundtrip hike to the rotary furnace that produced more than a million flasks of mercury, and to the ruins of English Camp where we will enjoy a picnic lunch. Along the way, we will see expansive views of the valley and eastern slopes, and learn about the history and culture of the area which was home to Mexican, Chilean, Chinese and English immigrants.

Location: Almaden Quicksilver County Park in San Jose

Hike 3: Coyote Ridge Walk and Winetasting

BAO Fremont Older Hike

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM

Join us on a three-mile, moderate-to-easy guided tour of Coyote Ridge in the grassy hills of Fremont Older Open Space Preserve above Cooper Garrod Vineyards. We will see native shrubs, grassland and trees including Blue Elderberry, Coyote Brush, Coast Live Oak and California Bay with some Buckeye and patches of chaparral and Toyon. We climb up to Maisie’s peak, the highest point in the park, for a 360 degree view of Silicon Valley and beyond. On clear days, San Francisco and Mount Tamalpais are visible to the north, Mount Hamilton to the east, the Santa Cruz Mountains to the west, and Mount Umunhum to the south. We end at Cooper Garrod Winery for a picnic lunch followed by winetasting (optional).

Location: Fremont Older in Saratoga

Hike 4: Waterfalls of Morgan Hill

BAO Uvas Canyon Park Hike

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM

Take a moderate-to-strenuous, docent-led, three–mile hike on shaded trails surrounded by lush green foliage past three waterfalls – Black Rock, Basin and Upper Falls. Along the way, we will cross bridges and pass by ferns and moss-covered rock formations as we walk along a stretch of Swanson Creek. We will look for California Nutmeg, Canyon Live Oak, California Buckeye, and other foliage along the side of the trail. While we walk, we will learn about the impact of the drought on California ecosystems. End with a social picnic in our especially reserved group area.

Location: Uvas Canyon County Park in Morgan Hill

Hike 5: Spring Hike in the Green Hills by Calero Lake

BAO Calero Park Hike

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM

Experience the rolling hills of Calero County Park on a moderate, three–mile Spring hike while we learn about the history of the Native American people who lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and the native plants they used for medicinal purposes. We climb up to a ridgeline with great views of Mount Hamilton and the green hills to the east. After this, we will take a break for a picnic lunch by a delightful pond and an observation deck with views of birds and flora. If weather permits, we expect wildflowers to be in bloom.

Location: Calero County Park in San Jose

Hike 6: Birdwatching Expedition at Vasona Lake

BAO Vasona Lake Hike

This hike is offered twice this month - please choose one of the two dates

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Join us for a two-mile leisurely journey around Vasona Lake led by an expert guide from the Audubon Society. At this time of year, the lake is home to a variety of breeding birds including double-crested Cormorants, Great and Snowy Egrets, Pied-billed Grebe and a diversity of ducks such as the American Wigeon. Binoculars are available for your use. We end with a group picnic by the lake.

Location: Vasona County Park in Los Gatos

Hike 7: Birdwatching Expedition at Vasona Lake

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Join us for a two-mile leisurely journey around Vasona Lake led by an expert guide from the Audubon Society. At this time of year, the lake is home to a variety of breeding birds including double-crested Cormorants, Great and Snowy Egrets, Pied-billed Grebe and a diversity of ducks. Binoculars are available for your use. We end with a group picnic by the lake.

Location: Vasona County Park in Los Gatos

Hike 8: Springtime Hike to Deer Hollow Farm

BAO Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve Hike

Wednesday May 20, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM

Enjoy an easy three-mile hike that takes us on the shady Lower Meadow Trail through Oak and Locust trees to the 150-year old Deer Hollow Farm. We may catch a glimpse of turkeys and deer along the way. We stop at the farm to see the newborn piglets, goats and sheep, learn about the history of the farm and for a picnic lunch. We return on an open fire road, passing a large grassy meadow and the State's tallest and third largest California Bay Laurel tree estimated to be over 200 years old. If weather permits, wildflowers will be in bloom.

Location: Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve in Cupertino

Hike 9: Picnic at Picchetti

BAO Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve Hike

Wednesday June 10, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM

Join us for a peaceful journey through four miles of the Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve. Along the way, we will learn about the Jesuits of Stevens Creek and how their history ties into wine making. We will walk on shady trails lush with ferns, large Oak and California Bay trees and Madrones, which lead to views of Stevens Creek Reservoir and the hillside to the east. After passing an old Apricot, Plum, and Pear orchard and a petite pond, we reach the winery which is home to a few handsome peacocks. We will eat a leisurely lunch at the historic Picchetti estate before our gradual downhill return trip through chaparral with Toyon, Buckeye, Silk-tassel, Creambush and California Sagebrush dominating the landscape.

Location: Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve in Cupertino

Hike 10: The Best Views of Silicon Valley

BAO Sierra Vista Hike

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Join us for a guided hike with spectacular views of the surrounding hills, the sprawling city of San Jose, Mount Hamilton and the Santa Cruz Mountains on new trails opened just this past summer. This is a moderate, three–mile hike with a 500 foot elevation change. Our hike leader will teach us about the Calaveras Fault that runs through the park and the wildlife that calls the park home including the magnificent trees and majestic birds. We hope to catch glimpses of hawks and golden eagles. Lastly, we enjoy a picnic lunch with a 360 degree view of Silicon Valley.

Location: Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve in San Jose

Hike 11: The History of Villa Montalvo

BAO Villa Montalvo Hike

This hike is offered twice this month - please choose one of the two dates

Wednesday July 8, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Travel through shady redwoods on a docent–led, moderate–to–strenuous, two–mile walk above Villa Montalvo. On the hike up to the Lookout Point for a panoramic view of San Jose, we will learn about Villa Montalvo that was built in 1912 by Senator James Phelan. This historic landmark was a center of artistic, political and social life in Northern California. Upon our return, we will enjoy a group lunch in the Bird Garden and then join others on an optional self-led tour of the other three gardens and arboretum.

