Preserve Info

Hiking
Biking
Equestrian
Wheelchair accessible
Restrooms
Good for Kids

Overview

The 3,988-acre Open Space Preserve, combined with the adjoining 165-acre County Park, offers visitors a unique experience with a sampling of diverse environments, interesting cultural history and a variety of activities.

Bike and Equestrian Access Limited: Activities may not be designated on all trails within the Preserve-- always refer to the map and trail signage for where the activity is permitted. 

Gallery

Features

Rancho San Antonio County Park is managed by the Open Space District as a result of an Operations and Management Agreement with the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department. Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space Preserve provide formal and informal recreational opportunities. 

Rancho County Park

At Rancho San Antonio County Park, the most popular activities are jogging and hiking. Stretching bars are available at the restroom parking area and equestrian staging area. The park provides hiking, bicycling, and equestrian trails, which connect with additional trails within the Open Space Preserve. Bicycles are restricted to designated trails only, and are not permitted west of Deer Hollow Farm. Similarly, equestrians are limited to the equestrian staging area and Coyote Trail, within the County Park. 

The South Meadow area, located in the County Park and adjacent to the parking areas, provides opportunities for informal play on a "rough grass" area. The equestrian staging area, which includes a horse-watering troughis located adjacent to the South Meadow,. Non-gas powered model airplane enthusiasts use a staging area adjacent to the parking lots near the park entrance for take-offs and landings and fly their aircraft above the South Meadow area. Download Model Airplane Rules

The North Meadow area, across Permanente Creek from the parking and staging areas, provides an informal irrigated meadow grass play area along with four tennis courts. The North Meadow includes a small number of picnic tables and barbecues. The picnic area is on a first-come, first-serve basis and the maximum group size for the area is 25 people.

Open Space Preserve

The preserve's extensive 24 miles of trails are available for exploration, whether one chooses to hike (dogs, however, are NOT permitted), bike, or horseback ride. Trails can be combined to form loops of different lengths and difficulties including the 3-mile Wildcat Loop Trail and the 4-mile Black Mountain Trail, To get to the northern part of the preserve from the valley floor, take the 2.1-mile Chamise Trail, which ascends gradually to a tranquil, secluded meadow in the Duveneck Windmill Pasture Area. This was once the location of a picturesque windmill from former ranch days when cattle freely roamed the hillsides. Visitors can now picnic amid fields of grass in the shadow of Monte Bello Ridge and Black Mountain. A major part of this area was a gift from Frank and Josephine Duveneck, and adjoins Hidden Villa Ranch, a non-profit environmental education facility.

A highlight of the preserve is Deer Hollow Farm, a working farm with a cow, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, other animals, and an organic garden as well as numerous turn-of-the-century ranch buildings. An additional attraction is the restored Grant Cabin, furnished to represent living conditions in the late 1800s.

Directions

From I-280 (north or south) 

  • Take the Foothill Boulevard exit and proceed south on Foothill Boulevard approximately 0.2-mile to Cristo Rey Drive.
  • Turn right on Cristo Rey Drive, continue for about 1 mile, veer right around the traffic circle, and turn left into the County Park entrance.
  • There are several parking lots, including one designated for equestrian trailers. The trailhead for the preserve is located adjacent to the 85-car parking area in the northwest lot.

Get driving directions:

 

Trails

This Preserve's extensive 24 miles of trails are available for exploration, whether one chooses to hike (dogs, however, are NOT permitted), bike, or horseback ride. Trails can be combined to form loops of different lengths and difficulties.

Wildcat Loop Trail – 3.0 miles - A popular route for hikers and joggers, the trail follows a creek into a cool, fern-walled narrow canyon, ascends through chaparral to open meadows on the middle ridge, and loops back to Deer Hollow Farm. Lupine, poppies, and patches of blue-eyed grass bloom in the meadows in spring. Visitors can pause or picnic here and, on a clear day, enjoy spectacular views of Mt. Tamalpais to the north and Mt. Hamilton to the east.

Black Mountain Trail - (4.0 mi) The Trail climbs through chaparral, grassland, and oak woodland to the top of Black Mountain. Steep canyons and narrow ridges can be seen from various points. At the top of 2,800-foot Black Mountain, there are other views west into Stevens Creek Canyon and open space lands along the Skyline ridge, as well as views of Santa Clara Valley.

