Santa Teresa County Park

Bay Area

Hiking Page

County Parks



Rainbows & Waterfalls 2000





Trails 1

Trails 2


Santa Teresa Park is a wildlife sanctuary. It's filled with birds of all types. I've seen huge wild turkeys on occasion and hear their gobbling frequently. Families of quail can commonly be seen scurrying across the trails. Hawks, turkey buzzards, and other raptors are almost always present, circling and soaring above. There are many species of songbirds, such as meadowlarks and bluebirds. 
turkeys on hill at Santa Teresa Park
Wild turkeys on a hill overlooking the Santa Teresa neighborhood and the IBM plant

Large mammals are here too. I almost always see deer grazing on the hills in the late afternoon and evening. The upper parking lot on Bernal Road is a good place for spotting them. Predators are here too. Once I was hiking on the Bernal Hill Loop Trail and heard an eerie screaming cry. I looked up to see the silhouette of a large doglike animal on the crest of the hill. It was a coyote, the animal that the nearby peak and valley were named after, though these predators are much less common than they used to be. My friends have seen bobcats on the trails. They are usually shy, nocturnal animals. If you're lucky, you may see a brush rabbit, probably the cutest animal in the park, darting across the trail.

Deer near Mine Trail
Deer feeding near the Mine Trail

The park is also mountain lion territory, like most of the open spaces in the Bay Area. I've never seen a mountain lion, but have heard of people seeing them or their tracks. I've never heard of anyone being attacked or bothered by them. Signs in the park tell how to deal with them. 

This is also prime rattlesnake territory. I almost ran over one that was stretched across the Fortini Trail. Watch out for them on the rocky trails. There are also plenty of harmless snakes, like garter snakes. Frogs, newts, and salamanders can be found in the wet areas..

Adjoining lands are used for cattle grazing and raising horses, so these animals are frequently seen (and smelled).

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