This is for those who like to find their hiking thrills in the hills! Make this destination near Fairfield one of your spring strolling—and birding—sites. Lynch Canyon Open Space Park has rolling grassland, oak woodland, and a 3.6-mile loop where birds of all feathers flock together—including golden eagles and other raptors like the white-tailed kite.
From the staging area, hike from Lynch Road to Middle Valley Trail for a gradual, steady climb. There’s an offshoot called Bobcat Trail, which within 0.2 mile joins back to Middle Valley Trail and a dense oak canopy opening to wider views. Pass the Tower Trail and find a bench at the top of the ridge looking over the valley.
After a short descent, keep to the right at the fork to stay on the Middle Valley Trail and pass through the cattle gate a few hundred feet away
Nearing the top of the climb, stay left at both trail junctions to follow the South Valley Trail around the ridge. Hawks like to soar in updrafts above. One more climb and then it’s all downhill from there. A spring bonus: wildflowers here can be amazing.
Park at the Lynch Canyon Staging Area, located off Lynch Rd. and McGary Rd. Day use fees cost $6 (cash) which can be paid at the self-service pay station. Pack water for the hike as there is no water at the trailhead. Bathrooms are available. No dogs.