Photo by Rene Rodriguez.
Photo by Rene Rodriguez.

This article was contributed by Valerie Egland with the R.E.A.C.H. San Benito Parks Foundation.

Dear Moonlight Walk enthusiasts, the R.E.A.C.H. San Benito Parks Foundation Board and BenitoLink feel it is best to postpone our plans to host the third annual Moonlight Walk on the De Anza Trail. The threat of community transmission of COVID-19 is just too great. However, the moon will still rise at 4:55 p.m. and the sun set at 7:33 p.m.

As an abbreviated history of the ‘Anza Trail,’ there was a time when the Old Stage Road did not exist, but explorers were looking for new areas to settle in Alta, California.

In 1775, Juan Bautista de Anza brought an expeditionary group of 200 north from Sinaloa, Mexico to the Presidio in San Francisco, along with a thousand head of cattle. The ‘traveling town’ moved north documented by Fr. Pedro Font and Capt. Bautista de Anza.

Historians believe the back side of Anza Trail was the pass through from the Monterey side over to the what’s now known as San Juan Canyon.

As the Stage Coach became the ‘Greyhound Bus’ of the West, the Flint-Bixby Stage Company excavated the Old Stage Road as we know it today.

The Old Stage Road was gated and repurposed in 1998 to become the first recreation trail in San Benito County. It was further named ‘Anza Trail’ in 1999, and then certified by the National Parks Service.

The hiker will find an experience past the summit and downhill, generally accepted to be like the actual oak-forested area that the expeditionary group traveled through to the canyon, and it is much as it was in the mid-1770s.

When the walk is rescheduled, it will be published on R.E.A.C.H. San Benito Parks Foundation Facebook page, BenitoLink and Mission Village Voice.