Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
I am lost, I'm no guide
Joined
·
1,145 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
note the article states "bike trails"

NEW PARK, NEW VISTAS

By Paul Rogers

Mercury News

An old barn. Vast swaths of orange poppies, purple vetch and yellow mustard. Rolling hills of waist-high grass against bright blue sky. It looked like a landscape from ``Little House on the Prairie.''

Except for the green pickup truck of Santa Clara County park ranger Chris Crockett, its bed stacked with new hiking trail signs fresh from the factory.

``The holes for them are being dug as we speak,'' said Crockett, grinning proudly.

Come next week, the signs will be put to good use, as two panoramic former cattle ranches in the hills east of Morgan Hill become the newest additions to the Santa Clara County parks system.

Harvey Bear Ranch and Mendoza Ranch -- each with rich histories of Spanish explorers, Gold Rush settlers and 150 years of cowboys -- open to the public May 14.

Both border Coyote Lake County Park, a 916-acre preserve south of San Jose popular with anglers and campers. Bear Ranch is 2,968 acres. Mendoza is 711 acres. Together, the three form the new Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch County Park, which at 4,595 acres becomes the second-largest of Santa Clara County's 28 county parks, behind only Grant Ranch near Mount Hamilton.

``This is a real milestone,'' said Lisa Killough, Santa Clara County parks director. ``It's a major park opening, and one that is going to be very accessible to a lot of folks. It is right off 101. And it's just beautiful, nice rolling topography.''

Crews are finishing work on 14 miles of new trails for hikers, horseback riders and bicyclists, including 4.5 new miles for the Bay Area Ridge Trail.

The new parklands are a mix of meadows and oak woodlands, with buckeye, elderberry and madrone trees. Despite nearby mini-mansions and ranchettes built over the past decade, the lands are home to great horned owls, golden eagles, black-tail deer and occasional mountain lions.

``This creates large wildlife corridors right up to the 88,000 acres of Henry Coe State Park,'' said Don Rocha, natural resource program supervisor for county parks. ``Without them, we'd have just little islands of wildlife.''

Together the two properties represent one of the county's largest parks purchases.

In 1997, county officials paid $11.6 million to buy Bear Ranch from the children of Harvey Bear, a longtime Morgan Hill rancher; and $2.5 million to buy Mendoza Ranch from Russell and Carolyn Mendoza of Lassen County.

Brent Bear, now 52, was 9 when his parents bought the ranch in 1962. With California roots dating to the 1870s, the family had cattle operations near Newport Beach and San Clemente, but moved to the Bay Area when Southern California sprawl came too close.

He has fond memories.

``The family was truly blessed to live there,'' he said. ``It was a piece of paradise where we went fishing, horseback riding, you name it.''

Bear's mother, Marjorie, died in 1980, and after his father passed away in 1987, he and his sisters decided to sell when faced with significant inheritance taxes.

``Our family didn't want to see it developed,'' he said. ``At least now we can still enjoy it. And everyone else in the area can enjoy it also.''

Some cattle grazing will continue, county officials say, to reduce non-native grasses and restore native plants.

Last year, Santa Clara County supervisors approved plans for a 150-acre golf course on a flat area of Bear Ranch at Foothill and San Martin avenues, along with an equestrian center, an off-leash dog park and environmental education center. All are years away, pending funding.

Parks officials in 1997 hoped to buy a third, adjacent ranch, the 2,340-acre Santa Clara Lakes property, to link Coyote Lake and Anderson Lake parks. But they were outbid by Manou Mobedshahi, owner of San Jose's Airport Hyatt and Saint Claire hotels.

Mobedshahi said this week he has 24 legal lots on the ranch, where he lives with his family. He is in early discussions with the county about possibly developing some of it.

``I hope in the long run I can do something very sensitive and beautiful,'' he said. ``We aren't talking about a large development.''

