High on Mountain Biking | the trail adventures of a mountain biker

Henry W Coe State Park Mountain Biking

Henry W Coe State Park Mountain Biking

Henry Who?? … Yep, that was my first response when I knew I was gonna ride in this area.. Now let’s be honest how many people have heard of the Henry W. Coe State Park in California? 
In the Henry W. Coe State Park brochure they call it ” A Mecca for Mountain Bikers”.. Yeah sure I thought to myself, if I had a dollar for every park that said that, I would be rich.
But anyway, I was here for a few weeks and decided for myself if this really was a “Mecca for Mountain Bikers” or just another false alarm..

Henry W. Coe Trail Map

 

I spent 3 days on these trails, but because you can link and loop however you wish, I’m just going to write about the area in general in one review rather than 3 separate  trail reviews

For a LARGE Map click here

 

Trail Stats & Information

Nearby Town : Gilroy – Morgan Hill

Length: Your call

Trail Type: Loops

Skill Level: [what the books say] no info

Skill Level: [My Opinion] Technically moderate. Physically demanding –  mental

DAY 1

 

DAY 2

 

Day 3

 

Book Description

Within the over 81,000 acres of Henry W. Coe State Park are about 100 miles of roads and trails that are open to mountain bikes.  The rugged terrain offers a variety of riding options ranging from moderately difficult to extremely difficult.   There are practically no easy trails for bikes.  One intermediate to advanced mountain biker, after a ride in Coe Park, commented, “The riding was the most physically demanding I have ever done!”

 

Day 1

 

Day 2

 

Day 3

 

My Experience

 

Day 1 Trails :

Start at : Coyote Creek TH >> head up Coit Rd >>Pick up Ansa Trail on the right >> then onto Jackson Trail >> at the top veer off onto Elderberry Trail >> then make a right and climb Tower Trail >> after a short ride veer onto [Rock] Spring Trail >> onto Jackson Rd >> to Wasno Rd >> take a right onto Dexter Trail >> head down and take a righ onto Grizzly Gulch and take it all the down to Coyote Creek TH where you started.

Day 2 Trails :

Start at : Coyote Creek TH >> head up Coit Rd  for a short while >> veer right onto Grizzly Gulch for a few minutes >> then take a right onto Spike Jones Trail >>bare left on Steer Ridge Rd. >> then take the Serpentine Trail to the end >> left on Grizzly Gulch >> take a right and climb [walk] Tower Trail >> left on Jackson Rd >> continue down Jackson Trail >> left onto Anza >> onto Coit Rd and back to Coyote Creek TH

Day 3 Trails :

Start at : Coyote Creek TH >> head up Coit Rd  for a short while >>veer onto Grizzly Gulch >>then take a left onto Cullen Trail >> trail becomes Anza Trail stay on it >> then head up the Grapevine Trail >> then onto Cattle Duster >> down the Domino Pond Trail >> take a right on Wasno Rd >> sharp left onto Kelly Lake Trail >> down to Kelly lake and then extreme climb [walk] to Wagon Rd. >> right onto Wasno Rd for a short climb >> downhill on the Tule Pond Trail >> right onto Grizzly Gulch and take it all the down to Coyote Creek TH where you started. 

 

As I mentioned above, I had never heard of Henry W. Coe State Park, now that doesn’t mean much at all, there are 1000’s of places I have never heard of, but I am pretty updated and well informed about [most] Top Mountain Biking Destinations.
I enjoyed every second I spent on these trails, the trails are 95% sweet singletrack, and I mean singletrack!!
The trails are very well marked, but not overdone, the free maps at “Hunting Hollow TH” are excellent, and it would be pretty difficult to get lost on these trails. ( note that there are NO maps at Coyote Creek TH )
All my rides started at Coyote Creek, that offers free parking ( unlike Hunting Hollow that is $6 )
All the trails start by going up, and I don’t care how fit your are, you will spend some time walking with your steed. The views are fantastic, as is the scenery 360 degrees around you.
You would have noticed that some of the trails are roads, but don’t let this fool you, these are not roads, Yes in theory they are “Fire Roads” but even these are a hell of a sweet ride, and better than most trails you find elsewhere.

I enjoyed the climb, even though it was brutal and I spent a lot of time walking, this did not matter, I was already sold by these fantastic network of trails. Once you reach the “Top” you are gonna get blown away by the miles and miles of the sweetest open singletrack you could ever wish for, and the hours you just spent climbing and sweating is all forgotten.

