Sycamore Valley Regional Open Space Preserve is a regional park located in Contra Costa County , California, outside of Danville, California , USA and part of the East Bay Regional Parks (EBRPD) system.
The Bay Miwok Tatcan tribe was inhabited by the Sycamore Valley when, in 1772, Fr. Juan Crespi, with an expedition led by Captain Pedro Fages, noted the good quality of the land in the San Ramon Valley and considered it a good place for the Franciscan mission. The mission was ultimately located in today's Fremont, and the San Ramon Valley was used as a pasture land.
By 1850, the first Anglo-Americans had arrived to cultivate the valley. Since the main road between Mission San Jose and the State Capitol of Benicia ran through the Valley of San Ramon, businesses were encouraged to establish themselves in the area. In the last half of the 1800s, Sycamore Valley farmers established the area as a productive agricultural area.
The first American settler in the vicinity of today's Preserve was recorded as Leonard Eddy in 1850. But in 1862 the Wood family started a farm and over five generations came to own and farm most of what the Preserve is today. By the end of the twentieth century, the land use of the Sycamore Valley had been converted to housing. Much of the hilly ridge lands, including the Preserve, was dedicated to the conservation of open space.
The 328-acre southern part of the Preserve, known as the Sherburne Hills Unit, located south of Camino Tassajara, was acquired by the Park District in 1989. In 1998 the District acquired 255 acres north of Camino Tassajara from the City of Danville and an additional 106 acres from Wood Ranch developers, bringing the Northern Short Ridge Unit of Preserve to 361 acres. Today, the total area of the Sycamore Valley is approximately 696 acres.
The Sherburne Hills Unit is almost entirely grassland, and the Short Ridge Unit is mostly grassland with scattered oak savannah with trees consisting of valley oak, coast living oak and buckeye. This habitat supports gopher snakes, rattlesnakes, northern Pacific rattlesnakes, acorn woodpeckers, scrub jays, black-tailed titmouse, western bluebirds, northern orioles, lazuli buntings, and loggerhead shrikes (which also occur in the southern unit). The mature forest of the northern unit supports the nesting of red-tailed hawks and big-horned owls, and provides cover for California quail, wild turkeys and gray foxes.
The steep-sided gullies of the Preserve drain into Sycamore Creek. These occasional drainages and several ponds in the Preserve provide for garter snakes, Pacific tree frogs and red legged frogs restricted wetland habitat. These are also accessible. The drainages also support raccoons, striped skunks, deer, coyotes, and bird species, including ruby-crowned kinglets, chestnut-backed chickadees, vireos, warblers, red-winged blackbirds, and large blue herons. Raptors seen hunting in the Preserve include the northern harrier, the Cooper hawk, and the white-tailed kite.
The trails are typically not suitable for wheelchair users because of their steep slope. Sherburne Hills Road parking is provided with a wheelchair toilet, drinks and parking areas in Sycamore Valley Park. From I-680 to the Sycamore Valley Road exit and head east from San Ramon. Camino Tassajara is Sycamore Valley Lane. On the road to Holbrook Drive proceed to Tassajara. Taking Holbrook Drive on the left and park in the scene location.
This amazing must-see site is conveniently located near some of Blackhawk’s other top attractions. Make sure to check them out on your next visit:
Blackhawk Country Club
Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Park
Morgan Territory Regional Preserve
Diablo Vista Park
Red Willow Park
After visiting these lovely attractions make sure to stop by and say “Hello” to us at our downtown Danville location, DPG Pavers Danville Location on 4115 Blackhawk Plaza Circle!