The area has a storied history. In 1776, Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza came through while surveying Coyote Creek. In 1846, Martin Murphy, a member of the first pioneer party to cross the Sierra Nevada by wagon train, bought Bear Ranch for $1,500 from Juan Maria Hernandez, who acquired it as a Mexican land grant. Murphy's sons made millions in the Gold Rush. John Murphy became sheriff of Santa Clara County; Martin Murphy Jr. founded Sunnyvale.

In 1936, the Santa Clara Valley Water District built Coyote Dam to recharge aquifers overpumped by farmers. Orchards gave way to Silicon Valley, but the ranches remained.

``It really is incredible scenery,'' said Holly Van Houten, executive director of the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council. ``It gives you a chance to get up high and look down at the valley. This is a spectacular section of the South Bay hills.''
 

·
Slowest Rider
Joined
·
5,237 Posts
Yipee!!

This came as a very pleasant surprise, other than someone hinted about it last week on a Henry Coe thread.

I heard this story on the KLIV (1590 AM) radio this morning and checked it wasn't April 1. They also said 14 miles of trail for all including biking.

Here's some more information on the Santa Clara County Park web site (parkhere.org). Their map of Coyote Lake doesn't seem to be updated yet with the new trails, but they confirm the official openning on May 14 with an initial 13.6 miles of trails in the first phase that are all done except the signs. Perhaps by next weekend, they'll have the updated maps.

The Coyote Lake may be slightly easier to get to than Henry Coe (~15 minutes less drive) and maybe have less steep hills with nice views of the valley corridor. These new trails will be good for shorter workouts when I don't have time for a Henry Coe epic. Can't wait for May 14. Maybe we should plan an MTBR exploration ride there next weekend?

Too bad they couldn't connect to Anderson Lake because they were outbid. Maybe the intervening developer will get smart and put in a bike/hike connector / access trail through the property that all will love, including those living on his own lots. There must be some sort of connecting trail since 4.6 miles of the trails will be part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail system.

[Edit: On more careful reading about the park this evening, enthusiasum is damped. From pictures on the web site, the bare rolling hills don't look too exciting, and the fine Henry Coe Anza and Jackson single track is just up the road. Maybe there will be wild life? Also, they mention on the web site "Vehicle entry fees are collected year round" with a fee schedule that indicates $5 for day parking. :( I suspect these trails will be best used by those boating or camping at Coyote Lake anyway. Nevertheless, I may check the trails out next weekend anyway.]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
It will have a permanent BMX area too...

It will have a permanent BMX area too... Thanks to a lot of effort from a very small group of us mountain bikers who got involved and went to the planning meetings, wrote emails and letters, and made phone calls. Darius Contractor, ex-pres of the Stanford Cycling team from a few years back drafted a letter proposing both a Dual Slalom area and a BMX area. A few of us from Team Wrong Way and ROMP were pretty involved too. Paul Nam, who is still the ROMP president signed that letter in behalf of ROMP. The county planners gave both proposals serious consideration and ended up deciding to include a "Special Permit Area" for BMX. This was pretty cool. But, we appealed to the Santa Clara County Supervisors, and they had the planners change it so that the BMX area is now going to be permanent. Even cooler!

ROMP has forged some amazing relationships with the local land managers in the South Bay - but they really need more bay area mtbers to get involved. Just a few core people in ROMP volunteer their time to try to go to all the various South Bay and Peninsula land manager meetings, and fight for access rights for thousands and thousands of us.

