Upper Lake Loop Trail
ElevationAscent: 5' 1 m
Descent: -4' -1 m
High: 983' 300 m
Low: 978' 298 m
GradeAvg Grade: 1% (0°)
Max Grade: 1% (1°)
Current trail conditions
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“An interpretive trail around the Upper Lake providing history and ecosystems found in the area.”— David Hitchcock
Family Friendly The short 0.2 mile trail allows you to explore the nature and history of the area. Turtles may be seen in the lake, frogs heard in the evenings, and turkeys feeding in the evenings.
1. The first stop describes the reptiles and amphibians that you might see in the lake as you make your way around it. Turtles, salamanders, and newts are described in detail.
2. Ohlone Mortars, used by the Ohlone Indians to grind grass seeds and acorns into flour, sit on the side of the trail. Moved from other areas as a landscaping element in the "estate period."
3. The logging of the redwoods is described in detail.
4. The water systems were dramatically altered starting in the mid 1800s. Webb Creek was dammed to expand Upper Lake for milling purposes. Estate Owner Dr. Harry L. Tevis made the lake deeper and wider, as well as constructing cisterns to help keep his gardens lush.
5. St. Joseph's Shrine was built in the early days of Alma College and once housed a statue of St. Joseph. You can see the remnants of the shrine here.
6. Bear Creek Redwoods OSP is shaped by the San Andreas Fault, which helped form the Upper Lake and ridges above you.
7. The tension between native and non-native plants which were added during the "estate period" is described.
8. Roses from Dr. Tevis' gardens, as well as his love of horticulture, are described in detail. Here you can see the roses, especially as they bloom in the spring.
9. The last stop describes the importance and mission of the Midpeninsula Open Space District and POST to preserve these ecosystems instead of letting them be developed for future generations to enjoy. The work of these two organizations, as well as generous private donations allowed this preserve to be created in 1999.
Redwood trees, Douglas Firs, and oak trees can be seen in the area. Blackberry bushes and rose bushes can be seen along portions of the trail.
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Land Manager: Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District