Friday, January 26, 2018
The Markham Regional Arboretum Society began in 1981 with a small group of Concord citizens who loved gardens. Their goal was to turn their land, a portion of which had been sold to the City of Concord by Ira and Bea Markham in 1966, into a beautiful arboretum. *1
Today Markham Nature Park and Arboretum is a place of quiet beauty less than 20 blocks from downtown Concord. With its main entrance at the south end of La Vista Avenue, much of it is still in its natural state, with vegetation only slightly tamed. Shade-dappled Galindo Creek flows through it. *1
The Markham Tree Walk will introduce you to forty-five different species of trees in the Markham Nature Park. Many of these trees are native to California. You will also see trees from the other parts of the world that share the same Mediterranean climate as that in Concord – Australia, South Africa, South America and Europe. Many of these trees are drought tolerant and thrive in Northern California.*1
This leisurely walk goes around Markam Nature Park and heads east along Galindo Creek to Newell Community Park and a bit beyond. The return includes a scenic walk along the duck and geese ponds.
Begin from the parking lot at the end of La Vista Ave in Concord. Head west through the gate for a stroll through the International Garden at Markam Nature Park.
Cross Galindo Creek to the Redwood Grove and Science Center.
Turn around and meander along the south edge of the nature area towards the parking lot.
Continue east along Galindo Creek and follow the path out of the park to Cape Cod Way.
Cross the street and continue on the multi-use trail to Treat Blvd.
Cross Treat and follow the trail uphill into the open space at the west end of Newell Community Park.
The paved trail continues eastwards across the open grassy meadows along the top of the low ridge with great views of the surrounding valley and ridges.
The trail runs along the north edge of the residential neighborhood around Turtle Creek Rd as it continues with a slight uphill to the underground water tanks at the top of the ridge.
Enjoy the wonderful views!
The trail leads to a vista point at the Concord Vietnam Memorial.
Follow the trail downhill across the open parkland to the recreational areas at Newell Community Park. 126 acres along Galindo Creek east of Treat Boulevard. Access is via Newhall Parkway south of Clayton Road or from Turtle Creek Road. Galindo Creek meanders through the park. Approximately 30 acres of park is improved with ponds along the creek, a play structure, picnic areas, bocce courts, and turfed athletic fields. The Paw Patch is a secure, fenced area where dogs can exercise off-leash. There is one reservable group picnic area in a secluded creekside setting with large oak trees. A Vietnam War Memorial graces the vista point. *2
Continue past the parking lot onto the Cal Riding and Hiking Trail, it meanders through the SE edge of the park to Ayers Rd.
Cross Ayers to stay on the Cal Riding and Hiking Trail, it continues southward along the canal to the steel bridge crossing near Ygnacio Valley Rd.
Turn around and retrace your steps back to Ayers Rd.
Cross the street, turn right onto the sidewalk to the SE corner of Newell Park near Murchio Dr. Return north through the park, past the open ball fields to the Nueva Vista Butterfly Garden.
Continue north along the path past the dog park and scenic duck ponds.
After the second pond, turn right and cross the creek towards the parking lot at the end of Boxer Blvd.
Turn left and follow the unmarked path along the edge of condos and apartments off Clayton Rd.
The path comes to a junction at the end of Wharton Way. Turn left and head uphill, at the split, go right and retrace your steps back along the ridge to the west edge of the park.
Return on the multi-use trail along Galindo Creek to Markam Nature Park.
16 acres off northeast side of Cowell Road near Babel Lane and at south end of LaVista Avenue. Galindo Creek meanders through the park. Park amenities include a Nature Study Center used by Mt. Diablo School District and Concord’s Backyard Explorers summer day camp, community garden plots and the Garden Center headquarters of the Markham Arboretum Society.*2 The Tree Walk is especially lovely on a hot day—as hundreds of trees shelter you in dappled shade. So take your time and enjoy this jewel in our community. *1
5.6 Miles with 306′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 277′
Time: 2.15 hours
Parking: No fee at the Markam Nature Park & Arboretum parking lot at 1202 La Vista Ave, Concord
No facilities, water & restrooms available at Newell Community Park-plan accordingly
Bring water & snacks
Open from dawn to dusk 365 days a year
Weather: Sunny and cool with temps ranging from the high 40’s to the mid 50’s with NW winds.