General Guidelines for Visitors
Reservations are not required for docent- or staff-led hikes, unless otherwise stated. All activities are free. To get the most out of your experience, it’s helpful to follow these guidelines:
Wear suitable clothing. Dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes or hiking boots. A cool morning can quickly turn into a hot afternoon. Wearing layers helps you adapt to changing temperatures. Sturdy shoes make navigating the trails easier and more comfortable.
Bring sunscreen, a hat and insect repellent. If your hike has a special theme such as wildflowers or birds, bring a magnifying glass, binoculars, field guide, small notebook or camera to help you study and record what you see.
Carry water. There is no drinkable water on the preserves. Also, consider bringing snacks or a lunch if you will be on the trail for several hours. A small daypack lets you carry what you need and keep your hands free.
Plan to arrive at the meeting place a few minutes early. Most activities are scheduled at Rancho Cañada del Oro Open Space Preserve and leave from the staging area on Casa Loma Road. There is adequate parking and a restroom but no water or telephone and cell phone coverage is spotty. Do not plan to leave valuables in your parked car while you’re on the trail.
Choose a hike or activity that suits your interests and capabilities.
Most of all, expect to have a great time!
Beginning April 19, 2014, mountain bike use will be allowed on the ½ mile segment of Serpentine Loop trail in Calero County Park that connects to Longwall Canyon Trail in Rancho Cañada del Oro. The County of Santa Clara will now allow limited access for dogs in designated areas within Calero County Park, including their parking area located on McKean Road. Get more info on Calero here.
Please Note: at this time, dogs are not permitted on Open Space Authority lands or trails including the Rancho Cañada del Oro Casa Loma parking area.