Thursday, May 14, 2009


An entrance to the Stevens Creek Trail is only about a mile and a half away from where I live, and about 5 minutes on my big scooter. I took most of these photos about a week ago. One is from the website from which I drew the following text. Amalie and I used to ride our small scooters for a relaxing outing.
This man-made trail is named after Stevens Creek, a 20-mile long waterway that starts on the slopes of Black Mountain in the Santa Cruz Mountains. And the creek is named after an early Cupertino settler, Capt. Elisha Stephens. The trail roughly parallels the creek, which it crosses a few times, and for the section we will see, parallels Highway 85 through Mountain View toward Cupertino.

The Stevens Creek Trail is currently a 5.5 mile trail section in Mountain View which extends from Shoreline Park and the Bay Trail all the way under El Camino Real, near its crossing of Highway 85., to Sleeper Avenue. The trail runs through tidal marshlands and natural riparian habitats, providing for recreation and educational opportunities. The trail is regularly used for bicycling, bird watching, commuting, dog walking, education, hiking, jogging, nature walks, running, scootering, roller and inline skating, skateboarding, striding, and walking.

This is not a long trail, but it is one of the best-developed and most ambitious trails in the Bay Area. The existing trail cost around $10 million to build, with funding from a wide range of public and private sources. Building the trail required the construction of several bridges and underpasses, the planting of thousands of trees and shrubs, and the installation of numerous amenities, like benches, signs, and drinking fountains. South of Hwy 101, the trail was built through already-established suburban neighborhoods and along busy major roads, including State Highway 85, the Stevens Creek Freeway. However, because of the extensive landscaping and amenities, the trail is like a natural linear park. It can serve as a model for how to turn previously-unused land into an attractive and vital recreational resource.

This is the bridge across Stevens Creek leading to the trail itself.

As I start up the trail, heading south, I go under the Dana Street bridge. That's the street I use to get to the trail. I f I were to continue on down Dana, I would head into downtown Mountain View.

A lot of greenery on the right side. The creek is down below the trees.

The sound wall separates the trail from the freeway, and does a pretty good job of keeping out the freeway noise.

The bikers (and then me) are headed up the ramp to get high enough to cross over the top of Highway 237, which goes under 85.

This is my shot of the trail over 237.

Again, here is the trail going over 237. This is the shot I didn't take.

Which gets us down to the tunnel under El Camino Real (the King's Highway). El Camino is state Highway 82, but one does not drive this stretch to go any distance. There are shopping centers all up and down the way, and one goes from one town to another without any break. Traffic signals all the way.

This is El Camino overlooking Highway 85. Doesn't have much to do with the trail, but I thought it was a pretty picture.

The cyclist is taking the El Camino entrance to the trail.

I am now on the newest stretch of the trail. Obviously new shrubbery is yet to be planted.

Hikers on the new stretch. He is walking a German Shepard. She has a Chihuahua on the leash.

A family of bikers on the new stretch.

This is the bridge to Sleeper Ave. near the hospital, and at the moment is the southern most part of the trail.

So after all those photos, you still want humor? Let's see what I have:

Seen on the back of a pickup:
Dogs come when you call them; cats have answering machines.

Sign in a restaurant window: "Don't stand there and be hungry; come on in and get fed up"


  1. I really can't do that trail, given my inability to be out in the sun at all, so you can imagine I really appreciate those photos. I've never gotten to see the place before--and I'm by nature an outdoors type. I grew up hiking a trail through the woods right behind our house that went alongside Cabin John Creek, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 30's, and that stretched all the way to the C&O Canal and the Potomac River, a couple miles down.

  2. Beautiful path! How nice you're so close. I'll have to share some photos of the path near my house one of these days.