Melchor Ranch Links:

Public Hikes on the Melchor Ranch, 11/1/14

SCCOSA Press Releases (includes Melchor Ranch announcement)

Morgan Hill Times: Open Space Authority Acquires 286-acre preserver in northwest Morgan Hill

Letter recommending the purchase of the Melchor Ranch

Other SCCOSA Links:

SCC Open Space Authority

SCCOSA Board of Directors

Rancho Canada Del Oro Open Space Preserve

Rancho Canada Del Oro Hike, 5/16/09

Rancho Canada Del Oro Hike, Mayfair Ranch Trail, 3/14/10

Facebook: Ulistac Natural Area, Santa Clara, 1/12/14

Facebook: Rancho Canada del Oro Hike, Mayfair Ranch Trail 1/18/14

Rancho Canada Del Oro (Pictures by Cait Hutnik)

Bird Count 2006: Rancho Canada Del Oro and Blair Ranch

Bay Nature Institute: Rancho Canada Del Oro

Coyote Ridge Wildflowers, 4/13/08

Coyote Ridge Wildflower Walks 4/18/10 and 4/3/10

Coyote Ridge, 4/18/10 (Facebook)

Coyote Ridge, April 17, 2011 (Facebook Album)

Coyote Ridge Wildflower Walk, 4/13/14

Facebook: Coyote Ridge Hike 4/13/14

Light of Morn: Coyote Ridge

Light of Morn: Coyote Springs Wildflowers

Coyote Ridge Serpentine Grasslands Field Trip

Blair Ranch Hike, 5/9/09

Blair Ranch Hike 3/28/10

Doan Ranch
Page 1, Page 2

Palassou Open Space Preserve Hike, 6/6/09

Bay Area Ridge Trail Links:

Bay Area Ridge Trail

Bay Area Ridge Trail Council's Facebook Page

Facebook, Goal:Hiking the Entire Bay Area Ridge Trail

Ridge Trail Guidebook

Ridge Trail, Sierra Vista map

Ridge Trail: Alum Rock and Boccardo Trail

KQED Quest on the Bay Area Ridge Trail

Mercury News: Santa Clara County: Lots of Trail, Lots of Gaps

Sierra Vista & Alum Rock Park Links:

Aquila Trail Dedication 8/23/14

Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve

Sierra Vista Map

Directions to Sierra Vista pictures, Sierra Vista Opening

Sierra Vista Trail Dedication 10/22/11

Facebook: Sierra Vista Trail Dedication 10/22/11

Sam Drake's Pictures, Sierra Vista Hike 10/22/11

Ellen Finch's Pictures, Sierra Vista Hike 10/22/11

Sierra Vista Boccardo Trail Hike 8/14/10

Facebook: Sierra Vista Hike 11/23/12

Boccardo Loop Trail, 8/14/10

Other Park and Trail Pages:

Santa Clara County Parks

Guadalupe River Park and Gardens:

