Friday, February 5, 2010

On The Trail @ Crystal Ranch



Today I went for a walk on the trail in Crystal Ranch... This trail is an East Bay Regional Parks trail and is well maintained...  This stretch of the California hiking and riding trail can be found crossing Crystal Ranch road at the bottom of the hill inside the neighborhood...
The trail takes you back into the borders of the Mangini Ranch property where the headwaters of the Galindo Creek begin.
..This section of the  trail explores a very unique part of the foothills connecting the mountain to the Lime Ridge area...
 
The 208 acre Mangini property was sold to the folks at Save Mount Diablo to be reintroduced as part of Mt.Diablo's  protected public lands..
.Hiking on that land as of yet is allowed only with permission ...The trail does go right up to a locked gate with many posted no trespassing signs on it...
At that point the trail turns uphill to the right and starts to climb up over a deep ravine with beautiful old Oak trees sprawled out all through it..

.Along the way the trail conditions were muddy a bit in spots allowing for the easy identifying of some obvious animal tracks left by a Cougar as well as a Bobcat ..
.I also found scat on the trail just above the ravine there... Cougar and Bobcat scat will commonly be right on the trail left there purposely as a territorial marker...
Hiking further into the canyon I came to a Huge old Oak tree that looked like its branches had been the favorite napping spot for the animals of this canyon...
Hiking off trail just a bit I headed up to one of the head springs that flow down into Galindo Creek and on down Cowell rd... The Hike off trail over to the springs was only about a hundred yards but as I approached  it the sound of what seemed to be a million frogs became very loud...
It wasn't until I was standing right at the bank's of the spring that they briefly  stopped their  amphibian choir...
I did not see any Blacktailed Deer on this hike out here but I did see plenty of hoof prints all around the springs and on the trail as well... This canyon is separated only by barbed wire from the Mangini land which is the home and favorite hunting grounds of many different raptors like this beautiful Red Tailed Hawk...
These two seemed to be keeping tabs on me as I hiked through their favorite cafeteria ...
The beautiful green hillsides this time of year always make for some great pictures...Adding even more to the experience as I enjoyed this trail today!  

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