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Middle Ridge Trail

HARD 38 reviews
#4 of 53 trails in

Middle Ridge Trail is a 9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Morgan Hill, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 9.0 miles Elevation Gain: 2,549 feet Route Type: Loop



nature trips

bird watching






wild flowers


no dogs

5 months ago

We did a slightly longer version of this by staying on Hobbs Road a bit longer and taking Forest Trail back (which I recommend as it's nicely shaded and more of a trail than a road). Lots of steep downhill, so if your knees, glutes, and quads are not well strengthened, this might not be the trail for you. Good varied terrain between the creek crossings (make sure you have waterproof shoes), rock paths, tree shaded sections, and open high hills. More of a moderate trail, in my opinion. Henry Coe has lots of camping options, but something to note, a lot of the hikes are on dirt roads instead of trails. This means steeper grades than hiking trails and not as much of an escape from city life as some other trails in the area.

6 months ago

Nice little loop. Watch out for ticks in early season and avoid weekends = avoid the crowds.

Monday, April 02, 2018

It was a unique experience to walk though oak savannah and into an old madrone forest with ponderosa pine. Apparently there are ponderosa pines on three ridges in the Henry Coe area. I was pleasantly surprised. The wildflowers were out, and I must have seen over a dozen different species. The wild iris was my favorite. At frog lake there was a giant bellowing bullfrog and fish and smaller frogs aplenty. (The large bullfrog is invasive, unfortunately.) Otherwise not much wildlife, but I am sure the animals are out there. The roads are extremely steep, built for trucks, so I recommend taking the walking trails. Lots of spots for backcamping. Bring lots of water, a filter, and food. It’s rugged and you will definitely need some extra calories to get through the day(s).

Monday, July 17, 2017

Good workout, low crowd with minimal shade

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Knocked it out in less than 4 hours with someone that never really hikes. All in all, pretty chill trail.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

it was a great workout. beautiful medium size mountains, and lots of best birds to see. February weather was cool, small waterfalls. lots of up and down hills. take plenty of water and food. took about 5-6 hours to finish, on a rush pace.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Beautiful trail

Sunday, March 13, 2016

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.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

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.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Stopped to enjoy the bullfrogs and catfish at Frog Lake.

Monday, December 08, 2014

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.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

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.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

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.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

There's a saying among backpackers around this area that goes something like this: "you go to the Sierras to train for Coe." Yes what you've heard about Coe is true, this place can be very strenuous to hike. I backpacked in from the Hunting Hollow entrance up to Kelly lake and it was a doozy. If you go during the summer be prepared for heat and pack in your water because, although the map shows many springs along the way, they are notorious for being dry. Another thing that bothered me: tarantulas, they seemed to be everywhere! Magnificent little buggers that ive never seen in real life. But if u hate spiders make sure to keep your tent zipped! The payoff though is worth it. Henry Coe is almost 90,000 acres, the second biggest SP in Cali and solitude is easy to find. In the wilderness zones you can camp anywhere as long as youre not seen from the trail. At night the Milky Way shines brighter than I've ever seen in my life, its really quite amazing. Best season to go is spring because it's much cooler and the wildflowers really start to kick in.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

This was part of a 3-day, 2-night, 27 mile trip to a seemingly little known gem near the Bay Area. Hiking through this park can be very strenuous, it is almost all hills, some of them very steep. Camped at Redfern pond and Coit Lake and did some fishing at both, as well as Kelly lake. Also took a side trip to Pacheco Falls after setting up camp at Coit Lake. One of the good things about this park is that once you are out of the Western Zone, you can pitch a tent anywhere you like, no designated campsites to choose from. And you can find great solitude if you stay out of the Western Zone. I hiked the Middle Steer Ridge portion descending from Wilson Peak at 2,600 feet.

4 months ago

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Friday, March 31, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sunday, July 10, 2016

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