Foothills Park & Open Space Preserve
Los Altos Hills, Santa Clara County, California

6th Hike: Foothill College Day Hike
Instructor: Thomas McCarthy

Friday, November 8, 2013

By Peter Y. Chou

Preface: This is the sixth hike in Thomas McCarthy's Day Hike Class (PHED 23B) at Foothill College. A friend gave me a ride to today's hike at Foothills Park (map, photos) 3300 Page Mill Road, Los Altos Hills. Hiked here on July 4, 1989 and had to bring current PG&E bill to prove Palo Alto residency. Made a wrong turn today on Page Mill Road and arrived at hike at 1:20 pm. Noticed the instructor's sign-up sheet and hike directions on his car's windshield. However, we crossed the wrong bridge at the beautiful Borondo Lake with white-billed coots. Around 2:40 pm, we met an older gentleman (Mark) from our class near Shady Cove. He informed us that we took the wrong turn and can find our way taking the Woodrat Trail. It took 29 minutes hiking on this 0.4 mile trail to the Toyon Trail. A dozen photos on the Woodrat Trail were dark (Arching Bay Tree, Tuning Fork Bay Tree) and need brightening in Photoshop. Hard to find Wildhorse Valley Trail as it was not on official map. Around 3:23 pm, met Emma & later Robin from our class, who told us the wooden bridge is past post #25. Finally found the Five Steps at 3:31 pm and the Wooden Bridge at 3:35 pm. Tom's hike instruction: "Cross bridge— start new trail on other side of access road. Follow Costanoan Trail (1.3 miles) through Fern Valley. Cross 2nd bridge (Los Trancos Bridge). Follow to top (view area— service road). Turn back at this point. Turn left at Woodrat Trail (starts with 6 stairs). Follow to parking lot (0.4 mile)". Los Trancos Trail Signpost across the service road says the 1.3 miles Costanoan Trail hike takes 50 minutes. Since it was 3:45 pm already, it would be dark around 6 pm getting back. So it was safer to follow the numbered posts from #25 to #1 and 0.4 mile returning to the park entrance. Picked up "Toyon Nature Trail" flyer near a post by the Bridge, and didn't look at its content that the numbered posts refer to plants on the trail. Got back to the park entrance at 4:49 pm. My friend yelled "thousand-legged insect" in the lady restroom, but it was just a centipede. Caught view of a Half Moon at Twilight. Missed photo of a deer stepping in front of the car looking at us on Page Mill Road. Below are 104 photos from today's hike.

Foothills Park Signpost

Page Mill Road to Foothills Park

California Live Oak at Park Entrance

Maple Tree in Open Field

Greetings to Old Oak Stump

Old Hag Tree on Trail

Approaching Boronda Lake

View of Boronda Lake

Virgin Bowers (Clematis virginiana)

Gnarly Oak by Boronda Lake

Marsh Reeds by Boronda Lake

Reeds & Coots in Boronda Lake

Sunflare through Y-Shape Tree

Trail to Boronda Lake

Trail by Boronda Lake

Trail to Boronda Lake Bridge

Coots in Boronda Lake

Needle Reeds Curtain Lake View

Needle Reeds Window to Lake

Bending Bay Tree to Boronda Lake

Boronda Lake Bridge

Ramp Trail & Boronda Lake View

Arching Bay Trees

Crossing Boronda Lake Bridge

Bench by Boronda Lake

Trail by Boronda Lake

Coots Coming to the Shore

Coot Coming Close to Shore

Coot Coming Close By

Vegetation in Boronda Lake

Bench by Boronda Lake

Closeup of Coot by Shore

Closeup of Coot near Shore

Closeup of Coot near Shore

Vista View through Bay Tree

Bench with Lake View

Coots in Boronda Lake

Lakeside Picnic Area

Bay Tree Drinking in Lake

Rock in Boronda Lake

Boronda Bridge Across the Lake

View of Road & Hills

Shady Cove Picnic Area Signpost

Woodrat Trail Signpost

Hiking on Woodrat Trail

Twisted Bay Tree

"Tuning Fork" Bay Tree

Crumbling Old Oak

Arching Bay Tree

Six Steps Stair to Woodrat Trail

Six-Trunks Bay Tree

Vista View from Woodrat Trail

View of Lake from Woodrat Trail

"Wild Wolf" Trunk on Trail

Wildhorse Valley Trail Signpost

Six Steps to Woodrat Trail

Post 17: Mountain Vista

Found Five Steps at Last!

Round California Live Oak

Wooden Bridge & Toyon Trail Signpost

Los Trancos Trail Signpost

Wildhorse Valley Trail

View from Wooden Bridge

Buckeye Tree (Aesculus glabra)

Downhill Trail to the Right

Thicket of Bay Trees

Post #25 Closest to Wooden Bridge

Uphill for Scenic View

Vista View from Uphill

Another Vista View from Uphill

Virgin Bowers from Uphill

Dead Bay Tree "O" Trunk

Bay Trunk's "O Cry of Pain"

"Aries Ram Horn" Trunk

Post #12: "Trident" Trunk

Post #14 for Shakespearean Sonnets

Vista View from Toyon Trail

Another Vista View for Toyon Trail

Gnarly Bay Trees

Serpentine Bay Branch

Post #4: Y-Shape Live Oak

V-Shape Trunk

Vista View of Light & Dark

Serpentine Branch of Bay Tree

Horizontal Bay Tree on Trail

"Bird Beak" Image in Trunk

"Heart Image" in Trunk

Post #3: Coastal Wood Fern

Gnarly Bay Tree

Hilltop View thru Gnarly Bay Tree

Post #1: Toyon Trailhead

"Gaussian" Hill from Toyon Trail

"Gaussian" Hill through Tree Branches

Toyon Trail Signpost

Y-Shape California Live Oak

Maple Tree near Entrance

Half Moon at Twilight

Porsche Car Logo

Centipede in Lady Restroom

Half Moon above the Trees

Foothills Open Field at Twilight (1)

Trees on Hill at Twilight

Porsche Car Parked Behind Us

Deer in Front of Car on Page Mill Road

— Photographs by Peter Y. Chou, November 8, 2013

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