Sunday, February 07, 2016

2016 hike 5: Alviso Slough Trail

South of Highway 237 is busy Silicon Valley. Marvell, Arista Networks, Samsung Semiconductor, Brocade and KLA Tencor all have big buildings here. From the highway, you can also see the brand new Levi's stadium, home to the San Francisco 49ers NFL team. This weekend it is also home to Superbowl 50. Santa Clara police blocked have various street. Big party venues have been erected in the stadium parking lot. And lots of #sb50 events are going on this weekend, all over the bay area.

I opted to leave the busy valley behind and went for a hike along the bay. North of Highway 237 is the small town of Alviso (wiki). The town is part of the city of San Jose. Steamboats once arrived at New Chicago port.

I started my hike of the levees of the Alviso marshes and salt ponds in the Alviso Marine County Park. You can still clearly see the hangars at Moffett airfield, the tent-shaped Shoreline concert venue and the big buildings of Silicon Valley. But yet, you feel far away from it all. It is quiet here. There are few hikers. Yet, there are tons of birds. Only occasionally do you hear the engines of a small boat of fishermen or the horn from the Amtrak train heading to Oakland.


The Alviso slough trail is about 9 miles. It starts along the marshes near the boat launch. The first ponds you encounter, were nearly empty. Further along your hike, you end up walking along the Coyote Slough on one end and large full ponds on the other side. In the distance you can even see the Drawbridge ghost town.

Far out in the bay, I came a cross an odd structure. A friend mentioned this is a NOAA hydrologic gauging station.

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