Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Weiler Ranch Road, San Pedro Park

The Weiler Ranch Road is located in San Pedro Park, Pacifica. The park has two parking lots with accessible parking, one of which is next to the Plaskon Nature Trail, a short and accessible nature trail. The park has a visitor center, accessible restroom, and a picnic area.

You start off by hiking a paved road which will bring you to the Weiler Ranch Road. The twelve feet wide, dirt and gravel trail, follows along a narrow and scenic valley. There are benches situated along the way which offer you a chance to stop and admire the beauty of the valley and hillsides. Even though it was almost summer, there were still wildflowers dotting each side of the trail here and there. There is a slight slope as you hike along, barely noticeable till you return. The trail finally ends in a roundabout. A cool breeze greeted me on the way back, reminding me that the park is just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean.

I really enjoyed hiking the Weiler Ranch Road and I am looking forward to coming back next year in early spring when the wildflowers are in full bloom.

Trail rating – Easy, (Make sure your wheelchair can handle rough terrain.)
Trail surface and width – Dirt & gravel, 12 feet wide.
Trail length – 1 mile
Trail uses – Hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians.
Trail elevation change – Less than 6%
Water available on the trail – No

To see more of the Weiler Ranch Road, please watch my video.

Friday, January 5, 2018

New Parks and Trails to review - 2018

This year I'm planning on doing reviews and videos of the following parks and trails. 

Have a great 2018!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Martial Cottle Park

The planners of this beautiful park made sure that it was accessible for everyone.  It has picnic areas (some require reservations), a playground, a large grassy area, and a paved trail that loops around the park.  The paved trail is multi-use – hikers, bicycles, runners, strollers, wheelchairs, and dog friendly (doggy bags are provided). The visitor center showcases the history of Marital Cottle Family Ranch.  One of the interesting things to see is the farm land that the trail encompasses. Organic farmers grow produce which will be for sale to the public.

There isn’t much shade on the trail, so during hot days it’s best to come in the morning or late afternoon.  With two accessible parking areas, both with accessible restrooms, you can relax and enjoy a meal at wheelchair friendly picnic tables.  Being a wheelchair user, I found the park to be very accessible. 

Trail rating – Easy
Trail Surface – Two lane, paved
Trail length - 2.4 miles (Loop around the park, starting from parking lot)
Trail type – Loop
Trail uses – Hiking, jogging, strollers, bicycles, dogs, and wheelchairs
Cumulative elevation change – Less than 5%
Cellular Service Signal Strength – Strong
Water available on the trail - Yes

To see more of Martial Cottle Park please watch my video:

Monday, October 31, 2016

Mori Point, Pacifica - Old Mori Trail & Lishumsha Trail

 Trail rating: Old Mori Trail - Easy
                    Lishumsha Trail - Intermediate

Trail grade: Old Mori Trail - less than 3%
                    Lishumsha Trail - 9.5%

Trail length: Old Mori Trail -  0.5 miles
                    Lishumsha Trail - 0.28 miles

Trail width: Old Mori Trail - 10 feet
                   Lishumsha Trail - 3 to 5 feet

Trail surface: Old Mori Trail - Compacted dirt, wood boardwalk
                      Lishumsha Trail - Compacted dirt, some small rocks

Trail uses: Hiking, bicycles, and wheelchairs
Accessible restroom and parking: Yes
Cellular Service Signal Strength: Good
Pets allowed: Yes, on leash
Location: Off of Bradford Way, Pacifica
               (Across from the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge - big red building)

The Old Mori Trail is one of those surprising gems that I was fortunate to learn about and visit. Golden Gate National Recreation Area did a wonderful job adding two accessible parking spots, an accessible restroom, and grading the 0.5 mile trail for an easy wheelchair hike. As you cross the boardwalk there are ponds on each side for the California Red-Legged Frog (listed as a threatened species in 1996), and a restored habitat for the endangered San Francisco Garter Snake. The trail soon brings you to a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean, Mori Point, and the black sands of Sharp Park Beach.

The Lishumsha Trail isn't listed as a wheelchair-accessible trail due to the 9.5% grade, so it could be very challenging for some wheelchair users. I would recommend you have a rugged wheelchair and be experienced in hiking steep dirt trails. The dirt trail surface is well-conditioned and it did a good job of keeping my power chair wheels from sliding down the steep slope. The entrance to the trail is on the left side of the Old Mori Trail, before the boardwalk. Even though it's only a short 0.28 mile trail, the scenic vista views make it well worth the climb and effort.

For those feeling ambitious, after your hike you can take the trail that parallels the beach and it will take you past Pacifica Beach Park, which has picnic tables, and to the Pacifica Pier.

Since wheelchair hiking both trails little more than a month ago, I've visited Mori Point two more times, that's how much I have enjoyed going there. This being a coastal area, make sure to check the weather ahead of time. Also, make sure to bring water with you.

To see more of Mori Point please watch my video

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Coyote Creek Parkway

Trail rating – Easy to moderate
Trail length – 15.5 miles
Trail type – Linear
Trail uses – Hiking, jogging, bicycles, and wheelchairs
Elevation change – Some parts of the trail have an 8% grade
Typical grade – Paved             
Cellular Service Signal Strength – Good

Accessible Parking and Restrooms:
       Anderson Lake Visitor Center -  Malaguerra Ave, Morgan Hill
       Silver Creek Valley Rd, near Piercy Rd., San Jose
       Hellyer County Park, San Jose

Dirt parking lots with limited parking and no restrooms:
       Barnhart Ave, off of Old Monterey Rd
       Monterey Hwy and Metcalf Rd

The newly-repaved Coyote Creek Parkway is never too far from the Coyote Creek. In some places it’s just a few feet away while, at a few other areas, the parkway crosses over the creek.  One of the things I enjoy most about the 15-mile parkway was the different types of landscapes you to hike through.  At the start of the parkway you’ll hike past vast, open meadows that reach out to the mountains in the far background.  At many sections of the parkway you'll past through corridors of trees that offer comforting shade, which is very welcome during the summer months. Other sections past by businesses, and under Highway 101.

