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Best Trails in Henry W. Coe State Park

22 reviews

#59 of 490 State Parks in California

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Barely an hour’s drive southeast of San Jose, Henry W. Coe State Park – the largest state park in northern California - protects and preserves 87,000 acres of scenic hills and mountain ridges. This wild, largely undeveloped park welcomes backpackers, equestrians, mountain bikers, day-hikers, and anyone seeking solitude in a nearly untouched setting. Part of the Diablo Range, the park is an amalgam of high ridges, plateaus, and both narrow and open valleys. After a rainy winter, wildflowers bloom in profusion from February through March; by April the color is rampant. The landscape is rich with blue lupine and orange-yellow California poppies, bright yellow gold fields and delicate baby blue eyes. Mariposa lilies, larkspur, blue dicks and Ithuriel’s spear show themselves in late April and May. The variety and richness of the flora attract visitors from miles around. The park is open year-round for hikers, mountain bikers, backpackers, equestrians, car campers, picnickers, photographers, and people who simply like to visit parks. Hot, dry summers bring highs above 90, cooling to the 50s at night. Hikers should carry and drink plenty of water, even on less-strenuous trails. Winter is wet, with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s. In winter, seasonal creeks can overflow and become dangerously impassable. Spring and fall are the most temperate and enjoyable times to visit. Prepare for the variable climate and rugged landscape by dressing in layers. Dogs are allowed in the main campground, paved roads and one trail that connects the Visitor Center to the parking lot off of E. Dunne Ave. Dogs are not allowed at the Hunting Hollow or Dowdy Ranch entrances or on any other trails within the park.

on Harvey Bear Trail
1 month ago

super boring and gross nothing but hay and poop. good workout but that's it

on Middle Ridge Trail
3 months ago

Beautiful trail

on Harvey Bear Trail
3 months ago

Beautiful. Hiking. Walking enjoy the nature

on Middle Ridge Trail
5 months ago

hiking

It was a GORGEOUS trail. My only complaint was that there were multiple creek crossings that we were not prepared for. Because of El Niño they were fairly deep as well. Other than that the trail was really quiet and peaceful. I would rate it as moderate as some parts can be fairly steep.

on Middle Ridge Trail
5 months ago

hiking

Only complaint was that there were multiple creek crossings that we were not prepared for in regards to shoes. Other than that it was BEAUTIFUL and I highly recommend this trail.

on Harvey Bear Trail
5 months ago

Walking it's beautiful

on Frog Lake Loop Trail
11 months ago

It was a nice 1.5hrs walk. Once you finish first 15min uphill and then steep downhill and get down to the lake it's an easy nice walk through the woods back to HQ.

on Redfern Pond from Hunting...
1 year ago

hiking

First overnight trip. Beat the heat by hiking in at night. The dry grassy hills are much more beautiful when lit by the moonlight. I was not expecting it to be so difficult, it was hill after hill and coming down was very steep during the next day. The ponds are very dry and difficult to fish.

on Harvey Bear Trail
1 year ago

hiking

Great hike...very long and hot if you go to the right of the lake, but it's the best part!

on Middle Ridge Trail
1 year ago

hiking

Hiked about 9 miles in Coe Park yesterday with 4 friends. Started at park HQ and took Monument Trail to Hobbs Rd to Middle Ridge Trail to Fish Trail then added on about 3 miles by looping south around Forest Trail then north via Springs Trail to Corral Trail and back to HQ. Though the skies were heavy to start with, the storm had passed, and we avoided having to put on rain gear. By 2pm the skies were clear and we had sun and a cool breeze, perfect for hiking. Encountered backpacking groups -- pairs of friends, school groups and scouts. The trails took us through a varied landscape from shad,y wooded creeksides to sunny, windswept hillsides studded by iconic stand-alone California oaks.

on Middle Ridge Trail
1 year ago

hiking

Stopped to enjoy the bullfrogs and catfish at Frog Lake.

on Frog Lake Loop Trail
1 year ago

hiking

Just moved from DC so Henry Coe trails were only second ones hiked in the area. Frog Lake Loop was the first of three trails we hiked over MLK weekend. There was a gradual accent on Monument Trail as described but not too bad. Beautiful views at the apex. Ironically, I found the short but steep descent into canyon to Frog Lake where the trail merges onto a service road more challenging part of the weekend due to the loose gravel. Not overly steep but actually lost my footing on the loose rock a couple of times, so was comic relief for anyone within viewing range. Granted, picking rocks out of your hands from time to time is just part of hiking. However, a little easier on the ego doing it from some back-woods unimproved trail than strolling down a freakin “improved” gravel road. Though not quite as remote as I'd hoped, the trail itself was nice overall. Next time I'll hike the loop counter-clockwise to ascend that road and hopefully reclaim my pride.

on Middle Ridge Trail
1 year ago

hiking

This was an easy hike for me since it was 6.3 miles out and back. the scenery of beautiful yellow colors in the leaves of the trees are awesome. it was raining then stopped so more fresh air.

on Frog Lake Loop Trail
1 year ago

Awesome views. Lots of frogs

on Middle Ridge Trail
2 years ago

hiking

Coe ain't no joke.

My girlfriend decided she wanted to do this hike on her birthday, and I obliged, being an inexperienced hiker and not knowing what to expect. We entered from the Hunting Hollow entrance, and within the first 15 minutes we were climbing like mountain goats. The trail at this point was straight up-up-up with not a switchback in sight, and after cresting the sixth giant hill, each hill following it elicited laughter from us both. By that time it didn't really matter how many hills the trail threw at us; we'd gotten used to it.

However, it's the way down that can really get you. We elected to return on the Middle Steer Ridge trail, and the straight path down is so steep that it's nearly impossible not to start running downhill unable to stop until the ground flattens out a bit. I felt like a runaway train a few times and thanked my lucky stars that I neither slipped nor rolled an ankle in the process. All told, I'd do it again, but not if it had rained recently (like it had).

The views at the heights are spacious and open with more foresty hiking magic at the lower altitudes. Not for beginners, but excellent for quad strengthening.

on Middle Ridge Trail
3 years ago

hiking

I took the longer blue ridge trail to jackass and back. The views aren't that great in this park but the strenuousness of it is an accomplishment. Jackass trail is really nice as it has been rarely traveled and is only recently grown back.