On April 30th, we co-hosted a fun bike ride through Coyote Valley. It was a beautiful day with lots of sunshine and wildflowers. Committee for Greenfoothills Executive Director Megan Medeiros led us off from Spina Farms, giving an overview of why this area is worth preserving.
Our group of 35 or so cyclists headed south past acres of wildflowers and red-winged blackbirds flying along Coyote Creek Trail to Ogier Ponds for my presentation about the history of the ponds. In the 1950’s, this area was a rock and sand quarry, of which some of the material was used to build highway 101, visible from Coyote Creek Trail. The ponds were formed in 1997 when a levee broke and the creek re-routed itself into the ponds. Although they offer fish for wildlife and a resting place for waterfowl, they are a fish barrier because the ponds heat up as a small body of water, which is not condusive to steelhead trout, a cold-water fish.
On we went to the new Coyote Creek Visitor Center near Anderson Dam. This site has many examples of the wildlife in the immediate area and the ecosystem of the river. Ranger Mike Tobin shared the history of the dams, and examples of animals that frequent the area. The center has a shaded picnic area, bathrooms, and bike racks. This is a great place to stop on a tour of the southern portion of the valley.
Our trip backtracked north along Coyote Creek Trail, where we saw the evidence of the February flood from a different angle. The creek cut additional channels, trees were uprooted, and beautiful gravel and rocks were exposed. I was keenly reminded of the power of water again, as I had been when visiting the Grand Canyon. If you haven’t taken a bike ride on Coyote Creek Trail, please do…it is worth the trip.
NOTE: On April 30th, Coyote Creek Trail is closed between Metcalf Ponds and Bailey Road due to flooding.