Lynch Canyon Open Space

Trail
9.80 Miles
N/A
$6.00
3stars (3.00)1
3stars (3.00)
3stars (3.00)
N/A
Yes
No
No
American Canyon
Solano
More Info
Photos
Trailhead
Wrapping up our hike and headed back to the trailhead parking area. A good number of cows seemed to like hanging out in the area. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Winding trail
The trail as it meanders through the hillside. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
You want to go that way
A cow provided directions while scratching its head on a trail marker. The directions she gave turned out to be correct. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Rocks
Most of the canyon is covered in deep soil, but a few rocky outcrops can be seen along the trail. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Muddy
The back end of the Middle Valley Trail can get muddy after a rain shower. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Powerlines
The high tension power lines passing through the open space are sometimes hard to ignore. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Rolling Hills
Rolling hills folding over one another as far as the eye can see. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Trees
Trees are not terribly common at Lynch Canyon, though there are some lines or clusters along creeks or in sheltered depressions. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Horses
Horses are a common sight on the trails at Lynch Canyon Open Space. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Lynch Road
Lynch Road not far from the park's trailhead. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Log Entries
Lynch Road, Middle Valley and Ken Poerner Trails Loop
By Austin Explorer on 1/4/2020
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 4.02 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 9 minutes

First hike of the year for us.  I wanted to get a hike in since the weather was nice, even if it had rained a bit the previous night.  Lynch Canyon was one of the nearest large parks we hadn't yet visited, so it was the winner.

There is ample parking at the trailhead and a restroom.  We elected to do a counterclockwise loop through most of the park than consisted of the Lynch Road, Middle Valley and Ken Poerner Trails.  This was expected to yield a bit less than four miles.

It's hard not to notice the cows congregating near the trailhead.  We're not sure why so many seem to loiter here, but they serve as a reminder that the area continues to function as a cattle ranch.  You're likely to see many more on the trails in the park.  Some of them can be spotted high up on the steep hills in the park.  We joked about the cows mistaking themselves for mountain goats but they probably were able to snag some of the choicest tufts of grass up there.

Not too many people on the trail today and many of those who were had horses underneath them.  The horses didn't seem to mind the muddy conditions at all.

Through about the first mile or mile and a half Lynch Road and Middle Valley Trail surfaces were graveled jeep trail, so the recent rain had no effect on our hiking at all.  I didn't think this would last, but it was nice surprise.

About half way through the Middle Valley Trail the path turned to an ungraveled dirt path.  Given the recent rains the trail turned to mud at this point.  Mostly the mud was firm, so your feet didn't get sucked into it but we definately got some mud caked soles.  The soft dirt path faithfully records the hoof imprints of both cow and horse.  This increases the difficulty of the hike a bit as one has to mind his or her step a bit to avoid twisting an ankle.

Hawks of various types love the area and we stopped to watch them hunting numerous times on our visit.  They often swooped close to the ground along the steep slopes of the hills looking for prey.  However, we failed to see one successfully snag a lunch.  If you like to birdwatch, take your binoculars.  You'll have plenty of opportunities to spy on them.

We spent a few minutes back at the trailhead with some branches to try and scrape off as much of the mud from our boots as possible.  Our footwear sits on our front porch at this time with a few remaining souvenirs of our visit until we can point a hose at them.  We'll probably save a repeat visit for the remaining trails a bit later in the year to give the mud a chance to dry out a bit, but not too late though.  We'd like to see the hills as green as possible.