Another thing I liked seeing is how parts of the Coyote Creek Parkway passes by neighborhoods, giving easy access to the parkway for to those communities.  There are rest areas with picnic tables along the way, though most of these are within the first five miles from the start of the Coyote Creek Parkway at Anderson Lake Visitor Center. At the last couple miles, however, you arrive at Hellyer County Park, and it has several areas that offer picnic tables and shade.

Most of the parkway doesn’t have water stations, so be sure bring water with you.  I enjoyed all of the 15.5 miles and would recommend starting at either the Anderson Lake Visitor Center or Hellyer County Park first, as they both offer picnic tables, available accessible parking and restrooms.

 To see more of Coyote Creek Parkway please watch my video:

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Hellyer County Park

Trail rating - Easy
Trail length - Over 2.5 miles (includes part of the Coyote Creek Trail) within the park boundaries
Trail type - Loop and linear
Trail uses - Hiking, bicycles, strollers, and wheelchairs
Cumulative elevation change - Less than 6% at one part of the Coyote Creek Trail
Trail surface - Paved
Cellular Service Signal Strength - Good
Pets allowed - Yes

I really enjoyed visiting Hellyer County Park for it has a lot to offer for recreation.  A paved path circles Cottonwood Lake, giving you an generous view of geese ducks, and other aquatic birds. There are plenty of picnic tables and barbecue pits located throughout the park, a few spacious grassy areas, and a playground.  Shade isn't a problem as there is an amble amount of trees to
keep you cool during the summer months.  For those that enjoy a long hike, part of the Coyote Creek Trail runs along the western side of the park and it connects from the southern part of the park and up to the northern part.

One of the things that surprised me when I first visited the park was seeing the Hellyer County Park Velodrome.  I was fortunate to be there one day to watch several cyclist racing around the track.  Besides having Wednesday Night races there, they also offer beginner sessions.
Using a power wheelchair I couldn't help but picture myself racing around the track.

There are a few group picnic areas and are available by reservation. Parking areas are located in all the areas of the park and I saw plenty of accessible parking spots. The restrooms and picnic tables are also wheelchair accessible.

To see more of Hellyer County Park, please watch my video:

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Sunnyvale Baylands Park

Trail rating - Easy
Trail length – Over a mile within the park boundaries
Trail type – Loop and linear
Trail uses - Hiking, bicycles, strollers, and wheelchairs
Cumulative elevation change - Less than 2% for most of the trails
                                                       Wave Walk trail has 8% grade hills
Trail width and surface - Dirt
Cellular Service Signal Strength - Good
Pets allowed:  No

Sunnyvale Baylands Park fits just about everyone’s search for fun and relaxation. There is more than a mile in trails, and the park is also connected to the Bay Trail.  There are playgrounds, a huge grassy area for sports, flying a kite, and sometimes people will fly their model planes. At the back of the park is a seasonal marshland where you can enjoy looking for birds from a viewing platform.  The park has several areas with BBQ pits and picnic tables. Most of the dirt trails are flat, but the Wave Walk has 8% grade hills, but there is a flat dirt trail that goes along next to it.  The park has accessible restrooms and parking.  

                     To see more of Sunnyvale Baylands, please watch my video: 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Joseph D. Grant County Park

Joseph D. Grant County Park is the largest Santa Clara County regional park and has 52 miles of trails. The park is nestled in the Diablo Range foothills and you take the Mt. Hamilton Road to get to it.

The park has a short paved whole access trail that is very scenic. There is also a longer paved trail nearby that has a meadow on one side and a picnic area on the other.

For those wanting to hike an intermediate level trail, you have the Bernal Trail and the Hotel Trail.

You access the Bernal Trail from a small parking lot just beyond where you turn into the main park area, and it has one accesssible parking spot.  The beginning of the 0.4 mile trail has around a 7% slope, but after that it’s pretty flat.  The trail itself is a mixture of dirt and rocks.  I really like this trail because it gives you a beautiful view of Grant Lake.

The Hotel Trail is near the whole access trail. There is a 7% slope getting to the trail but after that, the trail is fairly flat.  The 3.4 mile trail is mostly made up of hard packed dirt, which during the summer the trail can become very dusty. So much so, that one time I had to turn back - dust isn't good for ventilators.  But, I've gone in the spring and fall and there was less amount of dust in the air during those times. I really enjoyed wheelchair hiking this trail because of the panoramic beauty of the rolling hills.  Plus, there aren't that many wheelchair accessible trails that are this long.

There are several handicap parking spots in the main park area, accessible bathrooms, and some of the picnic tables are somewhat wheelchair accessible

To see more of Joseph D. Grant County Park, 
please watch my video.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Rancho Canada del Oro Open Space Preserve

Just the drive to Rancho Canada del Oro makes it worthwhile to visit this Open Space Preserve.  Minutes after leaving the freeway you're passing farms and horse ranches, as rolling hills begin to encompass your surroundings. 

Rancho Canada del Oro has a short, but enjoyable All Access trail.  One of the first things you’ll notice upon arriving is how quiet and peaceful it is.  During several of my visits, I've several species of birds and deer.  My sister saw a fox, but the sound of my power chair chased it away before I was able to see it and take a photo of it.

There are two wheelchair accessible picnic tables, accessible parking, and an accessible restroom.

If you’re looking to get out of the city and enjoy the tranquility of the country side, Rancho Canada del Oro is a perfect place to unwind at and enjoy.