Dreams and Plans

Do you want to take a group on a hike?

Do you dream of going into nature but don’t know how to plan for it? Perhaps you work with kids. Maybe you work with seniors. Possibly you are part of a club, church, synagogue, temple, or some other community. If you’re in Contra Costa County and you want to take groups outdoors, then we have a workshop for you.

Join us on May 19 from 10:30-12:30 at the Concord Library (2900 Salvio Street, Concord). In partnership with the Contra Costa County Spare the Air Resource Team, Transit and Trails will lead this workshop that provides tools, tips and tricks for planning a hike or a camping trip. Come learn from someone who has taken an uncountable amount of groups onto public transit and into the outdoors. See how we can all go camping without a car. Walk away with knowledge you can use now.

PLUS! There is funding available! Must be present to learn more.  This workshop is free and it’s for sure going to be fun.

Register here. Questions? Contact Jessica Williams at jwilliams at communityfocus dot org.

Riding Los Gatos Creek Trail

Shall we go for a ride?

The Los Gatos Creek Trail in and around San Jose, CA is an 11-mile trail system that offers a rewarding journey because of numerous side trips and points of interest. The creek extends from Lexington Dam in the lower Santa Cruz Mountains and meanders through Los Gatos, Campbell, and San Jose. The route provides trail users the best of both worlds – access to nature and proximity to urban culture.

We’ll start our journey in Los Gatos where you’ll find convenient public transportation or great neighborhood streets to reach the trail by bike. The town sits at the foot of the Santa Cruz Mountains and has plenty to offer including coffee shops, a great retail strip (Santa Cruz Avenue) and lots of architectural charm. Make the most of your visit by walking around town before accessing the trail from behind the “Old Town” shopping center (fronts University Avenue). As you enter the trail – take a right to visit the Forbes Mill Museum for local history or stay on the gravel trail leading to Lexington Dam. You’ll be climbing a relatively steep trail to reach the dam, but will be rewarded with great views of the reservoir and surrounding mountains. Heading back to Los Gatos, the trail is paved and remains that way for the remaining journey as you travel past “Old Town”.

The Los Gatos Creek Trail system is characterized by ample tree cover, plenty of other trail users, nice views, and sites to see. After a few miles, you’ll reach Vasona Park – this large regional county facility provides a convenient rest stop and some fun attractions like boating on the lake, plenty of open space for picnics, and trails that permit you to explore the lake’s edge. Continuing north, you’ll see Vasona’s dam as the creek waters return to a more natural riparian setting. After travelling a few more miles, you’ll reach Campbell where you’ll see people fishing in the ponds, enjoying the adjacent open space and side trails that link to surrounding neighborhoods. A bridge across the creek north of Camden Avenue permits you to travel on either side of the creek. The eastern side is near Highway 880 but a wide plant buffer helps to mitigate the view. The western side can be busier, but passes by some open turf areas and a city park at Campbell Avenue with a convenient restroom.

Don’t be in a rush to continue on the trail – take some time to travel west on Campbell Avenue – and experience the city’s charming downtown just a few blocks away. You’ll find 100 shops, cafes and restaurants, and historical landmarks. Returning to the trail, continue traveling north and pass beneath Highway 880. At this point, you’ll find a ramp that takes you to the Pruneyard Shopping Center. The center is another great place for a break or some impromptu window shopping. As you return to the trail to burn some calories, travel beneath Bascom Avenue and enter San Jose’s portion of the trail system. The trail follows the residential neighborhoods for a couple miles to reach Willow Street. At Willow Street – you have a couple options. The trail system is not developed between Meridian Avenue and Lincoln Avenue, so if seeking the longest continuous roundtrip on an off-street trail, you’ll want to cross the pedestrian bridge and travel along the north side of the trail system to reach Meridian Avenue….at this point, you turn around and return to Los Gatos. The other option is to travel onto Willow Street with its striped bike lanes and relatively light residential traffic. Willow Street will take you into Willow Glen; one of San Jose’s great neighborhoods for more retail, food and festivals. From Lincoln Avenue, you can travel north on the street to reach Lonus Street – the trail begins again at the end of the cul-de-sac. The linked map helps you view a number of travel options in the area. You’ll follow another 0.5 mile of paved trail, and right turn onto Auzerais Avenue will lead you to the Guadalupe River Park about 1 mile to the east at Woz Way. At Woz Way, you’ll have entered the downtown core, have access to the Woz Way Light Rail Station and in summer time, you’ll find plenty of festivals in Discovery Meadow.

What a beautiful ride. What do you think? Tell us in the comments.

 

+

From time to time we’ll be inviting friends of Transit and Trails to share stories, trips and photos here on the blog.  This is the second of three from Yves Zsutty of the City of San Jose. They have put over 150 trailheads into Transit & Trails, posted all kinds of pictures, and been a vocal advocate of our work.  Stay tuned for more!

Learn more:

Photos by Yves Zsutty, City of San Jose

Happy Earth Day!

What better thing to do on Earth Day than to go outside. And why bother with a gas-guzzling car to get there?

Thanks to Weekend Sherpa we have some ideas for you. Check out these trip ideas and tell us about them in the comments. We’d love to hear!

+

What is Weekend Sherpa? Weekend Sherpa is an award-winning e-newsletter and Web publication bringing you the best of California’s outdoors. Hiking, biking, beaches, food & wine, waterfalls, overnight escapes… Explore and discover the best ways to experience California’s amazing outdoors.

Walk from Lake to Gate in San Francisco, April 21

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been on the Bay Area Ridge Trail. It’s one big vision of 550 miles of trail around the ridge of the San Francisco Bay Area. And the trail naturally goes straight through San Francisco.

Are you looking for something fun to do this Earth Day weekend?

Then join the Lake to Gate Hike on Saturday, April 21 at 9am for a hike from Lake Merced to the Golden Gate Bridge. Gather at the northeast corner of John Daly Blvd and Lake Merced Blvd. This hike will be at your own pace using the directions and maps available online and your phone thanks to Transit and Trails.

Click here to learn more and sign up.

What Alt. looks like

On Saturday, April 7 a bunch of riders took BART to Pleasant Hill and rode up to the top of Mt Diablo. It was a Training Ride for Alt. and it was a beautiful day to be on a bike. More pictures can be seen here.

Want to learn more? Or join us for the next ride on April 29 on Mt Tam? Click here for more info and to sign up. We’d love to see you.

A whole lot of appreciation to Alt. sponsors:

 

And thanks to our great partners who you can see here.  Join us! Download the PDF and email Annie at annie at openspacecouncil dot org

(Photos by Ryan Branciforte)

What would it take?

What would it take to get you to take the bus? What about to go for a hike?

The Bay Area has several bus systems that drop riders off at some pretty beautiful trailheads. From the Stagecoach in Marin to the County Connection in Contra Costa County, there are options and opportunities. But there’s just something about a bus that takes some of the fun away. Or does it?

Will Doig wrote this piece in Salon on why we should love the bus (he gets bonus points in my book for this reference). Then he was interviewed on Talk of the Nation on NPR (listen here… be sure to listen for the Bay Area callers about half way through). Will and Neil Conan talked about the time it takes to wait for a bus, the creature comforts (or lack thereof), urban design, and stigma.

Fast Company wrote about this, too. What if buses were cool? What if everyone – not just those that had to – actually wanted to ride them?

Do you take the bus to get outside?  If not, what would it take?