Ever since my boys can walk, we often spent most of our weekends at museums, zoos, and playgrounds. During the pandemic, that lifestyle has become a distant past. Luckily we quickly adapted to new outdoor activities that are easy to maintain a safe social distance. We used to bike or hike occasionally but now these are our weekly routines. We have been doing 10-mile bike rides with my 6 and 8 year-old boys on weekends, exploring many bike trails in the bay area, including the Pink Salk Farm in Alviso Marina County Park, beautiful creek trails at Los Gatos, and three small creeks that flow into the bay: San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail, Stevens Creek Trail, and Guadalupe River Trail. But, most of our weekday rides are around our neighborhood.
One of our favorite evening rides is right around the Monta Vista area. We often give the ride an “academic start” by traveling through Abraham Lincoln Elementary, John Kennedy Middle School, and Monta Vista High School. We continue to McClellan Rd via Linda Vista Dr and turn into the scenic McClellan Ranch on the right.
Just a few feet from the parking plot is a big sundial. The boys often stopped here to check the time reading against my cell phone. They quickly realized that daylight saving only impacts my watch, but not the sundial.
If you are accompanied by young astronomers, you may challenge them by asking why the sundial points to this specific direction instead of straight up. Do you know the answer?
To the east of the sundial, there is a fenced area with dozens of boxes of honey bees. We sometimes stop here to observe the bees taking off from the beehives and return after collecting a full load of pollen. We even witnessed the beekeeper moving a run-away colony from a nearby bush back to the beehives.
Shortly after visiting the bees, we wave to the adorable alpacas. Can you recognize them after “haircut”?
Leaving the animals behind, we dashed through the ranch, welcomed by sand volleyball courts, play structures, and the Blackberry Farm swimming pool. It is actually an orchard mostly planted with citrus trees. This off-street trail ends at Stevens Creek, after which bicyclists have to share the road with cars. I hope one day, the trail can be extended along the creek all the way, connecting to Stevens Creek Trail at El Camino. That would allow young bicyclists in Cupertino to ride safely off-street all the way.
The return trip starts with a rewind, through Blackberry Farm and then McClellan Ranch. When we got out of the McClellan entrance, we noticed a closed gate across the McClellan Rd. It is an old trail along the perimeter of the Deep Cliff Golf Course. I always say to my boys that it would be great if we can access Linda Vista park from there, avoiding the busy streets. The good news is that our dream has come true. Since the Linda Vista trail construction started in December 2020, we have been biking here several times a week to check the progress.
On the evening of the completion, my family was fortunate to tour the trail before the grand opening. It is a dirt trail with a moderate climb, mostly for pedestrians, so we had to walk our bikes there. With the completion of the trial, we can easily access Blackberry Farm right from the convenient entrance at Linda Vista Park.
The new trail extends another 0.6 mile, making the total trip 1.5 miles one way and a 3-mile round trip. It is great news to anyone who visits the parks often. Please use the crosswalk 30 feet east of the trailhead if you would like to cross McClellan Rd. The gate to the trail is currently locked and the city manager told us the grand opening is coming soon. My family can’t wait to bike on the trails again!