Big, quiet, and wild, Henry Coe is the largest state park in Northern California. Named after a Bay Area pioneer, this South Bay park’s 87,000 acres remain mostly unchanged since the Ohlone Indians made it their home. At 2,600 feet, the visitor’s center makes you feel like you’re on a cloud (and offers striking sunset views). Mountain bikers will relish the challenging singletrack trails and steep descents, while hikers can enjoy a variety of options, from easy ambling trails to thigh-burning climbs. With so much land, the park’s ecology is wonderfully diverse, including oak woodlands, grassy hills, conifer forests, and manzanita shrublands. For a nice taste of the park, loop the Frog Flat Trail with Middle Ridge Trail and Fish Trail. On this 8-mile loop you’ll pass lofty ridges and deep canyons, through a terrain of earthy browns and shiny greens (thanks to recent rains). Rugged and undeveloped, Henry Coe is a slice of the wild.
Pick up a map at the visitor center. To reach the park: from Highway 101 in Morgan Hill, exit East Dunne Ave. and travel 13 winding miles up to the visitor center.