The Bay Area Ridge Trail parallels more than 20 miles of riverbed on the Coyote Creek Parkway. The northern half of the flat, paved trail is a shady stretch of green that meanders through San Jose neighborhoods and local parks. The southern half begins at the wetlands adjacent to Metcalf Park before transforming into a more open and rural hike through riparian habitat between San Jose and Morgan Hill.
We are hiking the 400-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail. Sign up to follow our progress here.
TRAIL MAP (date hiked)
We had low expectations for our hike on the Coyote Creek Parkway, so decided to book a room and turn the visit into an overnight outing. We saved some travel time and enjoyed connecting with friends in the evening.
We began each day at Metcalf Park, where we dropped our car and booked an Uber to take us to the northern trailhead on Day 1 and to the southern trailhead on Day 2, before hiking back to the car each day. It worked great!
The north half of the trail met our low expectations. It was too urban for our tastes and creekside homeless encampments that dominated the scenery for the first several miles were unsettling.
Our hike on the south half of the parkway was a pleasant surprise. We hit the trail about three hours earlier to avoid the heat of the day and were treated to multiple avian displays, including strutting turkeys with flared feathers and a dead tree full of buzzards, wings spread to warm themselves in the early morning sun. We also enjoyed a impromptu acrobatic air show at the model airplane park along the route.
The undeveloped open space to either side made the walk along the southern half of the trail feel more like a hike, though we never quite escaped the drone of the cars on Highway 101. And we’re still not sure how a “ridge trail” can travel for more than 20 miles alongside a creek bed.
The dinner with friends, whom we hadn’t seen since the months before the pandemic, was wonderful!
Miles we hiked0
(with returns and connectors)
Our Progress Hiking the Bay Area Ridge Trail – 191.7 out of 400 miles48.5%