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Novitiate Trail

Intermediate
 2.0 (2)

A climb to the other side of the preserve.


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Map Key

1.0

Miles

1.6

KM

86%

Runnable

1,046' 319 m

High

815' 248 m

Low

234' 71 m

Up

144' 44 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

16%

Max Grade (9°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views · Wildflowers

St. Joseph's Hill Preserve is open 1/2 an hour before sunrise to 1/2 an hour after sunset.

Runner Notes

The trail is rocky as it climbs into the hills. Parts of the trail can be washed out if its been raining.

Description

The Novitiate Trail is located half a mile from the Lexington Reservoir on the Jones Trail. Breaking off to the right, the trail climbs steeply along a doubletrack dirt and gravel trail with a fence on the left hand side of the trail. Flowers and flowering bushes line both sides of the trail in the spring. At roughly a quarter of a mile, the Manzanita Trail cuts off to the right while the Novitiate Trail continues straight ahead. It passes an open area on the left before dropping down, cutting to the right, and starting to climb deeper into the preserve through the woods. Emerging from the woods, the trail climbs up the hillside where rabbits and birds can be seen along the trail moving between the bushes.

At roughly six-tenths of a mile, the Lower Brother's Bypass Trail cuts to the right and climbs to the Manzanita Trail while views of the San Jose area stretch out before you. The San Francisco Bay and hills on the east side of the bay can be seen in the distance. This is the high point of the trail and the best view. From here, most people take the Bypass Trail to the Manzanita Trail or return back to the Jones Trail instead of continuing onward. The trail transforms from rock and dirt to a grass as it descends toward the park boundary. Due to this section of the trail not getting a lot of foot traffic, it is overgrown, especially in the winter and spring as the plants along the trail grow.

Descending steeply in places, the trail makes its way through the woods until it reaches the park boundary. Some maps show the trail emerges on Foster Road, but all of the gates that lead out of the preserve are locked at the park boundary. At this point, the only option is to climb back up the hill to the Lower Brothers Bypass Trail, where you can either follow the Novitiate Trail back to the Jones Trail, or follow the Bypass Trail to some of the other trails in the preserve.

Flora & Fauna

In the spring, a wide variety of wildflowers and flowering plants can be seen along the trail.

Rabbits, lizards, and various species of birds can be seen and heard along the trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

David Hitchcock

Trail Ratings

  2.0 from 2 votes

#42343

Overall
  2.0 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#4,595

in California

#42,343

Overall
6 Views Last Month
806 Since May 7, 2016
Intermediate

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Photos

The high point of the trail offers a great view of the San Jose area and mountains beyond.
May 12, 2016 near Los Gatos, CA
The Lower Brothers Bypass Trail as it ascends from the Novitiate Trail.
May 13, 2016 near Los Gatos, CA
Novitiate Trail as it moves through the woods. Rabbits and quail can be seen scurrying along the trail in this section.
May 12, 2016 near Los Gatos, CA
Some sections of the trail can be eroded if its been raining.
May 12, 2016 near Los Gatos, CA
A view from the hillside.
May 13, 2016 near Los Gatos, CA
The view from the trail's junction with the Lower Brother's Bypass Trail.
May 12, 2016 near Los Gatos, CA

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All Clear 17 days ago See History
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