Henry Coe’s step behind in time to hike, bike, fish, camp

December 29, 2017 - Picnic Time

On a expostulate in, within only a few turns, we leave a trade behind. On a trail, either on foot, towering bike or horse, in only a few mins we emerge on a doorstep of a park’s 87,000 acres. It’s a step behind in time.


Ahead are adequate roads and trails to ramble for years though saying it all. Destinations embody 60 ponds and lakes, wilderness-style campsites, flattering creeks, ridge-top views and among a many abounding wildlife in foothill-type habitats anywhere.

Coyotes, furious pigs, deer, belligerent squirrels and red-tailed hawks are common on many visits. Those who try a park’s interior — treks to Mississippi Lake or a Orestimba Wilderness, for instance — also competence see bobcats, foxes, golden eagles and a prints of towering lions. For those who container in a boyant tube (so they don’t have to fish from shore), a drum fishing can be outstanding.

Henry W. Coe has been a favorite finish of cave for many of my life. we have hiked it, biked it, driven it (with rangers and a blurb pig trapper) and flown over it many times. This past week, amid a disharmony of Bay Area holiday traffic, we bailed on a trade and found ourselves behind on a trail, hiking this time. In minutes, a mutation was complete. It felt like returning home.

Mountain bikers boyant adult Hunting Hollow Road, a gateway to 87,000 acres of parkland during Henry W. Coe State Park Photo: Tom Stienstra, Tom Stienstra / The Chronicle


This is a hulk park that can't be capsulized in a singular visit. It spans roughly 375 block miles opposite a furious foothills, ridges and canyons easterly of Morgan Hill and Gilroy in southern Santa Clara County.

The best rising indicate is out of Hunting Hollow, a entertainment area and trailhead located easterly of Gilroy. A network of a half-dozen park roads, once routes by ranchland, provides entrance to a park’s interior. Several trails afterwards mangle off from these roads for hiking or severe single-track towering biking.

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This can be a good park for pond-style drum fishing, like during a private ranch. The best are Mississippi Lake, Jackrabbit Lake, Mustang Pond and Coit Lake. Tule-lined shorelines make fishing entrance poor. Pack an inflatable boyant tube or lightweight raft, afterwards use Senkos or baby Brush Hogs, fraudulent Texas-style.

To make a outing here work best, devise an desirous day on a towering bike, or devise to stay wilderness-style. Short walks can be rewarding, generally for assent of mind. Longer trips can yield entrance to a apart pay-off destinations, including Mississippi Lake, Los Cruzeros (a flattering tide junction) and a Rooster Comb (a rock-ridge formation) in a remote Orestimba.

Easy initial walk, Gibson Pond: From Hunting Hollow, travel on Hunting Hollow Road for 3 miles. The track follows along a rivulet drainage (now dry) and emerges on a hollow building with flattering views adult Coon Hunter’s Gulch to Phegley Ridge. You afterwards will strech a coax on a right for small Gibson Pond. 6-mile spin trip.

Moderate initial hike, Redfern Pond: This outing starts easy for 2.1 miles along Hunting Hollow Road. On a left, you’ll see a sealed post for a Redfern Pond Trail. The track afterwards climbs 1,200 feet in 1.5 miles, with flattering hollow views to your left en track to Phegley Ridge. At Phegley Ridge Road, spin left and arrive during Redfern Pond for a track picnic. 6.9-mile spin trip.

Ride to Kelly Lake: This is a many renouned one-day boyant in a park and brings in towering bikers from afar. Start with a 3.2-mile boyant to Wagon Road, an easy warm-up. Turn left on Wagon Ride and stand 1,770 feet over 8 miles to Crest Trail. Turn left, and in 0.3of a mile, take a coax highway on a left (Kelly Lake Trail) for a 1.1-mile journey down to flattering Kelly Lake. 25-mile spin trip, with other routes available.

