Blue Oak Trail is a "shortcut" between the midsections of Coyote Ridge Trail
and Gaviota Trail
. Thus, it is typically combined with these other trails as part of a hike in Coyote Lake - Harvey Bear Ranch County Park. Although Blue Oak Trail can be traveled in either direction, this description starts from Coyote Ridge Trail
at its 2.1 mile mark.
From Coyote Ridge Trail
, Blue Oak Trail descends gradually for its entire length as it drops down the western side of Coyote Ridge. It begins in a high grass meadow on the crest of Coyote Ridge. In the spring, there is a variety of wildflowers here that are typical of the grass hills.
The terrain soon becomes wooded as Blue Oak Trail approaches a seasonal branch of Church Creek. Making a sharp right turn and crossing the creek bed, the trail follows the creek downstream in the woods for about a quarter mile. Besides the vegetation changing to woods, the variety of spring wildflowers also changes to woodland flowers here.
At about the 0.4 mile mark, Blue Oak Trail then veers left and leaves the wooded creek behind, as it crosses another grass hillside, complete with grassland wildflowers in the spring. Here, the trail is heading to another wooded seasonal creek valley that it reaches after about a quarter mile.
This second seasonal creek is yet another branch of Church Creek. Blue Oak Trail enters the woods of this creek valley and makes a sharp right turn as it crosses the creek bed. With this creek now to the right of the trail, the trail follows the creek downstream in the woods. Very shortly, Gaviota Trail
appears and Blue Oak Trail ends here at the 1.5 mile mark along Gaviota Trail
Expect grass meadows and wooded creek valleys. Oaks dominate in the woods, with some California buckeye trees also. A large variety of spring wildflowers typical of both the grass and wooded terrains can be found here as well.