The trail is relatively free of obstacles, making it good for for running.
The Franciscan Trailhead is located .2 miles from the start of the Ridgeview Trail
. The Franciscan Trail cuts to the left as it climbs the hillside. Although the views are obstructed to the west, the noise of the interstate reminds you that you are near a major population area. Lizards scurry along the trail as the trail curves around the hill through the woods and the sounds of the interstate fade the deeper you get into the preserve. At roughly .25 miles, the Live Oak Trail
cuts back to the right and climbs the hill while the Franciscan Trail continues straight ahead. The trail emerges from the woods and views of the Serpentine Trail
, Old Stage Road
, and Bay area spread out before you. A short distance past the intersection, a small trail on the right leads uphill to a bench where you can enjoy views of the preserve and bay area to the east.
The trail continues its descent until the Serpentine Trail
intersects with the trail. The Franciscan Trail continues straight ahead as it transforms from dirt to gravel. The trail rises and falls as it wraps around the hillside. The fields on either side of the trail are feeding areas for wildlife in the evenings and good for seeing wildflowers in the spring. At roughly .7 miles, there is a bench to enjoy the views of the preserve and bay area. Entering the woods, the trail narrows and at .8 miles, the Baywood Glen Trail
goes off to the right while the Franciscan Trail continues to the left and circles back around the hills. The trail weaves in and out of the woods until it crosses the Old Stage Road
. Entering the woods again, the trail narrows as it descends via a set of switchbacks until it terminates at the Edgewood Trail
At this point, you can return to your car via the path you traveled. If you want to take the Edgewood Trail
, go to the left and follow that trail back to where the Ridgeview Trail
starts. You can also follow the Franciscan Trail back to any of the trails that intersect with the Franciscan Trail and use those trails to explore more of the preserve.
Deer, coyotes, rabbits, turkeys, hawks, hummingbirds and other varieties of birds can be seen along the trail.
Wildflowers can be seen along the trail in the fields, especially in the spring.