Thursday, February 18, 2010

On The Trail @ Paradise Canyon


The panoramic views of this valley ,The Blue Oak forest at the top of Paradise Canyon, The Wild Plum  blossoms throughout the trail this time of year as well as the wildlife that lives here all make for a really nice hike through the upper Lime Ridge Open Space..
..My wife and I decided yesterday was a good day to hike the four trails that we call the Lime Ridge loop... This hike starts out at the Lime Ridge trail head parking lot at the top of Cowell road across Ygnacio...The first trail is the Ohlone trail which takes you  over towards the Ygnacio Valley along the hillside above the road there..
. The first section of the Ohlone trail is mostly up hill providing a good way to get your wind up for the rest of this hike...The entire first stretch of the hike is filled with views of the valley on both sides of Lime Ridge that get better and better as you climb...
After a good bit of up hill walking you finally come to the crest which places you up above Ygnacio Valley road with spectacular views of the valley and the surrounding hills...
Continuing down the other side towards the bottom of the hill is the trail marker for the  Buckeye trail which is part of our loop veering to the left away from the road overlooking the meadow...Here is a great shot of a Wild Plum in the meadow there by a small seasonal watering hole...
The Buckeye trail eventually takes you to the Blue Oak trail marker which is where we again head left and on up the hill heading into the chaparral...This is where you need your oats!
The Blue Oak trail is an up hill climb from this direction for a good distance and in case I didn't mention it I have been pushing my daughter in her off road Jeep stroller this whole time... : ) The inclines at the beginning of the hike on the Ohlone trail as I said are training you for this... However the views along the way up to the top of Paradise canyon heading into the Blue Oak forest are well worth the effort..
.As we reached the top of our loop the trail again veers left onto the Paradise Canyon trail and downhill the rest of the way! At the top of Paradise Canyon there is a beautiful Blue Oak grove that has been there forever and is again blanketed beneath with a lush shade of fresh green grass ...
Always rejuvenating itself with each new season...
As we leave the Blue Oak forest and  head down into Paradise Canyon it becomes obvious that this section of the trail is different from the other sections...
The trail from this direction is a very nice stroll along the side of the canyon almost level with the top of the canopy of trees but also allowing for some great views down into the canyon floor..
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At this point I got a couple of nice shots of a beautiful Red Tail soaring above the trees there..
.As you emerge from the wooded trail you are again provided with some spectacular views of  Concord ... Here is a shot of the NewHall Hill Memorial  taken at that point ...
Winding down the hills through the tall grass the trail eventually takes you back over to Ygnacio and  the trail head parking lot...
What a great local hike full of great views...The cool thing about the Lime ridge trails for me and my family is that you really are off in the woods and yet you are only two or three  miles from home and can see your neighborhood from many points along the trail...Also Jeep makes a great off road stroller, my daughter slept the whole way... : )

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