Archery Range in Silicon Valley (Bowhunters Unlimited at Stevens Creek County Park)

Didja know that there are three Archery Ranges in Santa Clara County that are FREE and open to the public? They’re maintained by local clubs, with the County’s permission. The closest one to me is near Stevens Creek Reservoir, between Cupertino and Saratoga. https://www.sccgov.org/sites/parks/Activities/SportsFacilities/Pages/Archery.aspx

Easy to miss on Mt Eden Road

Easy to miss on Mt Eden Road

Find “Mt Eden Road” from the back of the Stevens Creek Reservoir or from Pierce Road, coming from Saratoga (past Garrod Farms and Cooper-Garrod Winery, which are also nice stops to rent a horse http://www.garrodfarms.com/ and sample some local wine http://www.cgv.com)  and look on the uphill side of the road for the range. (The entrance is at N 37° 16.585 W 122° 04.177  if you’re a Map Geek. It’s about 1000 feet NW of the intersection of Mt Eden Rd and Orchard Meadow Dr.)

Turn left if you're coming from the reservoir

Turn left if you’re coming from the reservoir

The range in Cupertino is nicely maintained by “Bowhunters Unlimited” http://bhuarchers.org/bow7/

The Archery Range and shelter with picnic tables

The Archery Range and shelter with picnic tables

There is a series of hay bales, with targets attached, at varying distances from the shady shelter, near the parking lot. “Porta Potties” too!

View from the target range shelter

View from the target range shelter

There’s also a “field course” of 32 targets, spread out across the steep hillside.

Walking Course entrance, to the right of the target range

Walking Course entrance, to the right of the target range

All the targets are safely backstopped against the hillside. With normal caution, often called-out by nearby signs, you can shoot from a wide range of distances.

Walking Course in the woods

Walking Course in the woods

Shoot from as far or as close as you want!

Shoot from as far or as close as you want!

The trail is steep in some places, and I did get briefly disoriented around #17 ~ #19, before I saw the “exit” sign behind me. Generally the course is well-marked and even has a few stations with bottled water and shady tables along the way.

Beware of the Troll

Beware of the Troll

…and views of the surrounding hills

Nice views from the Walking Course

Nice views from the Walking Course

If you’re interested, it’s open to the public to come in and look around. If you decide to try archery, there are shops in Gilroy (http://www.predatorsarchery.com/) and one up in San Mateo County. A beginner’s kit will run you around $200 for a reasonable bow, arrows, a quiver, a finger guard and a wrist guard (http://www.predatorsarchery.com/in-store.shtml#bow-packages) (No, I don’t know them or get a kickback if you buy anything!). Those shops can set you up with some lessons, or Bowhunters Unlimited can do the same for free at the range (http://bhuarchers.org/bow7/lessons). Give it a try!

FOOTNOTE on the California drought: I stopped at the nearby Stevens Creek Reservoir back in March and was happy to see that it was almost full…about a foot below the spillway on the dam.

Full in March 2015 (dam in background)

Full in March 2015 (dam in background)

This past week, 6 dry months later, the level was a (very sad) 10 feet down. Can we have some rain…please?!?

About 10 feet down (Sept 2015)

About 10 feet down (Sept 2015)

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About AlphaRoaming

Random outdoor roaming: hiking, cycling, camping, backpacking & plotting more of the above Grew up on the edges of the Adirondack mountains of New York, just a bit west of Vermont. Now living in Silicon Valley and venturing out when and where I can!
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