PG&E Trail - (3.7 mi) A more challenging Trail with 1600 ft elevation gain, follows the path of electrical towers up Black Mountain. Hikers are rewarded with great views of the bay area and western foothills. Combine with some of the other trails Wildcat Canyon or Upper High Meadow Trails for a longer loop.

To get to the northern part of the preserve from the valley floor, take the 2.1-mile Chamise Trail, which ascends gradually to a tranquil, secluded meadow in the Duveneck Windmill Pasture Area. This was once the location of a picturesque windmill from former ranch days when cattle freely roamed the hillsides. Visitors can now picnic amid fields of grass in the shadow of Monte Bello Ridge and Black Mountain. A major part of this area was a gift from Frank and Josephine Duveneck, and adjoins Hidden Villa Ranch, a non-profit environmental education facility.

Trail Conditions

  • The Hammond-Snyder Trail is currently OPEN to equestrian use.
  • The Quarry Trail which goes from the top of the PGE Trail to the Black Mountain Trail is OPEN to equestrian use.

History

The Ohlone Indians lived in the Rancho San Antonio area for over 3,000 years prior to the arrival of the Europeans. A large village, known as Partacsi, was located in this general area. An expedition led by Colonel Juan Baptista de Anza passed through this area in March of 1776. Mission Santa Clara de Asis was founded in October of the same year, where many of the local Indians were taken. In 1822, Mexico became independent and the Secularization Act stripped the missions of their holdings. After 1833, land grants were mainly given to army veterans and many ranchos were established. The chief commercial products of the ranchos were cattle hides and tallow. Governor Alvarado granted Rancho San Antonio to Juan Prado Mesa in 1839. This 440- acre rancho was bounded by Adobe Creek to the north and Stevens Creek to the south, and included Permanente Creek. Mesa had been a soldier at the San Francisco Presidio since 1828, served as a corporal in the Santa Clara Guard, and had won fame as a soldier and Indian fighter. Mesa died in 1845. California became part of the United States in 1848 and all land grants issued by the Mexican government became subject to review under U.S. law.

In 1853, William Dana, a former seafarer and merchant, purchased the Rancho. During this time the original Mexican land grants were challenged and six persons laid claim to the Rancho. Two of the claims were patented by the United States in 1857, with Dana retaining 3,542 acres. In 1861, John and Martha Snyder purchased 850 acres of the original Rancho San Antonio lands on Permanente Creek. The Snyder's grain crop of 1862 was the first raised in this area of the County without irrigation and was so successful that it inspired others. The Snyder's had about 500 acres under cultivation, including a 16-acre vineyard with a large winery and 25 acres in orchard. John Snyder, born in 1828 in Indiana, arrived in Santa Clara County in 1850 where he was employed on local farms. In 1855, he married Martha Kifer. John Snyder died in 1901 and his wife continued to live on the ranch until her death in 1919.

In 1923, the Catholic Church purchased the Snyder Ranch and in 1926 constructed Saint Joseph's Seminary and the Maryknoll Seminary. St. Joseph's was badly damaged in the 1989 earthquake and was subsequently demolished. The Maryknoll Seminary, with its oriental motif, stands east of the park across Cristo Rey Drive. The Santa Clara County Parks Department purchased 130 acres in 1977 and another 35 acres in 1981 from St. Joseph's Seminary. The Park's improvements were constructed in the early 1980s with additional improvements completed in 1993.

Regulations

  • Hours: Open dawn to one-half hour after sunset.
  • Bicyclists: Bikes are allowed on designated trails in this Preserve. Helmets are required for all riders at all times. Please observe the 15-mph trail speed limit (5-mph when passing or approaching blind turns). For more information visit the Bicycle Access page.
  • Equestrians: Horses are allowed on designated trails in this Preserve. Helmets are recommended for all equestrians. For more information visit the Equestrian Access page.
  • Groups: For safety reasons, permits are required for all groups of 20 or more people.
  • Fires: Fires are prohibited on preserves.
     
  • Smoking: Smoking is prohibited on preserves.
     
  • Weapons: Weapons of any kind are prohibited on preserves. 
     
  • Plants and Animals: Please leave plants and animals undisturbed. This not only preserves the natural environment, but is also a safety precaution. 
     
  • Water Areas: Swimming wading, or engaging in any water-contact activity in any water areas of the District is prohibited.

