Trail Name: Olive Tree Lane
Location: Starting from Russell Avenue (.25 miles East of Lake Blvd.), South to Bee Biology Road
Difficulty: Easy, flat
Distance: 1.07 kilometers
Coordinates: 38°32’30.48″, -121°47’7.8″
Other Information: Family friendly, dog friendly (but the doggies have to stay on a leash)
Olive Tree Lane is a closed road, lost on the agricultural properties of UC Davis. The trail welcomes hikers, bikers, and four-legged friends to explore the agricultural treasures along this path. This simple, shaded avenue is covered by a long umbrella of olive trees. On both sides of this short road, you’ll find various crops planted for the university’s research efforts.
The beauty of this trek is two-fold. It’s close to the communities on the west side of town, and because of the tree cover, the temperatures on this shaded walk are usually much cooler than an exposed path. The condition of the road does vary do to age. The northern section of the path (between Russell Blvd. and Hutchinson Drive) was repaved a few years ago and is in great shape. The southern section (south of Hutchinson Drive to the airport) is in heavy need of repair. It’s probably scheduled for resurfacing in the future. For now, this section is cracked and has its share of holes. It’s not a bad path, but you need to keep you eyes open when you travel.
On any given day, you’ll see walkers and families of all ages strolling along. This is a good stretch of abandoned road for parents to teach youngsters how to ride a bike, or for a couple to walk their dog. Be sure that you always travel with a partner, and be sure to watch for cross traffic when you are crossing Hutchinson Drive. Cross traffic does not stop. It’s important to have your dog on a leash at this intersection. It’s a busy road.
At the southern end of the trail you’ll discover a treat for the family – the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven. This hidden gem, on the UC Davis campus, is a great place to learn about the diversity of honey bees and why they are critical to the economy in California. This is a half-acre bee friendly garden next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road. Here you will find numerous flowers and plants that the bees call home. You’ll discover hummingbirds, butterflies, and plenty of bees. Sorry, there’s no ice cream – all the sweets are for the bees. The garden is open year-around, from dawn to dusk. Admission is free. This is one of those neat, quiet projects that offers so much to the community, and is always looking for volunteers.
The bees aren’t the only things flying around the area. The Bee Haven garden is adjacent to the University Airport. This is a small airport serving smaller aircraft. As you hike the trail, a small aircraft might float close over your head as it heads toward the runway to practice landings and take-offs.
This path embodies the quiet, laid back attitude of Davis, CA and UC Davis. It’s a great place to stretch your legs, and enjoy a simple, covered walk.