For this hike I returned to the Coyote Creek Parkway for another long training walk, part of marathon training. I’ve been gradually increasing the distance and today I was aiming for about 18 miles.
This section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail starts at Stonegate Park just south of Tully Road in San Jose. It is pretty literally in a greenbelt strip along the Coyote Creek, passing through urban areas at the north and progressing through the fringes of development in south San Jose. The northern portion is actually part of the Coyote Creek Trail and is maintained by the City of San Jose. Within Coyote-Hellyer County Park the Coyote Creek Parkway begins officially with mile marker 0 (also labeled 15½ on the other side of the marker, indicating the total length of the designated Parkway trail). Coyote-Hellyer County Park and the Coyote Creek Parkway are maintained by Santa Clara County, though both are technically within San Jose city limits. In the Bay Area we are fortunate to have many different organizations – city, county, and regional – that own and maintain parks for public recreation. I’m mentioning some of this detail since I noted that the segment mileage in the Bay Area Ridge Trail guide is about a mile short of the actual distance. This is less of an issue for point-to-point hikes but becomes more important in planning round trip hikes.
Once on the Parkway proper (with mileage markers), most of the trail has development along only one side at most. There are nice views of the surrounding hills, as well as wildflowers and flowering trees at this time of year.
Although US 101 traffic is visible in the background in places, it is unobtrusive other than near the undercrossings. I had been wondering how the trail negotiates the US 101 – CA85 interchange a couple miles north of Metcalf Rd. I had also noted that, at that undercrossing, the trail passed under one or two extra sections of road that I couldn’t identify. A check of the street map shows that the extra pieces of road are actually the ramps between 85 and 101. Mystery solved!
My turnaround point for today was the mileage marker (6½ southbound, 9 northbound) just south of the Metcalf Park staging area. This achieved my planned walking distance for today and provided another 18-mile segment from the south end of the Parkway for another day.