I did these trails in the beginning of September, now I’m not a 100% convinced if this is the best time or not, what I do know, is that it was HOT!!, and I mean hot!. Luckily I like all things hot, but I would love to know when the best time is to ride these trails.. If you are a local, please post a comment and let me know. 

The 3 days I spent on these trails, were fantastic, but I just touched a very small portion of what Henry W. Coe has to offer. I’m glad there is so much more to experience here, ‘cos I will definitely be back to get some more.
   

 

Conclusion

YES, I can confirm that Henry W. Coe State Park is a mecca for Mountain Bikers, I will even go as far as to say that it is even in my Top 3 of MTB destinations.
The tails are fantastic, REAL singletrack, the trails are really well marked, the trails are empty, in the 3 days I was on the Trails I saw ONE hiker, and I was even on the trails during Labour Day Weekend. The views and scenery are fantastic, and there are so many fantastic trails here, you can decide on how long a loop you want to ride. 

Your biggest enemy on these trails is the sun and heat, do not under estimate these, I started my rides at the crack of dawn, and by 10 am it was getting pretty unbearable.

 

Other Info:

Traffic on Trail: EMPTY, 3 days on the trails even during Labor Day Weekend, and I only saw 1 hiker

Wild Life : PLENTY – Bob Cat – Coyote – Wild Boar – Skunk – Deer – Wild Turkey

Scenery : Fantastic views and scernery

Getting There : From Gilroy take Leavesley Rd to New Avenue, then Right onto Roop Road, follow all the way till it becomes Gilroy Hot Springs Road. Pick up map at the Hunting Hollow TH, then continue till the road dead ends at Coyote Creek  TH

Other : It gets HOT here, take extra fluids and nibbles, try and get a very early start. Check yourself for Ticks after the ride, I had a few using me as an “All you can eat”
“Stickers” are a pain here, I actually threw one pair of socks away ‘cos they were covered in them so if possible wear long trousers or a really old pair of socks. 

 

My Trail Rating : 10 / 10 with a GOLD Star

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Nice to see an account from another being who enjoyed Henry W Coe SP on a mountain bike. I rode with you last year in Sedona on a couple of rides with Traildoc. Remember me and my wife along for a couple of great rides?

    Anyway, I’m one of the crew at Coe park who take care of the trails, as best we can. All of our trails are maintained by volunteers. Only the dirt roads are maintained by the DPR. Our park is on the list of California State parks slated for closure due to budget cuts. However, we have an instrument called the Coe Park Preservation Fund, http://www.coeparkfund.org/, which is positioned to aid in keeping the park open. The Pine Ridge Association is the non-profit which assists with interpretive support and park operations and funds.

    We here at Coe are very proud of this park.

    • Hey Paul.
      Yeah, of course I remember riding among others the Highline Trail with you and the crew.
      Dude I luv the Coe trails, I am actually back NOW for 3 weeks to ride them in January, ‘cos September was brutally HOT!
      I will check out the link you posted. Thank YOU and all the other volunteers that work hard on the Trails. Henry W Coe is a fantastic place, not just for Mtb’ers, but for EVERYONE that enjoys the outdoors.

      Maybe I’ll see you on the trails this time around..

      Ride Safe M8

      Rip3d

  2. thank for posting the Henry Coe trip details.
    are the trails well marked? i.e. is it possible to repeat any of your 3 routes with just your posts and a park map?

    • Hi bobr30
      The trails are well marked, however you WILL need the Park Map, ‘cos there are LOTS of trails to choose from. I have been back numerous times, and there has always been free park maps at Hunting Hollow TH – I suggest picking up a map here, and then driving a few miles to Coyote Creek TH.. Be warned there are NO maps at Coyote.
      With the free map, you can put together your own ride, or try the ones I did, they are dope! – All the trails start with a climb, but it is well worth the effort,’cos once at the top, you will have an absolute manic singletrack downhill, whichever way you choose to come down.
      Have a great and safe ride, and let me know how it went..
      Cheers M8
      Rip3d

      • hi Rip3d,

        Thanks again for our advice.
        Yesterday, friend and I did your ‘day 3’ route (except that we missed the first turnoff so ended up taking Coit Rd all the way to Grapevine Tr.) It was a great trip, beautiful place to bike, perfect weather, no ticks (little bit of poison oak). Grizzly Gulch was our favorite of the loop. We will be back for sure.

        bobr30

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