Thursday, 21 May 2015

El Corte de Madera Open Space Preserve

Following an article in SFGate, we decided to hike in El Corte de Madera Open Space Preserve. Our goal was to reach the "Tafoni" - a sandstone monolith, but we didn't make it that far. In spite of that, the hike was really good, albeit cold. Some notes where our experience differed from the SFGate article:
1. There was no parking lot at 16040 Skyline Blvd., Woodside. This address is a private residence. If you are coming from the South, drive just a little further north and you will see signs for a parking lot.
2. From this parking lot to the Tafoni is not a 1.5 mile hike as mentioned in the article - it is 1.5 miles if you park at an entrance further north (this entrance doesn't have a proper parking lot, nor does it have restroom facilities). From the parking lot to the Tafoni is a 2.5 mile hike one way.

So we didn't make it to the Tafoni - it was cold, and getting late. But the trails are excellent, if a little mucky. Another thing the SFGate article forgot to mention - there is a lot of water on the trails. Wear warm boots! The moss on this big rock should give an indication of how wet it is here:

Oh - and watch out for cyclists. All the cyclists we met on the trail were very careful and also made it a point to tell us how many cyclists were following - hadn't seen that trick before, most helpful!

And for the 5 y.o. this was a very exciting trip - we saw loads of banana slugs, some birds that I couldn't identify, and four deer just a few feet from the trail!

We'll probably go back to this one - we really want to reach the Tafoni, and I discovered a parking spot (between Kings Mountain road and the parking lot) which is about 1.5 miles from the Tafoni.

Update: We did go back here, and hiked all the way to the Tafoni

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