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Alpine Pond (Spanish)

A family-friendly audio guide to a wildlife mecca in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

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Difficulty: Easy
Length: 0.3 miles
Duration: Less than 1 hour
Family Friendly

Overview :  MROSD docent program manager Renee Fitzsimons and docent Sharon Thomas lead a 0.3-mile-long hike around Alpine Pond. Along the way,... more »

Tips:  The preserve is open from dawn until a half hour after sunset. No dogs, please. Poison oak and ticks are the most common annoyances.... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Daniels Nature Center

What's ahead? If you look carefully you might spot hawks, coots, newts and more. You'll also meet one of our guides, Renee Fitzsimons, and two young visitors: Miles and Katelyn.

2. Woodrat Den

If you look out into the brambles beside the picnic tables, you can see the remains of a woodrat den. Renee will help you imagine what goes on inside that heap of branches. Along this part of the trail, keep an ear out for scrub jays, red-shouldered hawks, and other birds.

3. Cattails

Meet docent Sharon Thomas, and learn about a plant was important to Native Americans for food and fiber.

4. Willow

This graceful, long-limbed tree is always found near water. Learn about its medicinal uses, and then peek at the pond outlet to see what other forms of life may be lurking.

5. Grinding Stone

At the base of the pond's earthen dam, a stone mortar will help you imagine what life was like for the native peoples who once lived here. Nearby is Old Page Mill Trail, a reminder of the more recent past. Here Douglas fir logs were once hauled from dense coastal forests to a wharf in Palo Alto.

6. Turtle Island