I can’t believe I’ve lived in this area nearly my entire life save those 5 years of college and I’ve never stepped foot in Henry Coe State Park. Little known fact, Henry Coe is the 2nd biggest state park behind Anzo Borrego. It literally would take days to hike around its perimeter. So when I was looking for a new area to explore on Sunday I honed in on Henry Coe.
Would have loved to have spent more time exploring but we were a bit short on time since we got a late start to the day and I had a hockey game later that evening. I ended up compromising and choosing what I thought was a moderately easy route at ~7 miles. From the park HQ we took the Corral Trail downhill and then north to the Fish Trail. The terrain is rolling hills with some decidedly mixed vegetation. You get grassy hills, forested ravines, manzanita groves, giant oaks, and pine trees. It’s actually kind of cool to see so many different genre of plants on such a short hike.
About a mile into the Fish Trail you begin a very steady climb back up to regain the lost elevation. You are rewarded for your trouble with some slightly obstructed views of Lick Observatory and some grand views into the interior of the park. The Fish Trail then makes a steep descent to the west into Frog Lake. The lake is more of a pond but it ended up being the highlight of the trip. It sits in a valley thats sheltered form the wind and so the surface of the lake was completely still.
The rest of the hike was pretty much a straight slog deathmarch up a fire road where we got a nice view of the setting sun and Gilroy/Morgan Hill valley. Then it was a rush back to the car and home. The hike ended up being a bit more difficult than anticipated but the scenery was also far superior to what I expected so it was a win 😀
Distance: 6.9 miles
Elevation: 2400 feet
Time: 3 hours 22 minutes