Ride to Coit Lake: From next a gritty dam during Kelly Lake, boyant forward a brief stretch to a connection with Coit Road and bear right. The highway climbs about 500 feet in a mile to a design where we afterwards deplane a other side 0.3 of a mile to Coit Lake on a left. It rivals Mississippi Lake as a prettiest lake in a park, though gets missed since many riders don’t wish to supplement another shallow with a 500-foot stand to a outing from Kelly Lake. 27.6-mile spin trip.

Tom Stienstra’s Outdoor Report can be listened during 7:35 a.m., 9:35 a.m. and 12:35 p.m. Saturdays on KCBS (740 and 106.9). Email: tstienstra@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @StienstraTom

If we wish to go

Where: Henry W. Coe State Park

Size: 87,000 acres, a largest state park in Northern California.

Location: Hunting Hollow is 10 miles easterly of Gilroy in southeastern Santa Clara County. The park’s domicile is 12 miles easterly of Morgan Hill, around curvy East Dunne Avenue from Highway 101.

Cost: $6 per car for parking during Hunting Hollow ($8 during domicile out of Morgan Hill during Dunne Avenue).

Trail rules: After a half-inch of rain, all single-track trails tighten for 48 hours; roads sojourn open during all times. No bikes in adjoining and apart 23,000-acre Orestimba Wilderness. No dogs on trails.

Trail maps: Henry W. Coe State Park Trail and Camping Map ($9.20 and $1.80 for shipping) can be purchased during www.coepark.net or during domicile out of Dunne Avenue for $10. A welfare piece map is accessible for giveaway during a circular house during Hunting Hollow park entrance; printable copies of park’s trails/road piece maps accessible during www.coepark.net.

Camping: A grown campground with 19 drive-in sites is available, $20 per night. Reserve during (800) 444-7275, www.ReserveCalifornia.com. One ADA site available.

Backpacking: 60 sites accessible for wilderness-style camping; and hikers can stay anywhere preferred in remote Orestimba Wilderness. $5 per chairman per night.

Horses: They are available on trails. Horse stay is $25 per night, includes one car and dual horses; $5 per additional equine per night.

Dogs: They are authorised in a categorical campground nearby park headquarters, on paved roads and on a track from a Visitors Center to crawl parking area.

Rely on yourself: Carry map, food, celebration water, filtration/purifier. Mountain bikers should lift a tire-repair kit.

Pine Ridge Association: One of a state’s biggest and best proffer organizations to support park operations, www.coepark.net.

Contacts: Henry W. Coe State Park, (408) 779-2728, www.parks.ca.gov.

How to get to

Hunting Hollow

From San Francisco: Take U.S. 101 south 75 miles (30 miles south of San Jose) to Gilroy and Exit 360 for Masten Avenue. Take that exit 0.3 of a mile to Masten, afterwards spin pointy left during Masten and expostulate 1 mile to Center Avenue. Turn right during Center and expostulate 0.4 of a mile to Rucker Avenue. Turn left on Rucker and expostulate 0.8 of a mile to New Avenue. Turn right on New and expostulate 1.6 miles to Roop Road. Turn left on Roop and expostulate 1.9 miles, spin left (still Roop) and expostulate 4.6 miles (becomes Gilroy Hot Springs Road) to Hunting Hollow (well signed) parking and trailhead on right.

Note: The track is easier than it competence appear; it is good sealed during turns and there is good parking access. Other entrance points out of park domicile out of Morgan Hill from U.S. 101 (Dunne Avenue exit); Dowdy Ranch (closed until open of 2018) off Highway 152 (at Bell Station).

Distances: 10 miles from Gilroy (at U.S. 101), 39 miles from San Jose, 67 miles from San Mateo, 67 miles from Dublin, 75 miles from Half Moon Bay, 83 miles from Walnut Creek, 85 miles from downtown San Francisco, 99 miles from San Rafael.

— Tom Stienstra

source ⦿ http://www.sfchronicle.com/sports/article/Henry-Coe-s-step-back-in-time-to-hike-bike-12458189.php

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