Once again I returned to the Coyote Creek Parkway for another long training walk, part of marathon training. I’ve continued to increase the distance and today I was aiming for 23 miles. Since the hike to my previous turnaround point was 9 miles (18 miles round trip) I planned to re-visit 2½ miles of my previous hike of the north end of the Parkway.
The Bay Area Ridge Trail guide suggests that the main southern trailhead is at the Burnett Avenue Ranger Station, so I checked that out first. Surprisingly, after following the driving directions I found neither a ranger station nor anything resembling a paved multi-use trail (or access to a trail). After a few minutes I abandoned this search and went to the “alternative” trailhead at the edge of a relatively new housing development off Cochrane Rd: follow the bike path signs and you easily find a parking area. This turns out to be the location of mileage marker 0 (northbound), and was actually the place I wanted to start my walk.
I have noticed that the Bay Area Ridge Trail markers come in several different sizes and shapes. The markers along the Coyote Creek Parkway are especially discreet, perhaps not to intrude on the primary trail designation. As is typical for multi-use trails there are specific “rules of the road” for shared use by pedestrians, cyclists, and equestrians.
I was glad to note that the spring wildflowers are still in season.
Although slightly cooler than average today, I was actually grateful for the cloud cover. On such a long walk it’s a challenge to carry enough fluid without feeling like I’m hauling a heavy pack, and there’s often no water available along the trail after leaving the trailhead. I like to be able to make do with two fanny packs to carry the needed drinks and snacks. I have learned to eat – certain foods – while I walk at a brisk pace, and am able to nourish and keep up on fluids and electrolytes, essentially without breaking stride. Of course, eating and drinking without stopping is more important for a training activity than for a regular-type hike!
After my first, exploratory, walk on the Coyote Creek Parkway I was curious to find out the condition of the section of trail that had previously been under water. As you can see, the pavement was completely dry, though it was evident that it had recently been inundated.
I’m including the GPS track again for comparison with the track for the north section of the Parkway.
The mileages listed in my stats box are as uploaded from my GPS, and for today’s walk were reported as slightly longer than expected based on the mileage markers, 23.3 miles instead of 23.0 round trip. Driving home afterward, my turnoff from US 101 was at CA85. I was almost startled to realize that my walk had taken me from Cochrane Rd to a mile and a half north of this interchange – and back.