Trail(s) rating: Easy
Trail length: 1 mile to Deer Hollow Farm.
The Deer Meadow Trail is .4 miles (it’s a side trail)
Trail Surface: Dirt, Paved
Trail usage: Hikers, bicyclists, dogs, wheelchairs, occasional vehicle on service road.
I’ve been hiking at Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve for several years and one of the reasons is because it’s an easy and scenic hike for wheelchairs.
The first trail you take is the Permanente Creek Trail. This is a wide, flat dirt trail and it has a panoramic view of the hills just beyond the meadow. You’ll soon come to a junction. Here you can cross a service road and continue onto the Lower Meadow Trail (you can also use the service road that runs along side of it), or you can go right and hike the short Deer Meadow Trail which leads to another service road you can take back to that junction.
The Lower Meadow Trail will bring you back to the main service road. This road will take you to Deer Hollow Farm but you can also continue on the more narrow Lower Meadow trail. I prefer the service road as it is easier for wheelchairs.
After you cross the bridge the trail has a short, semi steep hill to go up before getting to the farm. At the 160 year-old historic farm you’ll see cows, sheep, chickens, pigs, a garden, and a nature center. General admission is free.
The restrooms in the lower parking area are accessible and there are 5 handicap parking spots. The two upper parking areas each have two handicap parking spots but, there is a steep pathway going down to the lower section so it could be a difficult climb back up in a manual wheelchair.
Rancho San Antonio is very popular and because of that it’s very crowded on the weekends so parking can be an issue. Afternoons and weekdays are the best time to visit if you don’t want to deal with lots of people on the trail.
Note: The service road is mainly for bicyclists, wheelchairs, and service vehicles. Pedestrians should use the Lower Meadow Trail.
To see a slideshow of my wheelchair adventure, please watch my video: