#PixInParks Martial Cottle

The Park

Martial Cottle Park Entrance
Martial Cottle Park Entrance ©Brandy Maldonado

With 287 acres, this south San Jose park offers various activities for you and the family to enjoy. The Martial Cottle park has paved walkways that allow runners, walkers, bikers, and skaters to enjoy the great outdoors safely. The interactive play area introduces children to life size farm animals and farming methods. This urban park celebrates sustainable farming processes and highlights innovations in organic farming.

Located at the south entrance of the park is the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners Community Education Center. At the Education Center you can attend master gardener classes to learn more about your garden or purchase succulents during center open hours. I suggest visiting the center in the spring, as California wildflowers are in full bloom! Across from the Education Center is the Sunset 4-H ranch where you can see various farm animals throughout the year raised by 4-H youth members.

The Hike

Martial Cottle Park south walking trail entrance
Martial Cottle Park south walking trail entrance ©Brandy Maldonado

This trail is paved and flat which makes it an easy walk in the middle of the bustling city of San Jose. This walk is perfect for families, going solo and for all ages! Martial Cottle park is a dog friendly park, bring your pups and remember to ask the owners permission before petting a cute dog. Here are three book titles you can find at the San Jose Public Library on dog friendly hiking in the bay and best practices for hiking with dogs:

The Trail Hound's HandbookBest Hikes with Dogs: San Francisco Bay Area & Beyond

I arrived at Martial Cottle park after the rain, the sun was out and snowy mountain top peaks could be seen in the distance. On this walk I saw plenty of ground squirrels, hawks and crows. The park is peppered with large oak trees, but the one you want to find for the challenge at the northeast side of the park. This walk took me about 30 minutes, as this is one of my favorite SJ parks and I took my time.

The History

Portrait of Martial Cottle
Portrait of Martial Cottle. SJPL California Room, Bernal Family Collection.

In 1854, Missouri emigrant Edward Cottle moved to Santa Clara county, in an area known today as south San Jose. In 1864, Edward Cottle purchased part of Rancho Santa Teresa from the Bernal Family, establishing Cottle Ranch. At the ranch, the Cottle family grew hay, grain and crops for cattle. The ranch was divided between his two sons as time went on, Martial and Warren. Martial Cottle's descendants farmed the land until the late 1990's when the family sold the land to Santa Clara County.

#PixinParks Challenge

For more information on the #PixinParks challenge check out the Santa Clara County Parks Department challenge website or here on my San Jose Public Library blog post describing the challenge.

Further Reading on Urban Farming

The Urban GardenYour Farm in the CityUrban Farming

Further Reading in the California Room

Special thanks to our friends at the Santa Clara County Parks Department for making this challenge available for Santa Clara County residents.

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