Dogs No Dogs
The trail itself is relatively flat and wide. It has sweeping views of the surrounding mountains that the family will enjoy, and is a good place for kids to ride their bikes.
As part of the Mid Peninsula Open Space, the area is open from half and hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset throughout the year. The trail is open to hikers, bikers, and equestrians throughout the year.
Need to Know
There are no services along this trail, or in Long Ridge Preserve in general. Make sure to bring enough food, water, and sunscreen for your adventure. The majority of this trail is out in the open, so you'll be exposed to the sun during the day. Practice leave no trace principles when visiting this preserve.
The Long Ridge Road Trail is a half mile, double wide dirt trail that leads from the Ward Road
Trail and Peters Creek Trail
junction to the Long Ridge Trail
. The trail begins by climbing up the hill through an area of grassland, which would have served as great pasture for cattle in the area's ranching history.
While the view is obscured by the hills on the right side of the trail, to the left are sweeping views of the Santa Cruz mountains and on a clear day, the Pacific Ocean. In the evenings, the last bit of sun lights up the hillsides, making it a great end of the day hike.
At roughly half a mile, you arrive at the Wallace Stegner Bench. Dedicated in 1996, this bench preserves the memory of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and supporter of the MidPeninsula Regional Open Space District. The bench offers wonderful views and a great place to take a minute and enjoy the scenery before continuing your hike.
From here, you can either follow the Long Ridge Trail
into the woods to the right or you can retrace your steps back to where you started your hike. Portola Heights Road is closed beyond the bench to all hiking, bicycling and equestrian use.
This trail can be used to make a nice 3 mile loop or a 3.6 mile loop with the Long Ridge and Peters Creek Trail
depending on how much time that you have.
Flora & Fauna
The trail runs along the ridge, where you can see taller grasses growing along the borders of an oak forest. Deer and turkeys can be observed in the mornings and evenings. Hawks can be seen above the trail as they look for prey in the fields below.
Shared By: David Hitchcock