Runners on Rogue Valley Trail

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 -- refer to the map and trail signage for where each activity is permitted.

Please Be Alert

If you see a mountain lion do not run; slowly back away, leave the area and report the sighting to a Midpen ranger at 650-691-2165.

Mountain lions in California face many challenges. They need large habitats, and because their native territories in the Santa Cruz Mountains have become hemmed in by roads and development, some mountain lions inhabit areas of open space near the wildland-urban interface. As a top-level predator, mountain lions play and important role our local ecosystem and projects like the Midpen Highway 17 Wildlife and Trail Crossings are critical to keeping wildlife populations safe and healthy.

Find out more about mountain lions and how to stay safe while out on the trails.

Sign up for Rancho San Antonio Preserve updates

Multimodal Access Project

Midpen is beginning a Parking and Transportation Demand Analysis for Rancho San Antonio to:

  • Evaluate existing parking and access conditions
  • Understand how visitors access the preserve
  • Identify strategies to encourage other modes of travel and reduce parking demand.

Help Midpen understand parking and access issues by filling out the survey below:

Take the Parking Survey Here

Gallery

Features

Rancho San Antonio County Park is managed by Midpen through an operations and management agreement with the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department. Together, Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space Preserve provide diverse 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 trough, is located adjacent to the South Meadow. Nongas-powered model airplane enthusiasts use a staging area adjacent to the parking lots near the park entrance for takeoffs and landings and fly their aircraft above the South Meadow area. Download model airplane rules here. Please note that during red flag warnings the model aircraft area will be closed.

The North Meadow area, across Permanente Creek from the parking and staging areas, provides an informal irrigated meadow grass play area. 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. Please note that during red flag warnings the barbecue area will be closed.

 

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 turn-of-the-century ranch buildings, an organic garden and a cow, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens and other animals. An additional attraction is the restored Grant Cabin, furnished to represent living conditions in the late 1800s.

How to Get Here

Parking at the preserve can be congested at busy times.Bicycling, walking, and use of ride apps or public transportation is encouraged.  Or, take the NEW Via-Cupertino Shuttle—an on-demand shuttle service providing transportation anywhere in Cupertino and to Sunnyvale Caltrain!

Bicycle directions_bike     Walk directions_walk     Transit directions_transit     Drive drive_eta

Driving 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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

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 Skyline Ridge, as well as across Santa Clara Valley.

Stephen E. Abbors 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. (formerly PG & E 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.

Trail Conditions

This information is updated as needed when trails are opened or closed, or when there is scheduled trail maintenance. Visit the full Trail Conditions page for more information.

  • A portion of the Hammond-Snyder Trail is CLOSED, due to construction by the Santa Clara Valley Water District. The CLOSED segment of trail is marked in RED on the map below. Find out more about the Permanente Creek Flood Protection Project at valleywater.org.A portion of the Hammond-Snyder trail is closed during SCVWD construction.
Date updated: Friday, November 15, 2019 - 4:30pm

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 without irrigation in this area of the county 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 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 county park improvements were constructed in the early 1980s, with additional improvements completed in 1993.

Regulations

  • Hours: Open half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset.
  • Bicycles: Are allowed on designated trails only (those shown on the map for bicycle use). Helmets are required. Observe the 15 mph trail speed limit (5 mph when passing). 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.
  • Model Aircraft and Drones: Model aircraft are allowed within the designated flying area at Rancho San Antonio County Park, however drone use is not allowed in any District-managed area.  Model Aircraft Rules
  • Permits: A use permit is required for any activity or event which: may be attended by twenty (20) or more people; OR is advertised or noticed in any publication, poster, electronic posting or flyer; OR requests/requires a fee be paid for participation. Visit the Permit page for more information.
     
  • Fires: Fires are prohibited in preserves.
     
  • Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in preserves.
     
  • Weapons: All weapons are prohibited in preserves.
     
  • Plants & Wildlife: Please leave plants and animals undisturbed. If you encounter wildlife during a visit, do not approach, startle or feed it. Although wild animals are generally fearful of humans and will run away, some wildlife can be dangerous. 
     
  • Water Areas: Swimming, wading or engaging in any water-contact activity 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 -- refer to the map and trail signage for where each activity is permitted.

