Treat yourself to a quiet stroll down a country lane with extraordinary natural scenery. If you’re lucky you might even catch a glimpse of peacocks! This quiet road winds its way through oak woodlands and past vineyards. During the winter months, you’ll enjoy the mild temperatures and views of snowy mountains in the distance.
Expect to encounter deer and other wildlife peacefully nibbling on flowers, shrubs, and grasses while horses graze contentedly in the fields. Keep your eyes open for some of the magnificent iridescent birds that have made this area their home as well. Peacocks are native to India but thrive here in the Sierra foothills as well. Listen for their distinctive screech and keep an eye open for them flying overhead.
Pets are welcome on this hike, though you may want to keep your furry family members on a leash so they don’t go darting off after all the critters you’re likely to see.
Morningstar Lane also takes you right by Silver Fox Vineyard, a boutique 2.5-acre estate that produces premium hand-crafted wines. Contact the owners directly if you want to make an appointment to meet the vintners and visit the winery and tasting room.
In about 1.3 miles you’ll reach your turn-around point where Morningstar Lane intersects with Allred Road. To extend your trip, explore some of the side roads like Blackberry Creek Road and Buckskin Road are relatively easy excursions, or you could try Twin Oaks Road for a more moderate to strenuous hike.
Since this road is paved, it’s also an excellent option for a short bike ride or pushing a stroller.
The start of the walk at the corner of Morningstar Lane and Carleton Road is just a 10-12 minute drive from downtown Mariposa. Starting in Mariposa, drive north on Highway 140 toward Yosemite National Park for just over 4 miles then turn right onto Triangle Road. Take another right onto Carleton Road and keep your eyes open for Morningstar Lane on your right. It can be hard to spot. If you get to the U-Haul shop, you’ll have just passed it. Feel free to park along Carleton Road to begin your walk – just make sure not to block any of the driveways.