Creekside Trail at McClellan Ranch

From the parking lot at McClellan Ranch, take the dirt trail from the creekside corner of the lot, passing almost immediately into the shade. The trail is very narrow and overgrown in spots, so watch your step. There is almost immediate creek access here, though park officials prefer you not to play in the water. Trees are labeled, as is poison oak, and there are dozens of species of plants to be identified here – buckeye, two types of walnut, redwood, sycamore, pepper, Blue Elderberry, two types of oaks, and even the invasive Chinese Tree of Heaven, which smells like a skunk. The trail meanders alongside the creek, with occasional views of the grassy meadow, where you might spot deer, a skunk, rabbits, and various birds. You’ll find amphitheatre seating near another creek access point and in the shade of sycamores, which is a nice spot for a snack. The trail opens up into a shady grove area with walnuts and a large oak, then ultimately ends near the well kept lawns of Blackberry Farm and the paved Stevens Creek Trail. Return the way you came.

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