A visit to the Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch in the Santa Teresa County Park Historic Area immerses you in the realities of living and working on a family ranch more than 100 years ago. A self-guided walk around the park takes you back in time, through a historic ranch house, gardens and barn, all restored and equipped with furnishings and tools typical of California farm life in the early 1900’s.
Originally part of Rancho Santa Teresa, the ranch and surrounding 20-acre property are what remains of a nearly 10,000-acre parcel granted to Jose Joaquin Bernal by the Mexican Government in 1834. While most of the original rancho parcel has been developed into suburban neighborhoods, the Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch has been continuously owned and worked by Bernal descendants as a family-operated ranch until 1980.
Interpretive panels throughout the park highlight the Bernal family’s history and lifestyle as well as their evolving businesses, from cattle ranching to fruit production, mirroring the Santa Clara Valley’s own expansion and changing economic base. Over the years, the ranch and adjacent spring have supported a water company, cinnabar mine and marl (fertilizer) quarry in addition to the more lucrative cattle and agricultural operations.
The Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch site is open daily from 8am to sunset. The Ranch House and Barn exhibits are open to the public Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additional days/hours are available by request. School programs and group tours are available by reservation Tuesday-Saturday. Group size is limited to one school class due to visitor capacity in the buildings. A teacher’s packet of information, activities and pricing is available in the links below. For more information or to schedule a school program call (408) 226-5453, email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the Request Form – Bernal Ranch School Program. If you are a teacher interested in a Teaching and Activity Guide for Santa Teresa County Park Historic Area, please view here.
Check the calendar of park activities for family programs and events at the Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch and other Santa Clara County Parks.
Park hours are 8am-sunset daily. Dogs are not allowed at the ranch complex. To access the trail system with your dog, use the sidewalk along Manilla Drive, enter through the parking lot, turn left at the restroom, and right at the trail head.
Santa Teresa Historic Area Directions:
Santa Teresa County Park offers a variety of recreational activities. The Santa Teresa Golf Club features an 18-hole championship course and a 9 hole/par 3 course. The more than 14 miles of unpaved trails for equestrian, hiking and bicycle use offer spectacular views of the Santa Clara Valley.
From highway 85 take the Cottle Road exit and head south past Santa Teresa Hospital. Turn left on Santa Teresa Boulevard (east) and make your first right on Camino Verde (south). Continue on Camino Verde through a residential area and you will dead end at the ranch on Manila Drive. A bus unloading area is just south of the entrance to the park.