“A run from Stevens Creek Reservoir to the Picchetti Ranch Pond.”
— David Hitchcock
River/Creek · Views
The preserve is open year round from dawn until half an hour after sunset.
The Bear Meadow Trail
climbs from the Stevens Creek Reservoir, through an oak forest, and emerges at the Zinfandel Trail
near the Picchetti Ranch Pond. There is a small parking lot along Stevens Creek Canyon Road where you can park.
The trail climbs steeply from the parking area and enters the woods. The trail switches back and continues to climb less steeply, deeper into Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve. If it has been raining, a couple of seasonal creeks can be seen descending through the gullies in the area as the water makes its way down to the reservoir.
The trail goes in and out of the woods as it continues to climb. At the 0.6-mile mark, the trail crosses the Orchard Loop Trail
and then runs parallel with it for a short distance. At 0.7 miles, the trail re-enters the shade of the woods and climbs along the hillside below the vista point that lies within the preserve.
The trail arrives at the Picchetti Ranch Pond at 0.9 miles, where the trail breaks off to the right and circles around the pond. As a seasonal pond, ducks and other waterfowl can be seen swimming in the pond. Deer and other animals use the pond as a watering hole in the evenings.
The trail ends at the Zinfandel Trail
where you have several options. You can turn to the right and go to Picchetti Winery for some refreshments, or you can go to the left and take the Vista Trail
connector on the other side of the pond so you can follow the Bear Meadow Trail
back to your car.
Flora & Fauna
The seasonal pond is home to various wildlife during the year. Ducks, turtles, and other animals can be seen enjoying the water, especially after wet winters.