Download District Regulations and Ordinances

Overview

The 3,988-acre Open Space Preserve, combined with the adjoining 165-acre County Park, offers visitors a unique experience with a sampling of diverse environments, interesting cultural history and a variety of activities.

Bike and Equestrian Access Limited: Activities may not be designated on all trails within the Preserve-- always refer to the map and trail signage for where the activity is permitted. 

Photo Gallery

Features

Rancho San Antonio County Park is managed by the Open Space District as a result of an Operations and Management Agreement with the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department. Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space Preserve provide formal and informal recreational opportunities. 

Rancho County Park

At Rancho San Antonio County Park, the most popular activities are jogging and hiking. Stretching bars are available at the restroom parking area and equestrian staging area. The park provides hiking, bicycling, and equestrian trails, which connect with additional trails within the Open Space Preserve. Bicycles are restricted to designated trails only, and are not permitted west of Deer Hollow Farm. Similarly, equestrians are limited to the equestrian staging area and Coyote Trail, within the County Park. 

The South Meadow area, located in the County Park and adjacent to the parking areas, provides opportunities for informal play on a "rough grass" area. The equestrian staging area, which includes a horse-watering troughis located adjacent to the South Meadow,. Non-gas powered model airplane enthusiasts use a staging area adjacent to the parking lots near the park entrance for take-offs and landings and fly their aircraft above the South Meadow area. Download Model Airplane Rules

The North Meadow area, across Permanente Creek from the parking and staging areas, provides an informal irrigated meadow grass play area along with four tennis courts. The North Meadow includes a small number of picnic tables and barbecues. The picnic area is on a first-come, first-serve basis and the maximum group size for the area is 25 people.

Open Space Preserve

The preserve's extensive 24 miles of trails are available for exploration, whether one chooses to hike (dogs, however, are NOT permitted), bike, or horseback ride. Trails can be combined to form loops of different lengths and difficulties including the 3-mile Wildcat Loop Trail and the 4-mile Black Mountain Trail, To get to the northern part of the preserve from the valley floor, take the 2.1-mile Chamise Trail, which ascends gradually to a tranquil, secluded meadow in the Duveneck Windmill Pasture Area. This was once the location of a picturesque windmill from former ranch days when cattle freely roamed the hillsides. Visitors can now picnic amid fields of grass in the shadow of Monte Bello Ridge and Black Mountain. A major part of this area was a gift from Frank and Josephine Duveneck, and adjoins Hidden Villa Ranch, a non-profit environmental education facility.

A highlight of the preserve is Deer Hollow Farm, a working farm with a cow, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, other animals, and an organic garden as well as numerous turn-of-the-century ranch buildings. An additional attraction is the restored Grant Cabin, furnished to represent living conditions in the late 1800s.

From I-280 (north or south) 

  • Take the Foothill Boulevard exit and proceed south on Foothill Boulevard approximately 0.2-mile to Cristo Rey Drive.
  • Turn right on Cristo Rey Drive, continue for about 1 mile, veer right around the traffic circle, and turn left into the County Park entrance.
  • There are several parking lots, including one designated for equestrian trailers. The trailhead for the preserve is located adjacent to the 85-car parking area in the northwest lot.

Get driving directions:

 

Trails

This Preserve's extensive 24 miles of trails are available for exploration, whether one chooses to hike (dogs, however, are NOT permitted), bike, or horseback ride. Trails can be combined to form loops of different lengths and difficulties.

Wildcat Loop Trail – 3.0 miles - A popular route for hikers and joggers, the trail follows a creek into a cool, fern-walled narrow canyon, ascends through chaparral to open meadows on the middle ridge, and loops back to Deer Hollow Farm. Lupine, poppies, and patches of blue-eyed grass bloom in the meadows in spring. Visitors can pause or picnic here and, on a clear day, enjoy spectacular views of Mt. Tamalpais to the north and Mt. Hamilton to the east.

Black Mountain Trail - (4.0 mi) The Trail climbs through chaparral, grassland, and oak woodland to the top of Black Mountain. Steep canyons and narrow ridges can be seen from various points. At the top of 2,800-foot Black Mountain, there are other views west into Stevens Creek Canyon and open space lands along the Skyline ridge, as well as views of Santa Clara Valley.

PG&E Trail - (3.7 mi) A more challenging Trail with 1600 ft elevation gain, follows the path of electrical towers up Black Mountain. Hikers are rewarded with great views of the bay area and western foothills. Combine with some of the other trails Wildcat Canyon or Upper High Meadow Trails for a longer loop.

