Explore <5k - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

<5k Map

Great loop and easy category is correct.

trail running
5 days ago

I did this trail with Bay Trail Runners! Beautiful trail! Plenty of shade and good elevation gains for a challenge.

Beautiful just after the rain! Make sure to check the map to follow the right trails; signs can be a bit unclear

nature trips
11 days ago

I love the park itself more than this one trail.

Update 3/6/2018

All trails are open again, and equestrians appear to be using the trails. Nice and quiet on a Tuesday morning. Definitely prefer to park on the Gilroy side of the park and hike up Sprig Trail, then end with Merry Go Round Trail on the way back down. Old Mine Trail is worth it for the views.

March 2017

This is overall a great south county loop. It is a little crowded as far as other parks in this county go: on a Tuesday afternoon I passed a dozen people or so, including the people at the Sprig Recreation Area entrance, which is around the midpoint. This park is also a big horse riding area, but due to the recent rain, it is closed to equestrian traffic, so if you're a rule breaker like me it's a good time to let your dog off leash. This means a lot of the trails are very wide unfortunately. I love the cool, shady canopy and mix of redwoods and laurels on Sprig Trail, and the beautiful, rocky chaparral of Merry-Go-Round. I would recommend taking the loop in the opposite order the title suggests, starting with the Tan Oak Trail via Meadow Trail. The Tan Oak trail will take you to a junction with the Lower Miller Trail where you can see the really cool ruins of the Miller summer place. Legend says the park is haunted by the spirit of 19th century cattle baron Henry Miller's 8-year-old daughter, who fell from her horse and broke her neck while out on a ride. Then the Loop Trail Cut-Off will get you to Merry-Go-Round, which will descend the mountain toward the Santa Clara Valley. It is a more exposed fire road, which makes it nicer to do this direction, followed by the shady, winding climb of Sprig Trail back up to the entrance booth. Tie Camp Trail, which bisects the loop, is currently closed, as is a section of the Blackhawk Trail which is noted on the map.

Alum Rock park is one of my favorite it's the first park I started exploring on my own great to bring kids & family.It is considered A moderate hike,It offers free parking,water fountains,restrooms& playgrounds for children.Take the trail to eagle rock park where you can overlook San Jose & enjoy the sunset! For those who enjoy mountainbiking alum rock park is A great place to do that too! I always bring A new or returning friend & they love it

mountain biking
1 month ago

I'm used to mountain biking in Washington so maybe I'm a little biased, but I didn't love this as a mountain biking trail. Some great views at the top, but very little technical work required, mainly just brute leg strength. It was also a little too crowded to get any good speed up without someone being in your way. Not a bad ride, but also not great.

mountain biking
1 month ago

A little challenging for beginners like me but I had a blast. It really is a nice trail.

You need a permit to hike here. Permit was easy to get and free. Trails are not marked at all. It's kind of creepy hiking at a abandoned college. Felt like I was in the Walking Dead. Sad that the buildings has graffiti on it. Over all really enjoyed hiking here. When done hiking do a body check. My boyfriend got bit my a tick on his chest. Didn't notice it till he took a shower.

Great hike! Beautiful scenery, especially on the way back up!!It feels like I was hiking around the hill. There is some sun but most of the trail is shady. First mile is straight up which is hard but it flattens out and descends which is okay. At the bottom is a small area to hang out/picnic/community garden. There is also a barn which has sheeps and goats which are fun to see. Trail is not marked well!! Can be cold during the winter at the top! Small parking lot of about 10 cars total. I found a spot on a non holiday weekend Sunday at around 1130am, otherwise find parking in the neighborhood.

Good uphill climb, beautiful views!

She steep as hell

mountain biking
1 month ago

Love it up there great place to hike or mountain bike!

Beautiful view- I try to go during times when there’s less people. I’ve had the top to myself many times and love the adventure up!

Nice trail for biking or hiking. Relatively flat. Dog friendly

Peaceful! Beautiful!

2 months ago

hike uphill was not enjoyable. there are much better hikes nearby

easy trail along the creek. signs could be better

2 months ago

Beautiful trail and managed well with a baby in the stroller and a toddler on foot. Also had my mom who uses a cane with me. Will be back!

So beautiful and serene, and such a great, well-maintained/informational hike. At the campground and trailhead you can pick up a map and a guided nature hike flier with information about the different plants and wildlife in the canyon. The Waterfall Loop is a lush hike through a coastal redwood riparian environment. You’ll feel like you’re in Big Sur right here in Watsonville. Also, this is the absolute best time to go (I’m writing this in January 2018), as it is technically closed, and you will have it all to yourself. Closure is only due to the road being washed out. Access via the Knibb’s Knob trailhead at the back of the park off Summit Rd (see Maymens Flat and Knibb’s Knob Trail page). You don’t necessarily need 4WD, but it is certainly helpful. Not for children until Croy Rd is open again around April 2018.

2 months ago

hiked in the rain, went searching for waterfall and could not find any water... :(

Good one for a quick hike with family...

2 months ago

Great trail! Plenty of shade. Took on this trail during the winter so it was a bit cold. Would love to conquer this trail during the summer. Must be pleasant. Overall: easy trail. Kid friendly.

Trail is currently under construction and closed to hikers

2 months ago

It is one of my favorites trails. Always enjoyed the beautiful garden and scenic trails.

Bring spikes or shoes with cleats! We slid down almost the whole way which made for an interesting workout.

3 months ago

Love this trail that rewards you with a majestic view of South Bay...

Great hike. Initial hike is a bit steep, but it levels out after the first mile.

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