Rancho San Antonio

ian408ian408 Administrators Posts: 21,917 moderator
edited January 15, 2007 in Journeys
No, not Texas, California!

I got e-mail from a friend asking if I'd be interested in hiking the PG&E trail
at Rancho San Antonio today. Of course I said yes.

A small county park and a larger open space preseve combine to form Rancho
San Antonio. The park's history dates back several thousand years to the time
of the Ohlone Indians. Early European visitors included Colonel Juan Baptista
de Anza. In 1839, the park was deeded to a fellow by the name of Juan Prado
Mesa who raised cattle on the land.

In 1853, Rancho San Antonio was purchased by William Dana. However,
in 1861, many of the deeded lands were challenged. Dana retained
about 3200 acres of land. Another 800 acres were deeded to John
and Martha Snyder who raised grain on the land. Martha lived on
the ranch until her death in 1919. The ranch became a county park
in the late 1970's.

As you drive around the cities of Mountain View and Sunnyvale, you
can see the names of many of the early pioneers on city parks and

Today, the park serves the citizens of Santa Clara County--its location makes
it an ideal spot for an afternoon walk or perhaps a chance to play tennis on
one of the tennis courts as well as to see the farm.

Our hike started in the parking lot and follows the route of the PG&E towers
(as the name implies).

There are still a few trees with fall color in winter...


Right away, you know this is going to be hard. From the lower parking lots,
the trail begins its climb toward the ridge.


After a few minutes, you're afforded a wonderful view of the Bay Area.
The houses in the foreground are located in what was once the Catholic
Church's Maryknoll Seminary.


We've still got a long way to go so it's off again.

The trail gets its name from the towers that bring power to the area.
Here, we get a brief view down the wire.


It's not long before we begin our descent back to civilization. Here you can
see the trail we've just come up. Most of the trail is in shade during the
morning hours. With California's recent cold spell, this means ice in some
areas--more like hoar frost but hey, things rarely freeze in this part of the
state so any chance we get to call it ice....


A long descent takes is through the oaks and back to the farm.


The farm is a short walk from the parking lot making it ideal for families
with small children. The old barn has been converted to a picnic area.
With the temps being so low, few people stopped for lunch--in the summer
time, this would be packed.


The farm is a working farm. Livestock and vegetables are just two things
you'll find there. These rounds are what the goats usually stand on.


Two residence buildings are located on the property. One contains a sort
of museum although I've never seen it open. The other is representative
of the homes of the time.


You can see some of the machinery of the period too.


The park is home to many wild animals. Included are bobcats and mountain
lions. If you look just in the shadows, you'll see a small bobcat just


Here we are after almost 6 miles of hiking. Back at the starting point.
This meadow area is extremely popular and I'd say most of the park's
visitors rarely venture beyond it and the farm.


After a long hike, it's always good to relax and enjoy a meal. I decided
to have a burrito in the Ahogado style (wet). But first, some chips and


And then, the main course....


I hope you enjoyed this little bit of Santa Clara's history as much as I
enjoyed sharing it.
Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?


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    a110p0a110p0 Registered Users Posts: 257 Major grins
    edited January 15, 2007
    Old stomping grounds
    Nice post about your hike. I used to live in Mountain View and San Antonio
    Preserve was one of my favorite hiking/running spots.

    It looks like you went to Taqueria Los Charros in downtown Mountain

    I live on the East Bay now, so I haven't been back to San Antonio

    Thanks for reminding me of my old stomping grounds.

    Fremont, CA
    SmugMug Gallery
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    ian408ian408 Administrators Posts: 21,917 moderator
    edited January 15, 2007
    Naw, Freedom Burrito over on Stevens Creek/Lawerance. Used to be a
    Rockin' Taco. Now it serves good burritos!
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
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