Please Be Alert

If you see a mountain lion do not run; slowly back away, leave the area and report the sighting to a Midpen ranger at 650-691-2165.

Mountain lions in California face many challenges. They need large habitats, and because their native territories in the Santa Cruz Mountains have become hemmed in by roads and development, some mountain lions inhabit areas of open space near the wildland-urban interface. As a top-level predator, mountain lions play and important role our local ecosystem and projects like the Midpen Highway 17 Wildlife and Trail Crossings are critical to keeping wildlife populations safe and healthy.

Find out more about mountain lions and how to stay safe while out on the trails.

Sign up for Rancho San Antonio Preserve updates

Multimodal Access Project

Midpen is beginning a Parking and Transportation Demand Analysis for Rancho San Antonio to:

  • Evaluate existing parking and access conditions
  • Understand how visitors access the preserve
  • Identify strategies to encourage other modes of travel and reduce parking demand.

Help Midpen understand parking and access issues by filling out the survey below:

Take the Parking Survey Here

Features

Rancho San Antonio County Park is managed by Midpen through an operations and management agreement with the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department. Together, Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space Preserve provide diverse 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 trough, is located adjacent to the South Meadow. Nongas-powered model airplane enthusiasts use a staging area adjacent to the parking lots near the park entrance for takeoffs and landings and fly their aircraft above the South Meadow area. Download model airplane rules here. Please note that during red flag warnings the model aircraft area will be closed.

The North Meadow area, across Permanente Creek from the parking and staging areas, provides an informal irrigated meadow grass play area. 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. Please note that during red flag warnings the barbecue area will be closed.

 

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 turn-of-the-century ranch buildings, an organic garden and a cow, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens and other animals. An additional attraction is the restored Grant Cabin, furnished to represent living conditions in the late 1800s.

Parking at the preserve can be congested at busy times.Bicycling, walking, and use of ride apps or public transportation is encouraged.  Or, take the NEW Via-Cupertino Shuttle—an on-demand shuttle service providing transportation anywhere in Cupertino and to Sunnyvale Caltrain!

Bicycle directions_bike     Walk directions_walk     Transit directions_transit     Drive drive_eta

Driving 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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

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 Skyline Ridge, as well as across Santa Clara Valley.

Stephen E. Abbors 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. (formerly PG & E 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.

Trail Conditions

This information is updated as needed when trails are opened or closed, or when there is scheduled trail maintenance. Visit the full Trail Conditions page for more information.

  • A portion of the Hammond-Snyder Trail is CLOSED, due to construction by the Santa Clara Valley Water District. The CLOSED segment of trail is marked in RED on the map below. Find out more about the Permanente Creek Flood Protection Project at valleywater.org.A portion of the Hammond-Snyder trail is closed during SCVWD construction.
Date updated: Friday, November 15, 2019 - 4:30pm

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 without irrigation in this area of the county 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 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 county park improvements were constructed in the early 1980s, with additional improvements completed in 1993.

  • Hours: Open half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset.
  • Bicycles: Are allowed on designated trails only (those shown on the map for bicycle use). Helmets are required. Observe the 15 mph trail speed limit (5 mph when passing). 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.
  • Model Aircraft and Drones: Model aircraft are allowed within the designated flying area at Rancho San Antonio County Park, however drone use is not allowed in any District-managed area.  Model Aircraft Rules
  • Permits: A use permit is required for any activity or event which: may be attended by twenty (20) or more people; OR is advertised or noticed in any publication, poster, electronic posting or flyer; OR requests/requires a fee be paid for participation. Visit the Permit page for more information.
     
  • Fires: Fires are prohibited in preserves.
     
  • Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in preserves.
     
  • Weapons: All weapons are prohibited in preserves.
     
  • Plants & Wildlife: Please leave plants and animals undisturbed. If you encounter wildlife during a visit, do not approach, startle or feed it. Although wild animals are generally fearful of humans and will run away, some wildlife can be dangerous. 
     
  • Water Areas: Swimming, wading or engaging in any water-contact activity is prohibited.

Download District Regulations and Ordinances

Download Preserve Map

Preserve Info

Hiking
Biking
Equestrian
Wheelchair accessible
Restrooms
Good for Kids

Hours

Preserves are open from one-half hour before official sunrise until one-half hour after official sunset.

Preserve Activities