Want to "give back to the sport", and help make more stuff like this happen? More trails for mountain biking? Jump parks? Go to www.romp.org (South Bay and Peninsula), http://www.btcmarin.org (North Bay), http://www.btceb.org (East Bay), www.mbosc.com (Santa Cruz), or http://www.norcamba.org (Nor Cal), and get involved! :D
 

·
I am lost, I'm no guide
Joined
·
1,145 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
cheers!

mtbhead said:
It will have a permanent BMX area too... Thanks to a lot of effort from a very small group of us mountain bikers who got involved and went to the planning meetings, wrote emails and letters, and made phone calls. Darius Contractor, ex-pres of the Stanford Cycling team from a few years back drafted a letter proposing both a Dual Slalom area and a BMX area. A few of us from Team Wrong Way and ROMP were pretty involved too. Paul Nam, who is still the ROMP president signed that letter in behalf of ROMP. The county planners gave both proposals serious consideration and ended up deciding to include a "Special Permit Area" for BMX. This was pretty cool. But, we appealed to the Santa Clara County Supervisors, and they had the planners change it so that the BMX area is now going to be permanent. Even cooler!

ROMP has forged some amazing relationships with the local land managers in the South Bay - but they really need more bay area mtbers to get involved. Just a few core people in ROMP volunteer their time to try to go to all the various South Bay and Peninsula land manager meetings, and fight for access rights for thousands and thousands of us.

Want to "give back to the sport", and help make more stuff like this happen? More trails for mountain biking? Jump parks? Go to www.romp.org (South Bay and Peninsula), http://www.btcmarin.org (North Bay), http://www.btceb.org (East Bay), www.mbosc.com (Santa Cruz), or http://www.norcamba.org (Nor Cal), and get involved! :D
Thanks for the hard work!
 

·
Medium?
Joined
·
6,731 Posts
Harvey Bear Dedication Ride this Saturday. RSVP.

Date: Mon, 9 May 2005 15:45:13 -0700 (PDT)
From: Paul Nam <[email protected]>
Subject: 5/14 Harvey Bear Dedication Ride info, urgent, replies needed!
To: ROMP <[email protected]>

ROMP,

Everyone listen up! This is an important announcement. Your reservation is required and I need them ASAP. I need to deliver a head count to County Parks this Weds. ROMP is leading the first mountain bike ride this Saturday! Space is limited.

This was front page news in last Friday's San Jose Mercury News:
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/11578738.htm

I am now able to invite you to be the first to experience the new trails of Coyote Harvey Bear Ranch County Park and opening dedication ceremony this Saturday. The mountain bike ride meets at 9am sharp at the Lakeview picnic area accessed from Coyote Lake Park's south entrance off Roop Rd (which is along the way to Coe's Hunting Hollow). Attendance of the dedication is optional. You can simply return to the beginning of the ride if you wish.

Map of Coyote Lake with Lakeview Picnic Area:
http://parkhere.org/scc/assets/docs/330208Coyote Lake map.pdf

ROMP is setting up the club canopy and materials for display at the dedication site. The ride that starts at Lakeview Picninc Area will stop at the Mendoza Ranch Harvey Bear staging area by 11:00am where the dedication and luncheon will take place. I am also seeking a couple more people to help with early AM activities (7:30-8:00 am at Mendoza) to set things up and coordinate the ride.

The trails will be new dirt roads and not singletrack. The singletrack has not yet been constructed (ROMP plans to aid in their design and construction). The place is very scenic.

ROMP is involved with the Master Planning of this new park. http://parkhere.org/content/0,4745,ccid%3D32839,00.html

I want to see a good representation by mountain bikers at the dedication this Saturday. If you can come, please do so. You won't regret it! I have word that there will be at least 50 equestrians riding in (along a different route than cyclists will take). We need to represent our share holder group! Please reply and plan to come for the ride. We need parity. Represent and have fun and explore something new.

The 2 hour morning ride will be liesurely paced with many opportunities to take in the new fantastic vistas. After the dedication scheduled to conclude at 1pm, we will have an opportunity to ride again.

The reason for the late notice on the call up for riders is that County Parks is operating this event on an RSVP basis. The RSVPs closed last week, and I am now authorized to recruit mountain bikers.

Please come out! Bring the family! This is a special event.

Please RSVP to me by Weds morning. Thank you.

-Paul
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top