Sprig Trail, Merry-Go-Round, and Tan Oak Trail Loop is a 8.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Gilroy, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Hike past redwoods and the ruins of a land baron's mansion at this park south of San Jose. Mount Madonna County Park is one of the most popular camping destinations in Santa Clara County, and this route is one of the best ways to see all the park has to offer. Sprig Lake trail passes all three of the park's major campgrounds, and makes a scenic ascent (or descent) through one of the prettiest stands of redwoods in the park. Another section of this route passes a pen of captive white fallow deer, then continues through the ruins of the summer house of Henry Miller, a Gold Rush-era land baron whose properties stretched from the Bay Area to Mexico. The last link is the popular Merry-Go-Round Trail connecting to the Sprig Lake Recreation Area (the lake is long gone, but the trails remain.)
It was hard but did it
It was a good hike...a lot of horse $4!t!! LOL
Beautiful I Love it
Nice trails, tall trees, lots of shade..
Started at Miller House to Loop (S), to Ridge (W), to Sprig (E), to Blackhawk Canyon (W) and back up Ridge and Loop to parking lot. Blackhawk Canyon was the nicest, most serene part of this trail (though currently closed for landslide maintenance, it's easy enough to walk around the gate...). Westbound on Blackhawk is a relentless uphill, and a good workout. Most of the trails around this park were fairly disappointing, mostly because they are wide, flat and boring. Stick to the dotted, hiking only trails if you want a better feel, better scenery, and don't want to dodge horse poop every few inches (EXCESSIVE amounts of it plague this park).
I live a few miles away and go here weekly or so. To me the best hike for moderate hour and a half or so is to park at sprig lake (not a lake) on the gilroy side near the bottom of the hill. Head to the right side, all the way to the merry-go-round trail, and work your way across the main section of the park to the front trail (can't recall) that ends immediately in front of where you parked. Good scenery, changes in surroundings and changes in intensity. I see there's a meetup here later this week from the valley- maybe I'll crash the party or say hello :)
The Bay View trail is a great family trail. Well marked at all the junctions with other trails, the entire trail is through redwoods with some beautiful canyons and a great overlook of the Watsonville area all the way to Monterey Bay. Gentle inclines and declines throughout with one steep, but short, section if you loop around onto the East Bay View Trail back towards the entrance to the park. Restrooms and water at the picnic area at the trail head.