Messy group campers disturb tranquility of Harvey Bear

The Ed Willson Trail, a 3-mile trek through Harvey Bear Ranch Country Park, showcases some of the best views of the Coyote Reservoir and Dam.

Dear Red Phone,

We often use the paved trail at Harvey Bear Ranch in San Martin. Sometimes there is a large group with tents and chairs set up there (usually on the weekends). They never have a sign and we were wondering who they were, and what they are doing?  Also, the last group that was there (March 9 and 10) left large, ugly, sticky spills on the path where their tents were. How do we find out about these groups ahead of time?

Red Phone: Dear nature enthusiasts,

We understand why you’re concerned about this. From Henry Coe, to Mount Madonna, to Uvas Canyon, we agree that South County’s beautiful parks and open spaces are a true asset that should be protected, cared for and respected.

To answer your question, we dropped a line to Public Information Officer Tamara Clark with Santa Clara County Parks.

After speaking with park staff and looking into the matter, Clark says the large groups with tents are actually a permitted, running event with overnight camping allowed.

“Park staff was not aware of a ‘sticky’ mess left behind by the group but will take another look at the trail and schedule a cleanup if that’s the case,” she assured.

We hope you find Tamara’s response helpful. She can be reached at (408) 355-2215. For more information on your County parks, including current events, details on hiking, camping, picnicking, volunteering or temporary closures, visit or call the general information line at (408) 355-2290.

To find out ahead of time what areas are reserved for camping and will be occupied, call the reservation office at (408) 355-2201.