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Coyote Valley

Coyote Valley is a Santa Clara County Open Space Preserve that opened June 27, 2015. It is a 348 acre open space that permits mountain bikes.

Park: Coyote Valley OSP
Date: 6/28/2015
Distance: 3.43 mile loop
Ride Time: ~30 minutes
Total Ascent: 640 feet
Map: Detailed trail map
Overall Rating: 2

This area is still a pretty farming area but was once considered for a massive tech center. The area that is now the OSP was once intended to be expensive homes. Fortunately, it has been preserved as it was and it now the home to a variety of animals and plants.

The initial trail configuration is a single 3.43 mile loop plus about 0.2 miles of flat trail between the trail head and the parking area. Going in either direction is basically a climb up to the top, a ride along the ridge line and then down the other side. The trails are non-technical and about 4 feet wide, making them wide enough for a 4-wheel ATV but too narrow for a truck. Our initial visit was the day after it opened and the trails were still pretty soft and dusty due to lack of rain.  Over time, they should become much firmer. There are a few well made bridges across gullies that integrate well into the rest of the trail. Some of the curves have limited sight lines when descending, so you have to keep your speed down to avoid unexpected encounters with hikers or others. Perhaps because the OSP was new or it is close to San Jose or because the loop trail is relatively short, there were a lot of hikers, bird watchers and photographers there on our initial visit. Everyone was polite and good natured and we all had a good time.

The trailhead at the end of Palm Ave. has a good sized paved area and an even larger gravel parking area that will probably be used by equestrians. There is a pit toilet at the parking lot but no water. There are picnic tables and benches at various places in the OSP. The Santa Clara County Open Space Authority manages the OSP and built the trail. Like other parks in their system (Canada del Oro and Sierra Vista), they have done a great job. I applaud their efforts and their bike-friendly attitude. I have spoken to their rangers at all of the parks are they are very supportive and friendly.

This is not a "destination" ride but it is a nice ride that is pretty close to San Jose. The OSP is at the end of Palm Ave. off of Hale/Santa Teresa. From 101, get off at Bailey Ave and head west (the farming area) and turn left at the fruit stand at the Hale/Santa Teresa intersection. Palm is the third street on the right and is signed but there is no sign for the OSP (this may appear in the future).

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