Alum Rock State Park

By Carol at 11:53 pm on Friday, November 6, 2009

stone bridge

The hike today took us to the eastern foothills of Silicon Valley, to the oldest municipal park in California, Alum Rock Park.

Nature has caused some changes to the park in recent years. In 2000, severe storms caused a landslide, resulting in the closure of the original Alum Rock Avenue entrance. Then in 2007, a 5.6 earthquake, with an epicenter just five miles from the park, at the convergence of the Hayward and Calaveras faults, caused a dried up spring to begin running once again.

As we entered the park, old railroad supports and other structures made of stone were visible alongside the road.

Our trail starts at this old stone bridge.

Alum Rock Creek

There was a surprising amount of water and fish in Penitencia Creek, for the beginning of the rainy season.

top of hill Alum Rock
View from the summit, across the valley, overlooking a buckeye tree growing orange lichens.

green trail

Shaded areas are very wet and green after recent heavy rains.

Hollow log

A magical hollow stump, potential home for forest creatures.

buckeye nuts
The leafless buckeyes are covered with mature nuts.

big leaf maple

Fall color was limited to the yellow big leaf maples, and the red poison oak.

sycamore bark

Native sycamores flourish along the stream. The bark is blotched with grey and white.

new trails

A newly opened trail system criss-crosses the steep terrain across the valley. New grasses are just emerging through the brown remnants of last years grass crop.

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