Bench Marks the Spot

THE HIKE: Little-known Long Ridge may not be the most popular open space on the Peninsula, but it…

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THE HIKE: Little-known Long Ridge may not be the most popular open space on the Peninsula, but it sure has big potential. A 2-mile path treats hikers to a forest canopy along lightly flowing Peters Creek. The trail then climbs upward, rising out to a ridge where many wanderers may not actually spot a stone seat known as Stegner Bench. That’s because the bench is slightly hidden, set in a mix of golden grass with just its top half showing. Catching the scenery from Stegner is like watching an IMAX movie called Best in Nature. Hills rise and descend all the way to the Pacific, as far as the eyes can see. The bench is named after Pulitzer Prize–winning author Wallace Stegner, a strong advocate of land protection for pubic enjoyment. Take a seat, enjoy the show.

THE EDIBLES: Tucked back in a downtown Saratoga courtyard, the Vienna Woods Deli is well worth a stop. The food is fresh and the service is friendly. Soups, sandwiches, and all the fixin’s make it a perfect place to pick up some tasty picnic supplies. Try the chicken-salad sandwich.

Directions to the Stegner Bench: Park at the Grizzly Flat parking area on Hwy 35, west of Saratoga. The parking area is on the east side of the road; 3.3 miles south of the intersection of Hwy 35 with Page Mill Rd., and 3.6 miles north of the intersection of Hwy 35 with Hwy 9. Cross the road and descend the trail heading toward Peters Creek Trail. At the first intersection with the Long Ridge Trail, stay on Peters Creek Trail. At the second intersection, make a hard right on a connector trail toward the Long Ridge Trail. Follow this .4 mile and make a left on the Long Ridge Trail. Go .8 mile: the bench is at the intersection of the Long Ridge Trail and Long Ridge Rd. (at gate LR04 on the map). No dogs.

Vienna Woods Delicatessen, 14567 Big Basin Way, Saratoga; 408-867-2410. Open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays and from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sundays.

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