To get to the northern part of the preserve from the valley floor, take the 2.1-mile Chamise Trail, which ascends gradually to a tranquil, secluded meadow in the Duveneck Windmill Pasture Area. This was once the location of a picturesque windmill from former ranch days when cattle freely roamed the hillsides. Visitors can now picnic amid fields of grass in the shadow of Monte Bello Ridge and Black Mountain. A major part of this area was a gift from Frank and Josephine Duveneck, and adjoins Hidden Villa Ranch, a non-profit environmental education facility.

Trail Conditions

  • The Hammond-Snyder Trail is currently OPEN to equestrian use.
  • The Quarry Trail which goes from the top of the PGE Trail to the Black Mountain Trail is OPEN to equestrian use.

The Ohlone Indians lived in the Rancho San Antonio area for over 3,000 years prior to the arrival of the Europeans. A large village, known as Partacsi, was located in this general area. An expedition led by Colonel Juan Baptista de Anza passed through this area in March of 1776. Mission Santa Clara de Asis was founded in October of the same year, where many of the local Indians were taken. In 1822, Mexico became independent and the Secularization Act stripped the missions of their holdings. After 1833, land grants were mainly given to army veterans and many ranchos were established. The chief commercial products of the ranchos were cattle hides and tallow. Governor Alvarado granted Rancho San Antonio to Juan Prado Mesa in 1839. This 440- acre rancho was bounded by Adobe Creek to the north and Stevens Creek to the south, and included Permanente Creek. Mesa had been a soldier at the San Francisco Presidio since 1828, served as a corporal in the Santa Clara Guard, and had won fame as a soldier and Indian fighter. Mesa died in 1845. California became part of the United States in 1848 and all land grants issued by the Mexican government became subject to review under U.S. law.

In 1853, William Dana, a former seafarer and merchant, purchased the Rancho. During this time the original Mexican land grants were challenged and six persons laid claim to the Rancho. Two of the claims were patented by the United States in 1857, with Dana retaining 3,542 acres. In 1861, John and Martha Snyder purchased 850 acres of the original Rancho San Antonio lands on Permanente Creek. The Snyder's grain crop of 1862 was the first raised in this area of the County without irrigation and was so successful that it inspired others. The Snyder's had about 500 acres under cultivation, including a 16-acre vineyard with a large winery and 25 acres in orchard. John Snyder, born in 1828 in Indiana, arrived in Santa Clara County in 1850 where he was employed on local farms. In 1855, he married Martha Kifer. John Snyder died in 1901 and his wife continued to live on the ranch until her death in 1919.

In 1923, the Catholic Church purchased the Snyder Ranch and in 1926 constructed Saint Joseph's Seminary and the Maryknoll Seminary. St. Joseph's was badly damaged in the 1989 earthquake and was subsequently demolished. The Maryknoll Seminary, with its oriental motif, stands east of the park across Cristo Rey Drive. The Santa Clara County Parks Department purchased 130 acres in 1977 and another 35 acres in 1981 from St. Joseph's Seminary. The Park's improvements were constructed in the early 1980s with additional improvements completed in 1993.

  • Hours: Open dawn to one-half hour after sunset.
  • Bicyclists: Bikes are allowed on designated trails in this Preserve. Helmets are required for all riders at all times. Please observe the 15-mph trail speed limit (5-mph when passing or approaching blind turns). For more information visit the Bicycle Access page.
  • Equestrians: Horses are allowed on designated trails in this Preserve. Helmets are recommended for all equestrians. For more information visit the Equestrian Access page.
  • Groups: For safety reasons, permits are required for all groups of 20 or more people.
  • Fires: Fires are prohibited on preserves.
     
  • Smoking: Smoking is prohibited on preserves.
     
  • Weapons: Weapons of any kind are prohibited on preserves. 
     
  • Plants and Animals: Please leave plants and animals undisturbed. This not only preserves the natural environment, but is also a safety precaution. 
     
  • Water Areas: Swimming wading, or engaging in any water-contact activity in any water areas of the District is prohibited.

Download District Regulations and Ordinances

Download Preserve Map

Preserve Info

Hiking
Biking
Equestrian
Wheelchair accessible
Restrooms
Good for Kids

Hours

Open dawn to one-half hour after sunset.

Preserve Activities

October 15, 2015
October 29, 2015
December 17, 2015