Horseshoe Lake Trail Loop is a 1.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near La Honda, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Length1.7 miElevation gain108 ftRoute typeLoop
Wheelchair friendlyKid friendlyStroller friendlyHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingRunningForestLakeViewsWildlifeNo dogs
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This loop is one of the best easy hikes in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and perfect for just about anyone, no matter their age or ability. And it has a beautiful lake, which always adds to the pleasure of a hike. The trail tread up to the dam is considered wheelchair friendly but beyond that is a little more difficult with some narrow and uneven areas including a hillside traverse - not recommended for strollers or wheelchairs - but there are places to turn around before then. This route can be made more adventurous by connecting to the open space preserves to the north (Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve) and south (Long Ridge Open Space Preserve); there's even an old Christmas tree farm to the south. Accessibility: This trail is only partially wheelchair or stroller friendly. The trail surface is dirt or gravel and typically varies from two to five feet in width. Some places may be too narrow for wheelchairs or too uneven from grass growing in the trail for all but motorized or all-terrain mobility equipment. The grade is mostly gentle but there are two very steep sections estimated over 12%, at about 0.7 (uphill) and 1.2 miles (downhill) when going counterclockwise. Equipment users may need assistance there. There are benches along the way for resting. There are gravel parking areas at the start of the trail on the north end but they do not appear to have designated accessible parking spaces.

Mid-Peninsula Open Space District: Skyline Ridge Preserve http://www.openspace.org/preserves/pr_skyline_ridge.asp Mid-Peninsula Open Space District Main Page http://openspace.org/

The lake generally has lots of waterfowl which are fun to watch.

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Reviews (123)
Photos (695)
Activities (109)
Completed (585)
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Richard Talley
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Hiking

Definitely want to go back

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Javier Ruiz
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Walking

Greet place to take mom for walk and or picnic. Easy and 1/2 shaded.

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Vatsal Shah
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HikingGreat!
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Eric Claus
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Hiking
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Kelly Berman
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Hiking

We did this loop today and then continued on to the Sunny Jim trail to Alpine Pond. What a lovely little lake! We had no idea it was there. Very flat trail and was not much of a workout, but easy to do with kids. I'm not sure it's 100% stroller friendly as advertised as there was one narrow part above the lake. As others have mentioned, there are plenty of benches (and a picnic table or two) along the way to rest or take in the scenery if you need it.

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Cassandra Lopez
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Hiking
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David Silver
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Hiking
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Philip Hampel
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Hiking
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s R
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Hiking

I loved the mostly flat horseshoe Lake loop and then went up to the Gene Sheehan outlook to get more of a workout going uphill which was very rewarding with beautiful views.

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Kamal S
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Hiking

Beautiful trail, partly shaded, pretty lake, easy hike, quite a few benches along the trail. Really enjoyed the easy hike on the loop trail around the lake.

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Daniel Li
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Scenic lake hiding among the hills. Intermittent shades on the trial. Benches on the trial side for rest and enjoy the view

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Yasmin Karimi
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Did this hike with the entire family - even older adults with knee issues were able to complete this as there is minimal elevation gain. Beautiful views of the lake and lots of benches to stop and enjoy the views.

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P Fed
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Hiking

Beautiful, easy walk with kids. I’m not too crowded if you go by 10 o’clock. I recommend you park in the equestrian parking lot which makes it a 1 mile loop around the lake. The lake is absolutely gorgeous. While the trail is closed to bicycles, some people can’t read or obey the rules.

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Tomer Baz
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Hiking

Really cute and easy lake loop. Parking lot was almost full even with the COVID-19... And we saw a turkey!

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Mary Ann Frank
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Hiking

Easy flat walk. My kids loved all the birds and looking at the lake

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Miranda Pytlarz
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Brian Vanaski
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Hiking

This is a great hike for young kids or older adults. The trail is well maintained and there aren't any sections that are too steep. Along the route, you will find several benches to relax and enjoy the lake. I highly recommend this hike and will do it again.

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Tracy L. Crawford
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Hiking

One of my favorite hikes. the loop takes me about an hour and a half. There are areas of shade and a bit without, but the view is lovely. It's not crowded, but the trail is easy to pass- even families that settled down for a picnic.

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Jessie Thorsen
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Hiking

Getting over flu/phlegm in lungs. Fir knoll was hard to breath going up but beautiful/steep coming down (hard on ankle). Horseshoe loop beautiful and comfortable to walk.

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Kelley Botelho
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Hiking

Saw 3 groups on weekday. Nice water, flowers. Picnic bench on upper portion.

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Kassie Robbins
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Hiking

The trail is really narrow and overgrown in some places, it is a pretty walk though.

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Mary Slaughter
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Nice and easy for bringing along my 2 year old. Bathrooms at the trailhead actually had toilet paper and hand sanitizer-amazing! Lovely little lake and not crowded. I didn’t bring my BOB stroller but I do think it is “BOBable” though a bit narrow in some parts.

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Tashawa Williams
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Hiking

So peaceful and definitely not crowded on a Friday afternoon. Also saw a mountain lion from across the lake and plenty of birds and bush rabbits!

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David Garcia
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Views of the lake from higher elevation section of trail were nice, but the rest of the trail was just ok. Very easy for the kids.

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Peggy Anderson
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Hiking

The lake is beautiful, even in the middle of January. The trails weren't too crowded, and they all connect in one way or another, so we continued up Ipiwa and Alpine when we were done with the loop for some more exploring!

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Corie Leep-Wymer
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This was a great hike with small children. Part of the trail has picnic tables that look over the lake. FYI, the trail is not dog-friendly. Dogs are not allowed, which was disappointing.

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Marie Herelle
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Hiking

Very nice hike. Perfect for young children. Lots of parking. Can hear the road from time to time but it's not that bothersome.

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Jessica Terrence
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First to Review

Perfect for my family with two young children.

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Tianfang Liu
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Lola Chen
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