Seems I’m always doing hikes for Travel Photo Thursday. It’s a good reminder for me to get out and explore nature at least once a week.
For this hike I came prepared: good shoes… water… snacks… better camera… all check. The camera became very important because the views from the ranch and trails are simply stunning. I felt like a kid in a candy shop and had to force myself to stop taking pictures and simply enjoy the walk.
The parking lot and paths are nestled behind the Picchetti Winery. The winery dates back to the 1870s and is thought to be one of the oldest in California; it’s open daily from 11-5 daily for tastings. The trails are part of the land purchased by the Picchetti family when the emigrated to the US (though much of the original land was sold off during prohibition).
My hike was quiet; this doesn’t seem like an extremely popular place like Rancho San Antonio. I saw only one other person on the path… though I did meet deer, birds, squirrels and some unidentified black and white creature (looked like a skunk but didn’t smell like a skunk) that popped out quickly from behind a bush while I was taking a photo of the trails.
For my hike, I did a combination of the Ranch Pond, Orchard Loop Trail and the Bear Meadow Trail for a total of 3 miles. From the Winery, the Bear Meadow Creek Trail does not loop back (not a problem because the path is beautiful both ways); however, if you start at the Stevens Canyon Road entrance, you can follow the Bear Meadow path to the Orchard Loop, do the loop, and head back to your car.
Getting here with GPS will lead you astray. This is actually the case for a lot of Silicon Valley hikes. Follow GPS until you get to the winding Montebello Rd. (Cupertino). From here look for the entrance for the Picchetti Winery and take the right hand drive.