Wonderful hike with plenty of seclusion

Not too far from the trailhead a nice barn appears to the left.
User: Austin Explorer - 2/28/2021

Location: Newell Open Space Preserve

Rating: 4stars
Difficulty: 3stars  Solitude: 4stars
Miles Hiked: 5.48 Miles  Elapsed Time: 2 hours, 51 minutes


Coppertone and I had hiked at Lynch Canyon, which is adjacent to Newell, previously.  It was good, but the traffic noise from the interstate was a bit of an annoyance.  We were pleasantly surprised by the relatively tranquil and quiet trails here at Newell.  This outing greatly exceeded our expectations.

In the time of COVID, a hike with wide trails to assist in spacing out whenever passing is a plus and the largely open grassland with jeep trails at Newell fit the bill.  As it turns out there were very few people on the trail and the vast majority were properly masked.

We did a hike consisting of the Creekside, Valley and Loop Trails.  This balloon path covers perhaps up to 90% of the trails in the park, the rest being connector routes with Lynch Canyon over the county border.

The quietest section of trail for us was the North Loop portion of the Loop Trail.  In the narrow canyon we could hear only the sound of wind.  I wish we had stopped and spent some more time there just to soak it all in.

We had heard about the fire that ravaged the area some time ago and evidence of that fire remains.  Lots of charred brush and trees but these signs are becoming more and more surpassed by the new and generative growth of trees and particularly grasses that have taken their place.

Plenty of birds flitting about foraging for food.  A couple of hawks soared overhead, focused on find their own meal.  The park is known to harbor Mountain Lions and we imagined all of the spots in the park they might prefer for their midday perch.  The shady rock outcropping along the southeastern portion of the Loop Trail seemed the most ideal.  That's where I'd hang out if I were a Mountain Lion.

We also had fun with the Orienteering Course along the trail.  We knew a little bit about Orienteering but this was the first truly begineering course that could be done by anyone.  A fantastic idea implemented by Aditya Sriram as his Eagle Scout project.  The only downside is that the aforementioned fire appears to have taken out one marker and damaged another.  Hopefully they can be repaired and replaced.

Log Photos
Mount Tam
Orienteering Marker
North Loop Canyon
Wide open spaces
American Canyon
Mount Tam, again
Cougar Ridge?
Ridge and Creekbed
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