It would be easy to miss this cool horse ranch unless you were walking past it while trekking up the hill to the Ridge Trail entrance at Belgatos Park. This beautiful setting is surrounded by luxury homes on Alerche Drive, Harwood Court, Harwood Lane, and Crider Court.
It’s almost out of place as a bit of rural California in an otherwise residential neighborhood. One hint that it’s ahead is the “horse” sign on Harwood Road near Bacigalupi Drive. Another is the sight of large parcels with split rail fences in front, suggesting the presence of horses not so long ago. In fact, there were some horses downhill of Harwood Farms when we moved into the neighborhood in 1999.
If you overshoot the ranch when driving by and then turn around, you’ll get a sense of the setting and views from a little uphill.
While south county has many equestrian centers, Harwood Farms horse boarding is one of just a few in east Los Gatos. If you’ve never seen it, it’s worth checking out!
Recently Clair and I visited and were toured around by Frank, one of the owners of the ranch. We were highly impressed and have updated this article with a few images and info from that visit.
Where is the Harwood Farms horse boarding?
Harwood Farms horse boarding is located at the corner of Harwood Road and Alerche Road in Los Gatos. (Alerche is a loop road, and this stable is at the upper one, further from Blossom Hill Road.) It stands adjacent to the Belwood of Los Gatos, Alerche, and Harwood Hills areas in east Los Gatos at a ridge in the foothills.
Equestrian land in a residential setting with many nearby trails
This location is excellent for accessing the trails fanning out of Belgatos Park, which in turn lead to an extensive network of equestrian-friendly trails: Heintz, Shannon Valley open space, and Santa Rosa open space.
I should add that this is not just a business place. The campus, or “village” includes the main house, a couple of rental apartments (ADUs), one cottage that is sometimes available for short term rentals, a Pilates studio, a wild game pond, a vegetable garden, a chicken coop (coming soon), plus the equestrian features you’d expect: hay barn, stables, paddocks, riding ring. The owners are aiming at being sustainable in terms of food, power, and water.
The site enjoys pleasant views of the nearby hills and stunning vistas of the Santa Clara Valley and downtown San Jose. The ranch sits at an elevation of 400 feet and there is very little which obstructs the panoramic views from there.
It’s a low-traffic area and a very enjoyable place to visit.
Decades ago, and under the previous ownership, my daughter Clair enjoyed horseback riding lessons there. She would walk up the hill from our Belwood home once a week, and occasionally she and the teacher would ride by the home to waive “Hi” on horseback. Needless to say, it has a very fond place in my heart from that experience. Today private lessons are not available except to those boarding their horses there.
The current owners, who live nearby, purchased the property in 2018. It’s a large parcel of land, nearly 2.2 acres (2.19), and we’ve been delighted to see that it remains equestrian land today.
Ziggy Trenkler, Barn Manager
Phone: (408) 807-9161
16494 Harwood Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95032
Learn about the short term rental here: https://harwoodfarmslg.com/rentals.html
Here’s a photograph that I took in 2007 of the valley view one winter morning that showcases the horse ranch in the foreground – such a pretty setting!