Hoe werkt dit?
La Honda, Ca, USA

Skyline Ridge Habitats

Explore 4 plant communities—riparian, forest, chaparral, grassland—in a short, scenic hike in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Content
provided by
6851 keer bekeken
    This guide contains photos This guide contains audio
 (1 stem)
Difficulty: Makkelijk
Length: 2.0 miles / 3.2 km
Duration: 1 - 3 uur
Goed voor families
 
Overzicht: A lively, sound-rich introduction to Skyline Ridge, one of the most beautiful and intriguing preserves in the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. The adventure starts at the David C. Daniels Nature Center. Then you move to the watery world of cattails and willows at Alpine Pond, climb up through a mixed evergreen forest, weave through some scented chaparral, and traverse a swath of wide-open grassland.

Along the way, you meet MROSD docent programs coordinator Renee Fitzsimons, area superintendent Brian Malone, biologist Cindy Roessler, and docents Strether Smith and Sharon Thomas. Each shares entertaining stories—about local history, rattlesnakes, woodrats, mountain lions, pond turtles, butterflies, and more.


Tips: The preserve is open from dawn until a half hour after sunset. No dogs, please. Poison oak and ticks are the most common annoyances. The preserve is on a ridge at about 1,800 feet in elevation, so be prepared for more wind and weather than in the flatlands.

Park in the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve parking lot at the northwest corner of Skyline Boulevard (Highway 35) and Page Mill Road/Alpine Road intersection (across Skyline Boulevard on the right). Walk through the tunnel under Alpine Road to reach the David C. Daniels Nature Center, where the tour starts.

The District multimedia nature tours formally launched in April 2012. As this is a new pilot program, we appreciate and welcome your feedback and comments.

Points of Interest

Building
map

Daniels Center

Welcome to Skyline Ridge.

In this opening segment, MROSD area superintendent Brian Malone and biologist Cindy Roessler offer some ideas about making the most of the 2-mile-long adventure ahead.
Audio
Please install flash to listen to the audio
1 Daniels Nature Center
map

Riparian Habitat

An introduction to Alpine Pond and its inhabitants, including marsh wrens, red-winged blackbirds, black phoebes and dusky-footed woodrats. With the help of the Renee Fitzsimons, you can learn how to identify some of the pond's avian visitors by the sounds they make.
Audio
Please install flash to listen to the audio
2 Riparian Habitat
map

Grinding Stone

Docent Sharon Thomas takes us into a magical place where you can see evidence of the native peoples who once lived here. Renee Fitzsimons illuminates a different era, when big Douglas firs were hauled to Palo Alto on Old Page Mill Trail.
Audio
Please install flash to listen to the audio
3 Grinding Stone
map

Big Snag

Head up the Sunny Jim Trail (a fire road). When it turns left, you'll see some reddish farm buildings. Stop there to gaze at an old Douglas Fir snag and—if you're lucky—hear the raucous call of the acorn woodpecker.
Audio
Please install flash to listen to the audio
4 Big Snag
map

Forest Edge

Keep heading up the Sunny Jim Trail. When it makes a 180-degree turn into the woods, it's time to ponder transition zones—and get to know tanoaks and thimbleberries.
Audio
Please install flash to listen to the audio
5 Forest Edge2
map

Mixed Evergreen Forest

Just ahead you'll be walking gently upward amid the weird, wavy, only-partly-illuminated shapes of an oak forest. Keep an eye out for massive old canyon oaks, which have many big branches reaching out from a short trunk.

Biologist Cindy Roessler reports on how canyon oaks are faring in the fight against the Sudden Oak Death—a disease that is killing oaks all over California.
Audio
Please install flash to listen to the audio
6 Evergreen Forest
map

Ridge Crest

As you emerge from the oak woodland, you'll see a sign to your left that says "To Butano View Trail." Take that trail up to the top of the ridge. You'll be there in no time, on top of the world. Our next stop is at an unsigned trail junction about a hundred yards below the ridge.
Audio
Please install flash to listen to the audio
7 Ridge Crest
map

Douglas Fir & Madrone

At the trail junction, we discuss the trees you can see just uphill from here. Int In this segment you'll learn
—how to identify a Douglas fir from its cone
—why the red-barked madrone is called the "refrigerator tree," and
—what a "Scotch" pine is doing in the USA.
Audio
Please install flash to listen to the audio
8 Douglas Fir & Madrone
Viewpoint
map

Rattlesnake Point

Docent Strether Smith tells rattlesnake stories and biologist Cindy Roessler revels in the grand view.
Audio
Please install flash to listen to the audio
9 Rattlesnake Point
map

Chaparral

Now we're in the prickly neighborhood. But chaparral can be pleasant if you know its secrets. Right on this trail, you'll make the acquaintance of plants that 1) can track the sun, 2) smell like cherries, 3) give butterflies an edge over their predators, and 4) make cowboys more appealing.
Audio
Please install flash to listen to the audio
10 Chaparral
map

On the Rocks

The Vaqueros sandstone you'll see in an outcrop just ahead has moved up from Southern California over millions of years.
Audio
Please install flash to listen to the audio
11 On the Rocks
map

Grassland

Look for tracks on soft soil of the trail ahead. But don't forget to look up, too. You could easily see a vulture, a red-tailed hawk, or even a golden eagle. You're not likely to see a badger here, but you might see the dome-shaped burrow of this fierce digging machine. Listen as Cindy Roessler exults in the sight of half a dozen deer "pronging" in the meadow below. It's the next best thing to Swan Lake.
Audio
Please install flash to listen to the audio
12 Grassland
map

Canyon Oak

Now it's time to get serious about identifying one of this preserve's signature trees: the canyon live oak. Don't worry about whether the leaves are prickly or smooth. As Cindy Roessler explains, it's all about the shape of the acorn and the back of the leaf.
Audio
Please install flash to listen to the audio
13 Canyon Oak
map

Buckeye & Elderberry

Trees with unusual abilities, such as killing fish and making music.
Audio
Please install flash to listen to the audio
14 Buckeye and Elderberry
map

Homeward Bound

Cruising back to the nature center, Cindy Roessler hears two different messages from a California quail. The tour ends on a froggy yet philosophic note.
Audio
Please install flash to listen to the audio
15 Homeward Bound
Foto's in deze gids zijn genomen door: joan_hamilton, Karl Gohl, Karl Gohl , Joan Hamilton, Cindy Roessler, www.naturepicsonline.com, Joan Hamilton , Walter Siegmund/Wikipedia Commons, Jack Owicki, iStockphoto.com/Joshua Haviv, naturespicsonline.com, Dave Herr/USFS, Joe Oliver

Copyright 2011 Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. All rights reserved.

Skyline Ridge Habitats Trail Map


POIs: nummers | iconen View large Trail Map

Have an iPhone or Android?

  • Breng je route in kaart terwijl je rond reist
  • Voeg foto's toe aan je kaart terwijl je onderweg bent
  • Deel trips vanaf je mobiele telefoon
  • Vind en volg trips van andere reizigers

Beschikbaar voor:
iPhone | Android

Over de Schrijver

mrosd
Formed in 1972 by voter initiative, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District is a non-enterprise...
Andere Gidsen door Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District

Skyline Ridge Habitats 3 Dagen Voorspelling

Extended Forecast
Route beschrijving
Route beschrijving vanuit: