This week’s featured trail for the first time takes us to the Hillside Natural Area. For many people, the first exposure to the Hillside Natural Area (HNA) is a long climb from the Schmidt Lane entrance, the lowest point in the park. But there are other entrances to the HNA and one of the most popular is at the end of King Ct., at the meeting of King Dr. and Shevlin, just north of Moeser Ln. There begins the highest of the north-south trails, the Ridge Trail, #30 on our new Trail list.
With its higher elevation and more open vegetation, the Ridge Trail offers some of the most spectacular vistas available in the park. From King Ct, the trail follows the upper rim of the old quarry before turning north towards its finish at the end of Regency Ct. Before that it crosses the Navellier trail (#29), which has entrances at both its top and bottom. Because of this connectivity, the Ridge Trail is an important thoroughfare for people who live in the surrounding area. And in the future it will be even more important. Because just below the end of Regency Ct. is one of the main entrances to the Madera Open Space. The acquisition of this plot of land will help to connect the northern and southern sections of the Hillside Natural Area. And don’t forget, you can help in meeting that goal. More about Madera next week when we will feature a different sort of trail on its north side, the Julian Steps.