What? : Nice section of the skyline ridge trail, mainly open space grass landscape with viewpoints to the ocean at the west and nice forest trails.
Where? : The best way to access this open space is to park your car at Hickory Oaks Trail Head on the side of 35 road, this is 1.6 miles north of Saratoga Gap (only few parking spots are available on the road side).
My Thoughts: I really like this park and visited here many times.
The small parking near the road causing fewer visitors. it is a good combination of forests, hills, open sections that provide vista landscape viewing points (good location for sunset...).
I also used to come as part of mountain bike rides, starting at Saratoga gap all the way to the Russian Ridge park.
From the parking spot on the side of hwy 35 you can go west into Long Ridge Preserve section or east, down into Upper Stevens Creek County Park.
Long Ridge Preserve
Start from hwy #35 gate and reach Hickory Oaks trail. Turn right and go from here as far as you want, turning here left and 1.7 miles hike will take you to Saratoga Gap junction.
A recommended 2-3 hr hike:
Take Hickory Oaks trail north, after 0.2 mile take left on the fork and reach the first viewing point. Keep north on Hickory Oaks trail and keep going on the ridge (do not go down), trail is connecting to Long Ridge rd.
Keep walking on Long Ridge trail. The trail will go down and will connect to Peters Creek trail.
Here you start to go back, just keep going on Peters Creek trail south, you will reach a small pond and the trail will turn right and climb back to Long Ridge Rd..
Turn left on Long Ridge Rd. and go back all the way to your parking spot.
Another option to explore is to take the Ward Rd Trail that is going all the way down to Ranch Spring Trail loop or connect to State Creek trail that will lead you to Portola Redwoods State Park.
Upper Stevens Creek County Park access:
This remote and not so much visited section of the park is accessible by Table Mountain Trail or Charcoal Rd trail.
Trails are going steeply down the ridge into the canyon below (a very steep climb up on your way back). The trail keeps going down all the way to Stevenses Creek crossing where it connected to Canyon Trail.
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