Where? : The park is located in south west section Santa Clara county at foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
What? : The small preserve has few nice trails covering the park hills and also an easy walk near the parking lot.
When? : Year round, recommended for nice winter/spring day hike.
Due note: The multi-use trails are open to hikers and mountain bikers.
My thoughts: This is a nice park that I visit several times. Even though it is relatively a small park the few hike options can be short or long, usually without many people and a nice combination of south valley mountains viewing points from ridge top, valley meadows and running water streams.
Rancho Canada is connected at the high ridge line trail system to the large Calero County park and together they create one very large continues open nature space.
There is a small parking lot and if it full than there is another one few hundred feet down the road.
Short 1: for kids, strollers and disabilities, walk at the meadow near the first parking lot valley, short paved Llagas Creek Loop Trail (0.5 mile) will take around near the river and back.
Short 2: From the First parking lot cross the road and get into Longwall Canyon Trail and hike into the valley, hike a 1 mile or how long you want into the the nice valley and river; once you done go back to the parking lot.
Medium (4.3 miles, Blue hike on the map): Highly recommended trail, not so long, first section going up the ridge and have a nice view on the landscape in both sides of the ridge.
Start on the one-way Mayfair Ranch Trail from the main road shortly after entering the first parking lot (do it clockwise loop).
Go up the winding trail and enjoy the nice landscape and open meadows between the large trees at the ridge top section.
The trail will continue and will take you down into the Baldy Ryan Canyon (has running water). Cross the bridge and keep going on the other side up until you will reach Longwall Canyon Trail, turn right and the trail will take you down and back to the parking lot.
Medium (4.3 miles, Red trail on the map): Another 4.3 miles trail as the previous one but this for this option the ridge it climbs is much higher and wider more expose trails, so this is less recommended trail.
Take Longwall Canyon Trail, after about half a mile turn right onto the Needlegrass Trail.
The trail ascends all the way to the high ridge (1.2 miles up hill).
The view from the high point is very nice and the area has less trees.
At the ridge top turn right onto the Bald Peaks Trail and descend all the way down the valley and return back to the parking lot.
Overall a nice round with beautiful views to the north.
Long (8.7 miles, Orange trail on the map): This option combines the two medium routes into one big loop.
After the ascent and descent on the Mayfair Ranch Trail and across the bridge this time turn left onto the Longwall Canyon Trail (one-way section up only).
After a winding ascent along 2 miles contacts to the ridge line.
Continue right on the Bald Peaks Trail for another 0.3 miles until on your left there is a short path to the top of the highest mountain in the area.
From this point there is a very beautiful view in all directions.
The Bald Peaks Trail continues along the ridgeline in an open area with beautiful views in all directions.
Continue walking on Bald Peaks Trail all the way until you get back down to the parking lot. This is relatively long loop hike, two ascents sections but with beautiful views.
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