Just west and south of the intersection of Blossom Hill Road and Harwood Road sits a neighborhood of Los Gatos homes with three subdivisions: Belwood of Los Gatos, Belgatos & Surmont. Nearby public landmarks are Belgatos Park and the Walgreen’s shopping center (corner of Blossom Hill and Harwood), now sporting a new Starbucks coffee shop.
For many Los Gatans, all three of these east Los Gatos areas (and sometimes a broader one still) are generally referred to as “Belwood” or “Belwood-Belgatos.” (The Los Gatos Monte Sereno Police cert map identifies the whole region plus the Strathmore neighborhood, which is across Blossom Hill Road, as “Belwood” generally.)
The terrain is nearly level, with very low, gentle hills over most of the area. With winding, mostly tree-lined roads and tidy houses, it’s a very attractive neighborhood overall. For those looking for an arduous climb on foot or bike, though, Harwood Road provides a nice challenge. At the top, you’ll see a fantastic view of downtown San Jose and Silicon Valley for your trouble. (There are some challenges to be found in the open space trails, too.)
Belgatos Park and trails
At the middle of this community is the very inviting Belgatos Park, a scenic, setting which includes a playground near the parking lot, picnic areas, restrooms, trails into the hills (with some wonderful valley views), and access to the Heinz Open Space Preserve and its network of trails also. (And it’s not far to the Santa Rosa Open Space area either.)
One hill attracts kids who enjoy sliding down it on bits of cardboard, and thus has been nicknamed “cardboard hill” for decades. Most of the time these cardboard sledding enthusiasts are pretty good about picking up their “sledding vehicles” when done.
The paths are popular with people on foot, but also those on mountain bikes or horseback. As there are a few larger properties which are zoned for horses in the area, this is a very nice equestrian option.
For photographers, the park has abundant worthy subjects year round, both of the open space and the valley views below. In the early morning hours, or near sunset, you may see some deer too. But be careful: bobcats and mountain lions are in these hills also.
What are homes like in Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont?
Too often, we think that the search engines know it all, and that includes the maps and names for neighborhoods or subdivisions and where they’re located. Real estate agents or Los Gatos Realtors who want to get ahead sometimes begin by using Bing maps (since Bing has been volunteering subdivision names for awhile now) and create searches of homes for sale based on them, and articles reliant on these mislabeled maps, so getting it all wrong. Surmont and Heritage Grove in east Los Gatos are prime examples!
What’s the matter?
Bing has Heritage Grove north of Blossom Hill Road and set between Leigh and Union. It has Surmont spanning both where it belongs and where Heritage Grove actually sits. Bing doesn’t know what to do with Belgatos and Belwood, so put one slightly north of the other.
No, no, no, no.
For the record, I did submit a “ticket” to Bing to alert the good folks there to the problem. Not a peep back so far, though.
The divider between Belwood of Los Gatos and the Belgatos area is Belgatos Road (think east-west, not north-south). Surmont is to the west of them…but only the area which is contiguous with Belgatos and Belwood. The part that isn’t contiguous (that you have to reach via Blossom Hill Road) is the much, much younger Heritage Grove.
I mapped it out myself based on plat maps from preliminary title reports. I know it’s not elegant looking but it is pretty accurate overall.
Sometimes it is really not clear where one subdivision or neighborhood ends and another begins. That’s when it is especially handy to be able to look at a plat map, which sets forth all kinds of very cool information.
Not sure what a plat map is or does? Have a read at my Valley of Hearts Delight blog:
Want more information on the beautiful Belwood of Los Gatos, Belgatos or Surmont areas? Check out the mini blog for this corner of east Los Gatos:
July 23, 2013
Starbucks will be moving into the space formerly occupied by Gallo’s Restaurant in the Walgreen’s Shopping Center in east Los Gatos, at the corner of Blossom Hill and Harwood Roads, probably in October or close to that time. The popular coffee shop will take up about two-thirds of the building, the part closest to Blossom Hill Road, with the remainder likely turning into a Subway sandwich shop.
Right now there is no space for outside dining, but the plan is to rework some of the landscaping so that this can be incorporated. The patio and tables will be a hit not just for those who like the outdoors, but for the many Belwood, Belgatos, Surmont and nearby neighbors who will walk over to the establishment with pooches in tow.
This should be a very nice enhancement for neighbors, who right now do not have anyplace in walking distance which offers patio dining of any kind.
October 26, 2010
A rumor has been circulating in the Belwood – Belgatos – Surmont area about a mountain lion death earlier this week in or near Belgatos Park. It’s been confirmed that a mountain lion was killed on Monday evening by a Belgatos resident. The mountain lion had killed multiple animals or livestock on the resident’s property so the owner sought and received a permit to kill it from the state fish & game department. This apparently happened on private property, most likely close to the park.
Related stories and updates:
Coyotes Roaming, Killing Pets in The Almond Grove and Glenridge Neighborhoods of Los Gatos (2008 post on Live in Los Gatos)
Mountain Lion Shot in Los Gatos (January 2008 story by Alastair Dallas in the Los Gatos Observer about a cougar shot in a backyard along Lora Drive)
Mountain lion killed on Hwy 17 near Cats Restaurant in Los Gatos (Jan 12, 2010, Santa Cruz Sentinel)
In late March, 2011, another mountain lion was killed in Redwood City. In the SF Gate article, it was relayed that:
“One of the big cats was treed in Palo Alto in 2004, a cougar showed up in a condominium complex in Pleasanton in 2006, and in September one was found roaming near Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto.” (All killed, as well)
January 26, 2010
I just updated my Belwood of Los Gatos website with what has closed in the last three years in that part of town (including the Surmont and Belgatos areas). At the top of the page is a live mls-searching map which shows what’s available in that area. Right now there’s just a duplex for sale there, no houses whatsoever! Scroll down to see first sales in 2009, then 2008, and finally 2007.
Some of the numbers are disturbingly low (disturbing if you are a homeowner). Some of the lowest prices have been homes which were distressed sales (short sale or foreclosure) or which were not well staged and easily accessible. Hard to see, cluttered, unstaged homes simply sell for a lot less than homes which are well presented and easily viewed. In 2009 we saw a rise in foreclosure activity in and near Belwood. This may keep up for a couple more years until the current mortgage crisis is cleaned out.
November 21, 2006
Belwood of Los Gatos, Belgatos and Surmont areas of Los Gatos
On the far eastern end of Los Gatos lies a friendly and active neighborhood of about 500 homes: Belwood of Los Gatos, and also the Belgatos and Surmont neighborhoods – all of whom now share a cabaña.