Round Valley Regional Preserve

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Round Valley Regional Preserve
Round Valley Regional Park.jpg
LocationContra Costa County, California
Nearest cityBrentwood, California
Coordinates 37°51′34″N121°46′15″W / 37.8594°N 121.7708°W / 37.8594; -121.7708 Coordinates: 37°51′34″N121°46′15″W / 37.8594°N 121.7708°W / 37.8594; -121.7708
Area1911 acres
Created1988
Operated byEast Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD)

Round Valley Regional Preserve is a regional park just outside Antioch, CA and Brentwood, CA that is part of the East Bay Regional Parks (EBRPD) system. It is on Marsh Creek Road, approximately 5.2 miles (8.4 km) west of the intersection with Vasco Road. The park was begun in 1988, when Jim Murphy sold 700 acres (280 ha) of land to EBRPD. The land originally belonged to Mr. Davis' grandfather Thomas Murphy, an Irish immigrant, who had purchased the land in 1878 for a farming and ranching operation. The preserve has since expanded to encompass 1,911 acres (773 ha). [1]

A regional park is an area of land preserved on account of its natural beauty, historic interest, recreational use or other reason, and under the administration of a form of local government.

East Bay Regional Park District

The East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) is a special district operating in Alameda County and Contra Costa County, California, within the East Bay area of the San Francisco Bay Area. It maintains and operates a system of regional parks which is the largest urban regional park district in the United States. The administrative office is located in Oakland.

Vasco Road is a roadway over the Diablo Range that connects Livermore and Brentwood, California. Although it is not part of the California State Highway system, it is the principal north–south commuter route serving eastern Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The two counties are each responsible for maintaining the portion of the road within their boundaries.

Contents

The Round Valley parking area is one of the two staging areas and points of departure for tour buses that carry passengers into Vasco Caves Regional Preserve. Morgan Territory Regional Preserve adjoins Round Valley Regional Preserve on the Southwest. The park is near the edge of the Diablo range, and its wooded hills are a sharp contrast with the almost treeless flat land of the Central Valley, which begins a few miles farther east. [2]

Vasco Caves Regional Preserve is located on the eastern slope of Mount Diablo, on Vasco Road within eastern Contra Costa County, California. It was created to preserve wildlife habitats and California chaparral and woodlands native plant communities, and Native American rock art.

Morgan Territory Regional Preserve is a regional park located north of Danville and Livermore, California, bordering on Mt. Diablo State Park, that is part of the East Bay Regional Park District. Since EBRPD acquired the Viera tract, it encompassed 5,230 acres (2,120 ha). The main access road runs from Livermore.

Wildlife

The preserve is habitat for a variety of species. Mammals include the California ground squirrel, San Joaquin pocket mouse, Audubon's or desert cottontail, and the endangered San Joaquin kit fox. Round Valley is one of the northern extremes of the kit fox range in California. Birds include golden eagles and the burrowing owl, both of which are a state "Species of Special Concern." [1]

California ground squirrel species of mammal

The California ground squirrel, also known as the Beechey ground squirrel, is a common and easily observed ground squirrel of the western United States and the Baja California Peninsula; it is common in Oregon and California and its range has relatively recently extended into Washington and northwestern Nevada. Formerly placed in Spermophilus, as Spermophilus beecheyi, it was reclassified in Otospermophilus in 2009 as it became clear that Spermophilus as previously defined was not a natural (monophyletic) group. A full species account was published for this species in 2016.

The San Joaquin pocket mouse or Salinas pocket mouse is a species of rodent in the family Heteromyidae. It is endemic to California in the United States where it lives in desert and semi-desert habitats.

San Joaquin kit fox subspecies of mammal

The endangered San Joaquin kit fox was formerly very common in the San Joaquin Valley and through much of Central California. Its 1990 population was estimated to be 7,000. This subspecies is still endangered, after nearly 50 years of being on the Endangered Species List. Officially this subspecies was listed March 3, 1967. On September 26, 2007, Wildlands Inc. announced the designation of the 684-acre (2.77 km2) Deadman Creek Conservation Bank, which is intended specifically to protect habitat of the San Joaquin kit fox. However, the population continues to decline mostly due to heavy habitat loss. Other factors include competition from red fox, and the extermination of the gray wolf from California has left the coyote as the dominant meso-predator in kit fox territory bringing an imbalance in ecosystem relationships.

Due to the sensitivity of the wildlife habit at Round Valley, dogs are not permitted in the preserve. Signs are posted.

Round Valley Regional Park View March 6, 2009 Round Valley Regional Park.jpg
Round Valley Regional Park View March 6, 2009

Activities

The preserve is open to hiking, horseback riding and bicycling (with some limitations). There is one group camping site. [1]

The Round Valley parking area is one of the two staging areas and points of departure for tour buses that carry passengers into Vasco Caves Regional Preserve for pre-reserved tours. [lower-alpha 1] The other staging area is at Brushy Peak Regional Preserve. [3]

Brushy Peak Regional Preserve

Brushy Peak Regional Preserve is a regional park that is part of the East Bay Regional Parks (EBRPD) and the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District (LARPD) systems. It is located in unincorporated land in Alameda County, just north of Livermore, California.

Trails

There are two important trails in the park. Hardy Canyon Trail is about 3 miles (4.8 km) long, beginning just after the hiker crosses the Marsh Creek bridge near the parking lot, which is just off Marsh Creek Road. This is the more scenic of the two main trails. It starts in a small oak grove and rises to an open, grassy area on the south side of the preserve that provides very good views of Round Valley, and is nearly all single-track. The trail descends into Round Valley and terminates at Miwok Trail, the second major trail in the preserve. Turning right, hikers can return to the parking lot via Miwok Trail, about 1.3 miles (2.1 km). [2]

Notes

  1. Visitors are only allowed into the Vasco Caves preserve on ranger-guided tours. Call 1-888-EBPARKS for more information.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 East Bay Regional Park District.
  2. 1 2 Baselt, David."Round Valley Regional Preserve." Redwood Hikes. 2015. Accessed March 9, 2015
  3. "Vasco Caves Regional Preserve." East Bay Regional Parks District. Accessed March 10, 2017.