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..
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
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 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.
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.
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
“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