Hiking in Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve

We did another hike this week at the Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve with a few friends. Based on the number of trails in the preserve, I consider this open space preserve much smaller than some of the earlier open preserves we've hiked. We took the longest trail (Zinfandel Trail), which is a one-way trail from one parking lot to another parking lot, and then backtracking. The round trip distance was only 4.47 miles without any major hills. But, the most unique part of this open preserve is a winery (Picchetti Winery) is situated at one of the parking lot.

We started our hike, essentially at the Picchett Winery at 13100 Montebello Rd, Cupertino. The drive is a bit windy and uphill, but only 10 minutes from Highway 280. When you arrive, there is a fork leading to two parking lots. One is the Picchett Winery. The second is the Open Preserve parking lot. Both are dirt lots. The official trailhead, where there is an information board, free printed maps pamphlets, and a bathroom (with running water) is a short walk around the perimeter of Picchett Winery. We start our hike around 9:30am before the Picchett Winery opened and saw chickens, roosters, and one male peacock.

The first leg of the hike was very simple, especially since most of the route is downhill. So most of the uphill challenge was on the return trip back to the parking lot. The hike is much like any other at a nature preserve. Lots of trees and well shaded dirt trails. At the end of the trail, there are nice bathroom facilities and a full picnic benches (which is perfect if you want to have a picnic). There is also a few great views along the trail of the stone mines in Cupertino in the distance. Parts of the trail are also close enough to an outdoor gun range that we can hear the shots. The Zinfandel Trail is good for beginner hikes. If you want a short challenging stretch, take the Orchard Loop trail.

There is mostly cell phone reception along the trail (as the Zinfandel Trail follows closely to the road). The map of the hike is tracked with Endomondo Android App and can be found here.

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