Santa Teresa County Park



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Rainbows & Waterfalls 2000
 


Introduction
 


Features
 


Coyote
Peak
 


Wildlife
 


Trails 1
 


Trails 2
 


Future
Hopes

View east from Coyote Peak of the Santa Teresa neighborhood and the Diablo RangeSanta Teresa Park has gradually grown and changed over the years. More and more surrounding properties have been added to the park, until now it covers 1627 acres. It's a smaller sister to Almaden Quicksilver Park, running parallel to it along the Santa Teresa Hills. It ranges in altitude from 200 feet at the Santa Teresa Golf Course to 1155 feet at the top of Coyote Peak, the highest point in the Santa Teresa Hills. The park has 18 miles of trails. To the northeast is the Blossom Valley/Santa Teresa area of San Jose, with its high-tech industries, strip mall shopping centers, and middle-class subdivisions. Beyond that to the east is low, grass-covered 565-foot high Tulare Hill, Monterey Highway, Parkway Lakes, and Highway 101. Far to the east, forming the eastern wall of the Santa Clara Valley, is the high, dry ridge of the Diablo Range, topped by Mount Hamilton and the domes of Lick Observatory at over 4200 feet. To the southwest and west are Calero Reservoir, the wealthy Almaden Valley, the Los Capitancillos Ridge of Almaden Quicksilver County Park, and the steep green Sierra Azuls, dominated by 3486-foot Mt. Umunhum. All of this can be seen from the heights of the park.

The main park road, Bernal Road, climbs up the steep hills into the park and ends at the entrance to IBM's Almaden Research Center, one of the premier private research institutions in the world. Much of the land northwest of the park is IBM property, but a corridor through it has been granted as an easement, along the Stile Ranch Trail. Southeast of the park are hilly ranchlands, which are owned by IBM, leased to cattle ranchers, and provide a backdrop to the IBM Silicon Valley Laboratory on Bailey Avenue. 

In 2000, a parking fee was imposed on parking in the upper parking lots at the Pueblo day use area. However, there are several free entrances to the park: 

  • There is a small parking lot on Bernal Road above the park just before the entrance to the IBM lab. Parking is free here, but the lot is often full. This is a popular starting spot for mountain bikers.
  • Street parking is available near the Bernal Road entrance along Heaton Moor Drive. You can walk or bike up into the park along the bike lane of Bernal Road. You can also reach the Ohlone Trail and the Laurel Canyon Nature Trail (hiking only).
  • At the end of the parking lot at the Santa Teresa Golf Course, near the end of the driving range, is a trail entrance that leads to the Ohlone Trail and Coyote Peak Trail.
  • At the entrance to the archery range at the southeast corner of the park at Bayliss Drive near Ingram Court is the start of the Ohlone Trail. Note that this trail is not open to bicycles.
  • At Heaton Moor Drive and Brockenhurst Drive is the entrance to the former Buck Norred Ranch, now part of the park. A paved but very steep path leads up to the Mine Trail.
  • Farther to the west along Manila Drive is the Santa Teresa Springs and Joice Bernal Rancho complex. The steep Joice Trail leads up the hills into the park from here.
  • In the Almaden Valley near the intersection of Fortini Road and San Vicente Road is the trailhead for the Stile Ranch Trail and Fortini Trail. This entrance can be accessed from the Calero Creek Trail, which connects to the Alamitos-Calero Creek Trail.
  • A service road back entrance is at the end of Country View Drive. This leads to the Coyote Peak Trail west of Coyote Peak. This is not an official entrance and is not open to the public. Littering and vandalism are a problem here.

Created 9/17/99, updated 10/22/14 by Ronald Horii