Walking at Foothill

Foothill Regional Park is not the first place I think of for a flat walk. But we hadn’t been there in a long time and I thought we would find the flattest possible walk.

The park is 208 acres of oak woodland with several ponds leftover from when the area was a ranch. Foothill became a regional park as mitigation for the Foothill Oaks housing development in Windsor.

Pond A Foothill Park

The main entrance at 1351 Arata Ln. has a small parking lot with a few spaces for horse trailers. Most people park on the street outside. It’s possible for disabled people to park uphill between ponds B and C. (More on ponds later.)

We took the slow way up the hill on a wide dirt path. We found a gentler descent on the way back. My suggestion is when you pass the bathroom and follow the path to the right, find a narrower trail that goes along the park border fence.

The path is called Three Lakes Trail that goes around 3 ponds. Lakes, ponds or large watering holes for the cattle who used to roam here, they are not very large and they vary in size. The loop paths are narrow and uneven but there’s not much up and down. Three Lakes are creatively named Ponds A, B and C and each have a loop trail. Or Pond Bloop as it seemed one sign indicated for Pond B.

Each loop is dominated by a different type of oak. Live and black oaks surrounded the first pond. Coots favored the waters. Oregon oaks thrived in the area around Pond B and blue oaks and willows liked Pond C. Beautiful manzanitas were prolific and added texture of tiny leafs and twisty smooth trunks with sprouting silver-green lichen in the rougher crevasses of the trunk.

The trail after Pond C is not clearly marked – not that you’ll get lost. At one point Mike thought I could leap across a U-shaped cement culvert. I extended my walk a little and met up with him to surround the last pond on the lake trail. Mid-way around this pond is access to more uphill trails, but we returned to where we started the hike.

I’m glad I did it, since my last time to the park was a sweltering day when my son ran a cross country race. It’s a nice neighborhood park for Windosr, but I’m finding elevations changes more and more challenging.

But buy a pass for all 49 Regional Parks. $23-69. And if you have a permanent disability placard, you can purchase an electronic pass.

Bathroom is flush and with a cold water sink at park entrance. Benches near ponds and picnic tables at Pond C.

Pond C Foothill Park

Dogs on leash, horses with riders.

See you on the trail!

I know it has been a while since we’ve posted a walk. But we’ve been out there: Pt Reyes, Cloverdale, Jack London, Salt Point and Colgan Creek. We’re starting to visit the places that might close. Alas, Sugarloaf State Park is closed for the winter. This is a new step and does not bode well for the State parks.

Lynn Millar

Photos by Mike Millar

Pond C view south at Foothill Park


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