Belgatos Park

Trails near Belwood, Belgatos, Surmont and Heritage Grove neighborhoods

The town of Los Gatos has a trail map for the Heinz Open Space Preserve and also one for the  Belgatos Park Trails and the Santa Rosa Open Space Preserve Trail.

My husband, Jim Handy, drew out the local trails on Google Maps and this provides a much better sense of what’s where. Enjoy!


View Blossom Hill Trails in a larger map

Beware of rattlesnakes, especially in Belgatos Park and trails!

Caution in the grassSummer time and the rattlesnakes are out, so be cautious when walking or hiking – especially in Belgatos Park or in the nearby east Los Gatos trails of the Heintz Open Space Preserve or Santa Rosa Open Space Preserve. Someone reported to the Belwood Facebook group that there have been 3 sightings in the last 2 days alone.

These rattlers sometimes crawl out from under the brush to sun themselves in an open space. Unsuspecting joggers can land on one and catch its furry in return if not looking.

Stick to the paths! You’ll be less likely to run into not only rattlesnakes, but ticks, poison oak and other unpleasant reminders of your day communing with nature.

Want to learn more about rattlesnakes? The San Diego Zoo’s website has lots of cool facts and photos.

View of Belwood of Los Gatos Neighborhood from Harwood Court in Los Gatos

A couple of days ago I was visiting a beautiful home for sale on Harwood Court during the Realtor tour or “broker’s open house”.  We have hiked the trail from Belgatos Park up to the Santa Rosa Open Space Preserve, which goes just past this house, and I’d always been curious about it.  Also, we live not too far below that area in Belwood, so it’s fun to see the neighborhood view from way up top.  I took a photograph off one of the back balconies (the view was stunning) and thought my Belwood & Belgatos neighbors might enjoy seeing it too.

Can you make out any landmarks?

View of Belwood of Los Gatos from Harwood Court, Los Gatos

Near the top, just left of center, you can see a whitish splotch – those are the buildings in the Wallgreen’s Shopping Center.  A little to the right of them and a little closer to where the pic was taken you might be able to distinguish some tall vertical green lines.  Those are some Italian Cypress trees growing across the back and side yards of a home on Jamie Court, just off Harwood Road.

And here’s a view over the top of Belwood, downtown San Jose, the east foothills and into the rest of Silicon Valley. Unfortunately it was a little hazy/smoggy that day – but lovely nonetheless!
View from Harwood Ct Los Gatos

Of course, you don’t have to see an open house to enjoy a similar view. Go hiking in Belgatos Park or through the trails at the Heintz Open Space Preserve (or cheat and just drive to the top of Harwood Road or Harwood Court!) and take in the beautiful Santa Clara Valley.

Helicopters repeatedly flying over Belwood and Belgatos Park

Helicopters over Belwood and Belgatos Park on 6-24-2011

Helicopters over Belwood and Belgatos Park on 6-24-2011

My husband, Jim, likes to joke that “if you like helicopters, live in Los Gatos“.  We seem to be a chopper magnet, especially in the east Los Gatos areas near Belgatos Park.
 

Last Friday, and again yesterday, there was a helicopter apparently practicing something as it flew low over Belwood, Belgatos Park and the Santa Rosa Drive area in the hills at the end of Harwood Road.  What were they doing?

This is not a new problem for us (and in fact I blogged about it on my Live in Los Gatos blog in the spring of 2007) but there are times I just want to scream at them to knock it off.   I finally called the town of Los Gatos, was transferred to the non-emergency police line where a kindly officer said that he’d had a few complaints but no answers as to what was going on.  “We’re trying to find out,” he assured me.

Like many, I vented a little on Facebook.  One friend thought that the birds were there due to some sort of fencing project.  Another suggested that it was a practice run for firefighters pretending to grab water from Lexington Reservoir to put out fires on the Sierra Azule range.  Who knows.

Grass Fires in Silicon Valley

Today is Labor Day – it’s many things, but it’s also the end of summer. But it’s not the end of the dry season. In fact, the rains won’t really arrive until November. So between now and then, the fire danger will continue to rise in our hilly, rural areas.

A few days ago, the coastal hills near Stevens Creek Reservoir and the Montebello Ridge over Cupertino (just a little north of Los Gatos) burned fiercely.  It took a couple of days and a lot of firefighters to extinguish it.

Now the hills by Mount Hamilton on the east side are ablaze too. We just took a quick drive to the top of Harwood Road to see the enormous plume of smoke rising over the hills by south San Jose.

What does this have to do with Belwood, Belgatos & Surmont?  Earlier today, Bella and I took a walk down Bacigalupi Drive and into Belgatos Park, entering on the side, as we do most days. The grassy area there is parched. The path is covered in wood chips and tanbark. And to my horror, I saw two cigarette butts among the wood chips.

Belgatos Park in Los Gatos CA in FebruaryBelgatos Park in Los Gatos CA in May

 

 

 

 

 

Smoking is not illegal in the park, as my husband (the volunteer parks commissioner) reminded me today. But it is very unwise to do it in the tinderbox areas which comprise most of the park.

Should we put a polite request at the entrance to the park that cigarettes are a great danger to the park, to Belwood and to Los Gatos as a whole, and that putting them out in the grassy areas is inadvisable???

To me it’s obvious: fire season and burning objects over dry grass don’t mix. But apparently it’s not obvious to everyone.

Fire season’s not over yet. Let’s hope that common sense prevails and we won’t have any more senseless fires.

 

 

 

 

BelwoodOfLosGatos.com

This website is provided by Mary Pope-Handy, a Belwood resident and real estate agent.

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For the HOA site,
and phone numbers for the Cabana or HOA, please visit
BelwoodHomes.org


************************* Mary Pope-Handy
Belwood area resident
Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
BRE License #01153805

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