#3 - Round Valley Regional Preserve
Round Valley Regional Preserve is primarily composed of grassland, once home to California Indians, and, more recently, ranching and farming. As with many East Bay Regional Parks, Cattle still graze on the land.
Distrance: 5.0 Miles
Flora: Valley Oak Trees
Fauna: Cattle, Golden Eagle, Springtails
This was the first time it occurred to me that this hiking project would not be all sweeping vistas and sunny afternoons. In an effort to keep the project going, I set out on this hike despite the fact that we had a severe storm the night before and I knew the trails would be muddy.
For a park whose trail system looked so simple on the map, I somehow missed my turn (probably distracted by all of the mud) and continued a mile further down the Miwok trail than I had intended.
It might have been in my favor, however, since by the time I decided to turn back the sky had turned a dark grey. The rain quickly followed. I trudged the 2.5 miles back to the trailhead, passing grumpy cattle and an overflowing creek, wondering whether this would be a hike to revisit in nicer weather.
The pamphlet mentioned burrowing owls. So, maybe.