Calling all hiking enthusiasts! If you live in West San Jose near Miller Middle School or Lynbrook High School, I recommend hiking in the Fremont Older park. In this park, there are endless trails and there are signs indicating one way paths for social distancing. During the summer, I hiked here every week and still didn’t get to explore all of the trails. I must warn, the parking lot is very small and the road up to the parking lot is narrow and curvy (but it’s a short distance). The car crowd, though, doesn’t translate into a crowded park. The area is large enough to social distance from other hikers. Weekend mornings are the most popular, so parking is a hassle and you’re more likely to run into more people, but as I mentioned before, the space is large enough to accommodate all groups.
If you hike for the chance of seeing animals, Fremont Older awaits. I’ve seen deer on multiple occasions and equestrians make use of the many trails. In general, the area surrounding the park is home to deer families and it’s common to see them moving through the foliage. As for the horses, one of the park’s trails leads to a farm. I’ve never been to the farm itself, as I believe it is closed to the public, but the horses are taken care of near the park. The equestrians only ride on select trails, though, so do not feel discouraged. Among horses and deer, other animals I’ve seen are birds, lizards, squirrels and more. I once saw a snake whose scales blended in with the dirt and was no longer than a ruler. I was delighted to see it, but I can’t say the same for my mom.
Personally, I think the trails provide a good challenge. There aren’t any trails that are flat, as the park is located on a hill, so there are many steep sections. The park is fairly shaded, but I’d still recommend bringing a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and water! As for the trails themselves, there are a few sections that are bumpy and have dried from rain in unfriendly patterns, but it’s nothing good hiking shoes can’t handle. There are two high peaks I know of: Macie’s Point and Hunter’s Point. A strenuous uphill climb is rewarded with a stunning view of San Jose at Hunter’s Point. A panoramic view of downtown San Jose to the Apple Spaceship and beyond is quite breathtaking. Macie’s Point is also beautiful, but the shrubbery can get in the way of a full view. It’s also a longer, higher hike to reach.
Fremont Older park is located in a quiet neighborhood and is a great place not only to see one of the best views of San Jose but also to have a good hike.
By – Teen Docent, Danielle Lowe
Starting December 2 – After-school Nature walks will begin at Fremont Older for the month of December. Register at https://www.environmentalvolunteers.org/community-programs/
Photos by Danielle Lowe