NA
Wild Recovery
San Jose, California
July 11, 2015
Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
Contra Costa County
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Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
July 11, 2015





The Place

From the 1850s to the early 1900s, five coal mining towns thrived in the Black Diamond area. As the location of California's largest coal mining operation, nearly four million tons of coal ("black diamonds") were removed from the earth. Later, sand was mined for glass making and steel casting. Although little remains of the mining communities, a historic cemetery serves as a monument to the lives of the former residents.

The Preserve's 65 miles of trails traverse areas of grassland, foothill woodland, mixed evergreen forest, chaparral, riparian zones and exotic plantings. Notable among the latter are several tree species introduced by the coal miners. Black Diamond is noted as the northernmost location of Coulter pine, black sage, desert olive and the succulent, dudleya. Black Diamond supports a healthy wildlife population. Coyotes and snakes are commonly seen. Mountain lions, bobcats, foxes and deer are occasionally spotted, while birds of prey soar overhead. Over 100 species of birds have been seen, from the rare golden eagle to the ever-present meadowlark.

From the mid-1920s to the mid-1940s, the Hazel-Atlas Mine produced silica sand to make jars, bottles, and other glass items. Today, tour participants can take a 950-foot walk into the mine to see mine workings, ore chutes, the shifter's office (mine boss), and ancient geological features.

Walking the Walk

Level: 3 - Miles: 5.25 - Elevation change: 850' - Host: Troy and Amy H.

On this Saturday the park is holding an open house and the mine is open to visitors. Yes, it may be hot in July, but after our hike we can take the mine tour where temperatures underground are much cooler. Dressing in layers is recommended.

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Directions:

From San Jose take I-680 North. In Concord stay right & take Hwy 242 to Hwy 4 East toward Antioch. Drive 11 miles on Hwy 4 East and take the Somersville Road Exit. Turn right and drive South (toward the hills) on Somersville Road to the park entrance. We will meet at the parking lot at the end of the road.

Know Before You Go:

Drive Time: 1 hour 15 minutes Parking $5
Dogs OK with $2 fee

Hike start time promptly at 10am



Wild Recovery Meetings | What to Wear & Bring | Trail Maps/ Park Info | Contact Us
What is Wild Recovery? | NA Online Resources | Business "&" Documents

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