Startups aren’t the only thing popping up in Silicon Valley. California poppies make their mark this time of year too. Find solitude and color among the hills and trees of San Jose’s Santa Teresa County Park. It’s almost hard to believe you’re in an urban vicinity while hiking here—hardly anyone is around. So go enjoy a 4.6-mile loop starting from the Stile Entrance and following Stile Ranch Trail.
You’ll be on switchbacks as you rise, but the trail is never too steep, and the poppies add some bright pop to the landscape of farmland backed by the Santa Cruz Mountains. As you get further into the hills, oak trees take over the land where the trail flattens out.
At the first fork in the trail, turn left onto the Mine Trail, which winds through hills and more oak and then opens out to views of the Diablo Range and San Jose. With this change in scenery, make a sharp right onto Hidden Springs Trail for a short segment leading to the Pueblo picnic and corral area before connecting back to another section of the Mine Trail.
Hike through the hills before connecting to Fortini Trail, which overlooks a private ranch as you complete your loop back to the Stile Entrance.
Directions: From San Jose, follow Almaden Expy. until it ends. Turn right onto Harry Rd., then turn left onto McKean Rd. Travel approximately 1.3 miles to Fortini Rd. Turn left onto Fortini toward the Santa Teresa Hills. At the end of Fortini Rd., turn left onto San Vicente Ave. A ten-car parking area is located on the right about 500 feet from Fortini Rd. Dogs are allowed on leash.