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592. Coyote Peak (11/23/07)

Hikers (12): David, Diane, Hima, Iyad, Jeff, Ken, Paul, Russ, Sabine, Scott, Steve, Wennie
Distance: 8 miles
Rating: 2 difficulty, 8 beauty
Park info: Santa Teresa County Park in South San Jose

Write-up by Steve

Our friends in the Hayward Hiking Club forwarded an invitation to participate in Santa Clara County's Healthy Trail (HT) fitness challenge. The challenge is hiking five of the trails listed in their booklet in a year, so it sounded like something fun and easy to do. But not so! You see, the actual challenge is finding hikes among their selection of 21 routes that are even remotely INCH-worthy. This isn't entirely their fault, as the Santa Clara County Parks are generally either small, flat, or both.

For this first HT hike (and post-Thanksgiving calorie burner), I pieced together two of their trails: 3.5 mile "strenuous" (pg 50) + 2.5 mile "moderate" (pg 40) + love = 8 mile INCH Level 2. We'll count it as one entry in the HT log, although the rules/requirements are pretty hazy. Originally, I was thinking about doing their five hardest hikes in a day, but the shuttle requirements scuttled that idea.

Not remembering our lesson from the last visit, I selected the free parking lot near the end of Bernal for the trail head. Although we actually had a good number of car poolers, we were still a few slots short of space, so the late comers had to park down at the enormous Hidden Springs lot and have a warm-up hike to the trail head. That wasn't such a bad thing, as it was a bit nippy outside.

1, 2, 3. . .INCH!

We first did the Stile Ranch/Fortini Trail Loop, enjoying the fine IBM easement. From there we went along Mine Trail to Hidden Springs. I added a bonus section down Ridge Trail to Laurel Springs to set up a harder hike up Boundary Trail. It was a good huff, but it wasn't too long until we made it to Coyote Peak. After checking the view from the three benches up there, I settled on the least windy bench for lunch. Later, Scott would ask if I had chosen the worst spot to have lunch. Quite the contrary! (But it was still cold and windy) Others gave up on the view and took shelter behind some rocks for lunch instead.

From the peak, it was Rocky Ridge and Mine Trail back to the cars. Surprisingly, all of the hikers who had parked at the "remote" lot still came up to the trail head. Several commented that they wanted to make sure they wouldn't get Black Leafed. That's the spirit--good job!

Ken's 30th leaf
Scott's 80th leaf

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