Full Review: Parker Ranch Trail

There is ample parking on Prospect Road just after the intersection with Beauchamps.   Look for the sign and bench at the entrance to the Parker Ranch trails.  Wildlife that makes its home in this area includes Brush Rabbits, Coyotes, Red-tailed Hawks, California Quail, Black-tailed Deer and Acorn Woodpecker.  Flora include Milk Thistle, California Buckeye and Coast Live Oak.  The loop trail is about four miles and takes a little over one hour to walk.  Alternatively, you can take the trail all the way to Fremont Older Open Space for an even longer hike.  This review covers the loop trail. 



Parking on Prospect Road


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  Bench for resting at trailhead           Entrance to Parker Trail


The loop trail has about ten minutes of flat wide trail and then a steep hill, then multiple rolling hills.  During the summer it can get very dry and exposed the first 30 minutes of the walk.  There are shady areas later on.  Keep a look out for coyotes, deers and flowers.


For the first part of the flat trail, it is bordered on either side by the back fences of neighboring houses and different flowers and trees.




                 Flat Trail


After about three minutes, you come to a wooden crossing where you cross the street to continue on the trail.  Watch out for cars.



         Wooden crossing


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                Flowers and trees bordering the trail



There is another wooden crossing before you reach the bottom of the first steep hill. Cross the street and head up the hill.



Wooden crossing to steep hill


The trail climbs steeply upwards for about five minutes where you reach the top of the hill and are greeted by a tree and expansive views of Silicon Valley.  Then it is time to head down the slope.  Again, you are near residential homes with flowers and wildlife.


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                                   Steep hill and views


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              Downhill slope                   View of downtown San Jose



              Morning glory


Reach an exit onto the street and bear right to walk through the neighborhood.  Keep a look out for the wooden crossings and signs leading you to the next trail entrance.  You may see deers and there is a bench to sit.  Here are some rolling hills and this part of the trail is more shady.



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       Walking through the neighborhood to the next trailhead


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               Next trailhead                           Deers along path


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                     Bench                                    Rolling hills


At the intersection bear right, like the sign shows and head up some slight slopes. 


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                Bear right                                 Shady part of trail



                Milk thistle


When the Trail ends at another intersection, make a right following the sidewalk.  Head up the hill on Picea Ct and look for the dirt trail on the right.  Take this until you see the wooden fence and the fork in the path.  To take the loop trail back to Prospect, make a sharp right and head down the hill.  Stay straight to hike to Fremont Older.


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              Hill up Picea Ct                          Picea Ct Trailhead



             Fork in the path