Guadalupe River Trail

Guadalupe Creek Trail

Coyote Creek Trail

Bay Area Biking

Los Alamitos Creek Trail

Bay Trails, South Bay

Bay Area Parks

Friends of Santa Teresa Park

Almaden Quicksilver Park

SF Bay Rec & Travel

Calero Healthy Trails Hike, 4/25/09

Uvas Canyon Healthy Trails Hike, 2/21/09

Almaden Quicksilver Wildflowers and Views, Spring 2008, Part 2

Healthy Trails Walk, Almaden Quicksilver 3/28/09

Harvey Bear Ranch-Coyote Lake Pictures, 3/10/07, 3/21-21/09, 4/18/09

Joseph D. Grant County Park 1/31/10

Ed Levin County Park, Monument Peak Trail 3/3/09

The Penitencia Creek Trail

Penitencia Creek Trail, Bay Area Ridge Trail Dedication, 10/25/08

Docent Preview of the Melchor Ranch, 10/28/14

On Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, I got a chance to get a preview with docents and staff of the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority of their newest acquisition, the Melchor Ranch. The property is 285 acres. It was purchased by the Open Space Authority, with the Santa Clara County Parks pitching in half the purchase price of $1.4M. The purchase was initiated by the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST). The ranch is along Uvas Road in Morgan Hill between Chesbro and Uvas Reservoirs and south of Croy Road, which leads to Uvas Canyon County Park. It's small compared to other preserves, like Rancho Canada Del Oro, but it has a wide variety of environments and features that are concentrated and easily accessible. It will be great for family interpretive hikes in the future. It already has a large flat area in front for parking and a network of roads that can serve as ready-made trails.

Docents Docents Katherine Dollard, Paul Billig, Les Krammer, and Marc Roddin gather with OSA staff Derek Neumann, Teri Rogoway, and Megan Robinson at the ranch for a van tour on Tuesday, October 28, 2014, just a few days after the Open Space Authority purchased the property.

Derek Neumann, Field Operations Manager for the Open Space Authority (center) surveyed the property right after it was purchased and will lead the van tour. Next to him is Teri Rogoway, Educational Program Coordinator, who is planning public tours of the ranch.

Near the entrance to the ranch is an old road grader and a large fireplace. The hills behind them are part of the ranch.

There are horse facilities on the ranch. There is a neighbor who grazes 3 horses on the ranch and will be allowed to keep the horses there for a year.

The distinguishing feature of the ranch is its 6 spring-fed ponds, which even in a severe drought year still have water in them. This is one of the ponds.

This is a higher pond. The ponds form a valuable habitat for water birds, which in this drought year is critical.

Two of the pond are separated by a levee.

There's a huge bay laurel tree here.

This is a view south towards the neighboring ranch, which has a huge house on the hill. It shows what likely would have happened to this property if it was sold to a private buyer. Fortunately, the sellers were willing to have it turned into public open space forever.

Here's a view of the pond, the hills, and an oak tree with mistletoe.

This property has lots of gray pine trees, which have huge pine cones

This ranch road parallels Uvas Road and is shaded by trees.

This ranch road runs next to Uvas Road.

After the van tour, we went back to the entry area. The road in the background goes steeply up the hill and reaches another road that runs horizontally along the hill.

Here are the 3 friendly residents of the ranch.

This is the ranch entrance on Uvas Road. There's a big hill in the background.

We went on a hike. There's a hill near the entrance that has serpentine rocks. That's a prime habitat for native species. The experienced docents know that and make a beeline for it.

Docents Katherine Dollard and Paul Billig head up the hill. This is a gray pine on top of the hill.

Growing all over the rocks are dudleya. They may be Santa Clara Valley dudleya, which is an endangered species, which would make this an endangered species habitat worthy of special protection.

The top of the hill is nearly solid serpentine.

This is a view looking down from the hill. In the distance to the south is Uvas Reservoir.

This is a telephoto view showing Uvas Reservoir. It is currently almost empty. When it's full, all this area should be underwater.

There are lots of manzanitas covered with lichen on top of the hill.

This is a closeup showing the serpentine rocks on the hill.

There are cut pieces of stone strewn on top of a hill. They look like they could have come from a monument.

On the other side of the serpentine hill are the ponds. This is one of them.

There are lots of ranch road cris-crossing the pond area.

This shows 2 ponds, with a levee between them.

This is a spillway of one of the ponds.

There are red-berried toyon bushes around the ponds.

This pond is surrounded by reeds. There are large boulders on the shore on the right.

This is a smaller lower pond as seen from the dam of the pond above it.

This is that small pond from the shore. Behind it is the dam of the higher pond.

This is looking down at the big open field by the ranch entrance.

All the water in the ranch flows out through this creek, currently dry.

This is looking back up that creek at the hillside.

This was a docent preview. The property was open by reservation to docent-led public tours on 11/1/14.

Created by Ronald Horii, 11/3/14, Modified 3/26/20