Location: Villa Montalvo County Park in Saratoga

Hike 12: The History of Villa Montalvo

Wednesday July 22, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Travel through shady redwoods on a docent–led, moderate–to–strenuous, two–mile walk above Villa Montalvo. On the hike up to the Lookout Point for a panoramic view of San Jose, we will learn about Villa Montalvo that was built in 1912 by Senator James Phelan. This historic landmark was a center of artistic, political and social life in Northern California. Upon our return, we will enjoy a group lunch in the Bird Garden and then join others on an optional self-led tour of the other three gardens and arboretum.

Location: Villa Montalvo County Park in Saratoga

Hike 13: Hike along the San Andreas Fault Scarp

BAO Sanborn Hike

This hike is offered twice this month - please choose one of the two dates

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM

Join us on a leisurely, four-mile roundtrip hike to Ranch Lake. The wide trail follows the side of cliffs produced by the San Andreas Fault, passing by ancient Redwoods that provide plentiful shade, Douglas-firs and small waterfalls. Along the way, we will learn about how this area was affected by the 1906 earthquake and the history of Ranch Lake. We stop at Ranch Lake for a picnic lunch before heading back.

Location: Sanborn County Park in Los Gatos

Hike 14: Hike along the San Andreas Fault Scarp

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM

Join us on a leisurely, four-mile roundtrip hike to Ranch Lake. The wide trail follows the side of cliffs produced by the San Andreas Fault, passing by ancient Redwoods that provide plentiful shade, Douglas-firs and small waterfalls. Along the way, we will learn about how this area was affected by the 1906 earthquake and the history of Ranch Lake. We stop at Ranch Lake for a picnic lunch before heading back.

Location: Sanborn County Park in Los Gatos

Hike 15: Wetlands Restoration Walk

BAO Alviso Hike

Thursday September 10, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM

In the early 1900's, a system of industrial salt ponds were built along the shallow, marshy edges of the South Bay. For years they were part of an industrial salt production system managed by Cargill Chemical Company. In 2003, over 15,000 acres were purchased by the Federal and State government. This is now the site of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in which wetlands have been restored and wildlife is protected. Join a Wildlife Refuge Interpretive Specialist for a two-mile walking tour of the largest wetland restoration project on the West Coast on a wide, flat dirt trail. We end with a social picnic by the Artesian Slough. After lunch, enjoy the exhibits at the Environmental Educational Center on your own.

Location: Alviso Marina County Park in Alviso

Hike 16: Salt Pond and Marsh Habitat Hike

BAO Mallard Slough Hike

Wednesday September 23, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

An Environmental Education Center Specialist takes us on a guided four-mile, flat walk along the Mallard Slough Trail that runs around a large salt pond. We have a chance to see a wide array of waterfowl including the Avocet, Bittern, Coot, Belted Kingfisher, Black-bellied Plover, Herons, Black-necked Stilt, Canvasback, Junco, Dunlin and more. Binoculars will be available for your use. Along the way, we will learn about the salt pond and marsh habitats. We end with a social picnic by the Artesian Slough. After lunch, enjoy the exhibits at the Environmental Educational Center on your own.

Location: Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge in Alviso

Hike 17: Climb the Cathedral Staircase of Mummy Mountain

BAO Coyote Lake Park Hike

This hike is offered twice this month - please choose one of the two dates

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM

Enjoy a four–mile strenuous hike on sunny fire roads and shady forested single track trails past sandstone boulders, meadows, wildflowers, Oak trees and Bay Laurels. We will travel the Mummy Mountain Trail that climbs up 500 feet to the highest point in the park and offers panoramic views of the area. During our travels, we learn about Oak woodlands and serpentine soils. Our descent on Coyote Ridge Trail affords views of the Coyote Lake, Gilroy and San Martin. We stop for a picnic lunch by Coyote Lake before the leisurely walk back.

Location: Harvey Bear–Coyote Lake Park in Gilroy

Hike 18: Climb the Cathedral Staircase of Mummy Mountain

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM

Enjoy a four–mile strenuous hike on sunny fire roads and shady forested single track trails past sandstone boulders, meadows, wildflowers, Oak trees and Bay Laurels. We will travel the Mummy Mountain Trail that climbs up 500 feet to the highest point in the park and offers panoramic views of the area. During our travels, we learn about Oak woodlands and serpentine soils. Our descent on Coyote Ridge Trail affords views of the Coyote Lake, Gilroy and San Martin. We stop for a picnic lunch by Coyote Lake before the leisurely walk back.

Location: Harvey Bear–Coyote Lake Park in Gilroy

Hike 19: Hike in the Valley of the Heart’s Delight

BAO Villa Montalvo Hike

Wednesday November 11, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Join us on a leisurely, four-mile hike at the new Martial Cottle Park, Santa Clara County's first agricultural park. This 237 acre lot was donated by Walter Cottle, a farmer whose family had owned it for many generations. As we walk, we will learn about our rich farming heritage back when Silicon Valley was known as the Valley of the Heart’s Delight because it was the largest fruit production and packing region in the world. A majority of the park remains in active agricultural use under the management of a Master Farmer. The park features centuries-old Oak trees and large open grassy areas with views Mt Umunhum. We will stop for a picnic lunch along the way.

Location: Martial Cottle Park in San Jose

EXCLUSIVE BAO HIKE SPONSOR

Togo's Sandwiches

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH

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Open Space Authority Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District Audubon_Society US Fish and Wildlife Service