The Wonderful Trees of Calero County Park

March 9, 2021

Calero County Park is easily my second most favorite local park I enjoy hiking at. It is located just South of San Jose, California and also incorporates Calero Reservoir. A popular spot for water activities. Unlike close-by Almaden Quicksilver County Park, it does not have a rich history of mining to explore. But it is much less crowded and thus offers plenty of opportunities for short, medium or long hikes in solitude. Just the way I prefer it. Calero offers many splendid views and is the home of countless wonderful trees. Another good reason why I recommend this park to anyone.

The first picture is from a fairly recent hike. I was drawn to it because of one striking branch which reminds me very much of a cormorant ready for take-off. I have not come across anything similar on my numerous hikes.

The Striking Branch Tree

Calero County Park, Santa Clara County, California

This picture is one of my favorites from 2019. I made it on a hike in later November. I like everything about this tree. In particular the circular form, the many fine branches, and the three tree hollows right in the center where the branches fork.

Tree along Los Cerritos Trail

Calero County Park, San Jose, California

Back in 2012 I came across this intriguing tree covered with mistletoe. Mistletoe is not uncommon in this park. The last picture in this post features it as well.

The Mistletoe Tree

Calero County Park, Santa Clara County, California

Rancho San Vincente entrance opened to the public a few years ago adding many more miles of hiking trails to the park. Naturally I went shortly afterwards for a hike on a beautiful morning and discovered some delightful trees. For example this one with its unique trunk located along Lisa Killough trail.

A Tree on a Beautiful Morning at Calero

Calero County Park, San Jose, California

I encounter cloudy and moody skies during my hikes at Calero County Park quite regularly. For some reason it seems to be more common than in other parks. I’m not sure why that is, but I’m not complaining at all. It makes hiking more enjoyable and of course can often add drama to treescapes illustrated in the following two pictures of distant tree rows.

First Winter Storm at Calero

Calero County Park, San Jose, California

This picture even features the moon.

A Column of Trees and the Moon

Calero County Park, San Jose, California

I made this picture the same day I made “The Striking Branch Tree” shown at the beginning of this series. In my opinion, this wonderful tree “guards” the Pena Trail rather well.

Guardian Tree

Calero County Park, Santa Clara County, California

Parts of Calero County Park are used for cattle grazing. For below picture, one cow was nice enough to pose and thereby providing a perspective on the large size some of the trees can reach.

A Tree and a Cow

Another older picture from a beautiful tree on hill along Pena Trail. I made it in July 2014 and the sky was moody even in this summer month where blue (thus mostly boring) skies are common in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Calero Tree

Calero County Park, San Jose, California

In November 2018 I hiked at Calero as a winter storm was passing through. It was wet but fun nonetheless.

The Tree and the Storm

Calero County Park, San Jose, California

The last picture in this series features again some prominent mistletoe.

A Grand Tree at Calero

Calero County Park, Santa Clara County, California


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