Spring is the best time of year to visit Deer Hollow Farm. All of the animals are having babies and you really need to stop by for a visit.
The farm is located 1 mile from the parking lot, so plan on taking a little stroll before you reach your destination. Here’s the address: 22500 Cristo Rey Drive, Cupertino, CA 95014 There are signs (and lots of friendly people) telling you which trail and direction to take. There are restrooms in the parking lot too.
Bikes are allowed on the paved trails. Dogs aren’t allowed. There’s a nice picnic area and please be sure that you know what Poison Oak looks like before you touch anything growing along the trail.
The creek that runs through Rancho San Antonio has water in it right now and the trails winds beside the creek for part of the walk. I always look at the old wooden fence beside the trail and think how nice it is that the people that maintain the park and farm have preserved the original look of the pioneer fence. There are plenty of lizards on the trail and I even got to see a blue-tailed Skink. If you’re quiet, you’ll usually see wild turkeys, hawks, fat squirrels, a quail family, or some deer on your way to the farm.
I spoke with several volunteers. They told me that one of the goats recently gave birth to triplets and another one had twins. More on the way very soon. I think that the baby sheep were inside the barn sleeping while I was there. A bus full of Mountain View Whisman school district kids were leaving just as I was arriving and the volunteers told me that the animals are always tired after school children visit them. That’s so cute that the animals want to take a nap after the school bus leaves.
There are signs that say “Don’t touch the animals” but honestly, it’s hard not to touch them when they come right up to you to check you out. They’re very tame and friendly and used to visitors. The volunteers and staff at the farm are so patient with all the funny questions from the visitors.
The farm animals all go to bed at night inside in their own little barns or sleeping quarters (the staff actually lock them up and do a head count) so they’re safe from predators, like coyotes and mountain lions.
One chicken was outside the big pen where the rest of her friends were, but she didn’t seem worried at all. I walked up to her and she was not concerned. There are also cows and pigs and a pond with friendly ducks, and some rabbits. This is quite possibly the most peaceful place in all of Silicon Valley. The volunteers told me that’s it’s not nearly as peaceful when there are 75 children running around. I guess they’re probably right.
Deer Hollow Farm is inside Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve, which is in Cupertino, but the park is managed by the city of Mountain View’s Recreation Division. Additional funds come from Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, Santa Clara County, the non-profit Friends of Deer Hollow Farm, Los Altos Hills and the City of Cupertino.
Be sure to explore the Blacksmith Shed, herb garden and Nature Center in the farm area too. Deer Hollow Farm is one of those special places that children will remember going to for the rest of their lives. Making memories, the Mountain View way.