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Almaden Quicksilver County Park

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Healthy Trails Hikes:

Healthy Trails Program

Almaden Quicksiver, Wood Road Trail, 3/28/09

Uvas Canyon, 2/21/09

Santa Teresa Park, 5/4/08

Mike Boulland's Pre-Mother's Day Hike, Santa Teresa 5/2/09

Cait Hutnik's Healthy Trails Hike, Santa Teresa 5/9/09

Calero County Park, 4/25/09

Almaden Quicksilver Park Events

Pioneer Day, Wood Road, 10/11/08

Geocaching hike on the Wood Road Trail, 1/16/09

Geocaching hike on the Wood Road Trail, 6/14/08

Wildflowers, Southside, Wood Road, Spring '08

Pioneer Day, English Camp, 10/10/09

Kiwanis Ghost Tour, Santa Teresa and Almaden, 10/17/09

Healthy Trails Hike, Almaden Quicksilver, Wood Road Trail, October 24, 2009

On October 24, 2009, volunteer docents Cait Hutnik and Ron Horii led a Healthy Trails hike on the Wood Road Trail in Almaden Quicksilver County Park. These are pictures from the hike:

We assembled in the parking lot in the at 9:00 in the morning. Cait greeted the guests, signed them in, and talked about the Healthy Trails program.

At the trailhead, Cait pointed out the route of the hike. The big sign to the left talked about the work the Water District was doing in the area to reduce the mercury pollution in the watershed by capping calcine deposits in the park. Ron led half of the group, while Cait led the other half.

On a clear stretch of the trail, we could see Mt. Umunhum and the Sierra Azuls.

Emerging from the woods, we entered the clear space with a view of Mine Hill.

Looking back at Cait's group coming out of the woods.

The cleared off hilltop ahead was used to provide dirt to cover up the mercury tailings several years ago.

Ahead, we could see the rotary furnace on Mine Hill.

Ron talked about the invasive vegetation in the park, such the broom on the right.

We approached the Mine Hill Rotary Furnace.

Cait's group passed by the "Hanging Tree," where lynchings took place many years ago.

At the interpretive sign for the rotary furnace, Ron talked about how the furnace worked.

We stopped at the trail junction below the rotary furnace. Part of the group returned with Cait on the trail, while Ron led the rest of the group on a short hike to Spanishtown.

Ron's group walked up to the top of the hill by the old gas pump. Looking down from the top of the hill above the rotary furnace, we could see Cait's group on the Wood Road trail. We walked along the Castillero Trail a short distance, then went down the Hidalgo Cemetery Trail.

From the Hidalgo Cemetery Trail, we could see the valley east of the park, English Camp, Church Hill, the English Camp Trail, and the Deep Gulch Trail.

We looked at the interpretive sign at the site of Spanishtown. Spanishtown was New Almaden's first settlement, established in 1845. A town developed here, where Spanish-speaking miners and their families lived. On a nearby hill was the Guadalupe Cemetery.

We returned on the trail below the rotary furnace.

Cait set up her camera to take a group picture.

This is the group picture that Cait took.

Below are other pictures from Cait:

Cloud pattern

Southern Rain Beetle.  Males emerge after the first fall rains to search for females which remain in burrows underground.

Santa Cruz Garter Snake.  The one we saw was a baby, born maybe June of this year. There are at least 3 other colorful varieties of garter snakes in the Bay Area.

Velvet Ant.  Not a true ant but a hairy, wingless wasp with a powerful sting.  [ it has a Class IV sting. bee and tarantula stings are Class II ]

Returning on the trail, we passed by the rocks of the sandstone quarry.

At the end of the hike, we paused to read the interpretive sign about Wood Road. Wood road was used to haul logs cut from the forests in the surrounding hills to feed the mine furnaces.

Created by Ron Horii, 10/24/09