Interpretive/Nature Trails

The Living Landscape: Beautiful Boggs Ridge Nature Trail


Tall pines along Boggs Ridge Nature Trail in Cobb, California. Photo by Kathleen Scavone.

COBB, Calif. – Taking a walk in still-beautiful Boggs Ridge Nature Trail located behind Cobb Elementary School is like music to my soul.

Although it will never be the same after the 2015 Valley fire, there is still grandeur among the pines, oaks and other flora with thrilling panoramas to take in.

This quiet corner of Lake County – about 50 acres – resides in the Cache and Putah Creek watersheds. Our amazing watershed, a hydrologic system, in due course, arrives at the Pacific Ocean!

According to the park’s Nature Trail interpretive panel:

“Water from the north side of Cobb and Highway 175 drains into Kelsey Creek which in turn drains into Clear Lake … Clear Lake’s only outlet is Cache Creek at the southern end of the Lake, which borders Anderson Marsh State Historic Park. From there, Cache Creek winds its way south passing through Cache Creek Dam and then entering the Capay Valley. As the Creek leaves Capay Valley it enters the northern Central Valley. The Creek becomes smaller and smaller as farms along its banks remove water for irrigation of crops. The Creek eventually enters a settling basin east of Woodland with excess water flowing through a flood control canal into the Sacramento River. Water from the south side of Cobb and Highway 175 drains into Putah Creek which flows into Lake Berryessa. That water is used by local cities with some of the excess water continuing to flow down Putah Creek below the Lake and eventually enters the Sacramento River. The Sacramento River drains into the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, which in turn drains into the San Pablo Bay. The same water that falls as rain where you are standing turns into runoff and travels hundreds of miles through creeks, lakes, and bays and then enters the San Francisco Bay and its final destination the Pacific Ocean.”

The Boggs Ridge Nature Trail sign in Cobb, California. Photo by Kathleen Scavone.

The interpretive panel, one of numerous and informative signs along the trail, goes on to describe how watersheds make up a large natural habitat that is home to important species of plants and animals.

It describes the importance of maintaining our watersheds through keeping them clean, beginning with the tippy-top of our creeks, to the ground-stores, or aquifers deep below the ground through monitoring the use of cleaning products, fertilizers, etc.

What a boon this park is to the lucky Cobb Elementary students!

Plants that thrive up on Boggs include white fir, Douglas fir, California fescue, California bay laurel, coffeeberry, sugar pine, Pacific madrone, mountain dogwood, canyon live oak, California black oak and much more.

Animals that call Boggs home include dusky-footed wood rat, gray fox, black bear, striped skunk, mountain lion, western gray squirrel, Sonoma chipmunk, black-tailed jackrabbit, black-tailed deer, raccoon and other forest-dwellers.

Boggs Mountain obtained its name from Henry Boggs, who hailed from Missouri, and landed in Lake County in 1864, making his arrival over a decade after John Cobb.

The Cobb Strong plaque on the Boggs Ridge Nature Trail in Cobb, California. Photo by Kathleen Scavone.

Boggs was an industrious fellow who controlled ventures such as a gristmill, a steam-powered sawmill as well as a wood planer on what is now the east portion of Boggs Mountain Demonstration State Forest. Boggs purchased and logged most of the area by 1884. After his time, Boggs was clear-cut by subsequent owners all of the way up to 1949.

Next, the California Division of Forestry, now known as Cal Fire, acquired 3,433 acres for their demonstration forest.

You don’t have to peer closely to locate Boggs’ beauty of another “genre.” There is some interesting geology at Boggs Ridge Nature Trail.

Along the trail amazing Boggs Mountain andesite boulders proliferate. Andesite is an igneous volcanic rock that started out in a sweltering fluid state.

Since, according to the interpretive display, Boggs Mountain State Forest is located on a lava cap roughly 1 mile wide, by 3 1/2 miles long andesite is exposed over large areas of the forest.

These flows, known as originating from a Clear Lake volcanic lava flow, are one to two million years old!

Kathleen Scavone, M.A., is a retired educator, potter, freelance writer and author of “Anderson Marsh State Historic Park: A Walking History, Prehistory, Flora, and Fauna Tour of a California State Park” and “Native Americans of Lake County.”

Andesite boulders on the Boggs Ridge Nature Trail in Cobb, California. Photo by Kathleen Scavone.


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