Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hiking The Round Valley Regional Preserve


 
 This weekend my wife and I decided to head out Marsh Creek road and go hiking at the Round Valley Regional Preserve... This area of the Mt.Diablo foothils is completely on the other side of the mountain from the Shell and Lime Ridge foothills that roll down the mountain into Concord and Clayton...Just a few minutes out of town  it is a really nice drive along the swollen Marsh Creek with the hills and valleys all painted green this time of year...
The trail head starts with a walk across the creek over a big bridge that provides some great views of the stream  from  above it...

From there we decided to take the hardy canyon trail to the left because it followed along side the stream...Hiking along the stream we eventually came upon the ruins of an old stone house that was built into the hillside beside the stream...
This place looked to me to be from around John Marsh's days..Here is a shot of the view that they had looking out the front window all those years ago....
At that point the trail turns  heading up into Hardy Canyon ... This canyon is very green right now and this was a beautiful day to see it...The rabbits in Hardy Canyon are happy and healthy living the good life at the  Round Valley Preserve...
Yesterdays hike was great! The ground was wet but not too muddy and trail conditions weren't bad...  Heading back up stream hiking along the water we found some beautiful winter foliage growing in big green patches along the trail...

Round Valley Regional Preserve is occupied by a variety of wildlife animals including Mountain Lions...When hiking in the wetter months I find it interesting to look at the different animal tracks in the mud always looking for a Cougar print  left by the water ...Which is where I found this one...
The way to tell a Cougar print from a Dog print is that a Dogs print will have claws as shown below...
The Cougar like all cats has retractable claws so you wont see them in a Cougar print if it is on level ground...The view up the stream standing beneath the bridge where the those tracks were was a beautiful site though ...
As we headed back across the bridge looking down on that spot I could easily envision this beautiful animal down there getting a drink
What a cool thing it is to live in the valleys of this great mountain ... All the way around it you find sights just like these ...

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