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Saturday, February 10, 2007


Coal Mine Creek, Winter 2007

A Scenic Preserve in the Heart of Portola Valley, California

For years I drove to Portola Valley, parked right across the trailhead for Coal Mine Creek but paid no attention to it. Took the trail to Windy Hill instead.

Then a friend told me about Coal Mine Creek. Scenic and not strenuous, Coal Mine Creek has trails that are shady and very inviting on hot summer days. During a recent walk on Toyon Trail there was evidence of work to repair storm damage. Trees were down, fallen branches were being cleared. A 2.5-mile hike on Toyon Trail ends at a small lake where a sharp left turn on Lake Trail leads to Spanish Mission Trail for returning to the parking lot at Alpine Road -- about a 4.5-mile loop.

Entrance to Coal Mine Creek © Musafir

Beginning of Toyon Trail © Musafir

Looking north

Toyon Trail to the lake © Musafir
Looking west, Windy Hill shrouded in fog © Musafir

Hounds Tongue (Cynoglossum Grande) in bloom © Musafir

A bench in the shade © Musafir

Footbridge on Toyon Trail © Musafir

Tree down off the trail © Musafir

Another view of Windy Hill after the fog lifted © Musafir

A sturdy bench at junction of Toyon and Spanish Mission Trails © Musafir

......And a swing © Musafir
Looking north from Lake Trail © Musafir

To the east, Stanford's Hoover Tower (red roof) faintly visble center-left © Musafir


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