Henry W. Coe State Park Day Hike

This Thanksgiving holiday when the food was eaten and the family was gone, Jon and I decided we needed a blood-pumping workout to recharge for the work week ahead. Avid hikers, we decided to visit Henry W. Coe State Park in Morgan Hill, a place we had never been but have been wanting to go for a quite a while.

Listed as one of the Bay Areas best day hikes at Everytrail.com, I had every reason to believe the hype because every other hike on that list is one I’ve taken and love. I hike a lot, but had yet to try trail at Henry W. Coe.

Henry W. Coe State Park is just off of highway 101 halfway between the San Francisco Bay Area and Monterey. It took us an hour to get there from Monterey. We easily found and headed straight to the visitor center to learn more about the area, pay the day use fee ($8 for both of us,) and get a map.




It was a perfect day for hiking: blue skies, not too hot and not too cold.


Whether there’s sun or clouds, always remember to take essentials with you on a hike. Here is a list of what I generally take with me:

  • daypack with at least 2 quarts of water
  • lightweight jacket
  • map
  • hat
  • sunglasses
  • sunscreen
  • a veggie bagel sandwich
  • organic apple and clementine oranges
  • small baggie of nuts


We decided not to take the original hike listed as the “best,” and instead took the Frog Lake/Middle Ridge trail hike. We loved the name! It is a 6.6 mile loop back to the visitor center.


Lots of wonderful views.




Never seen a tree like this before!


This is what a tree looks like after the woodpeckers get to it. See the holes they make? That is where they keep and preserve acorns, which is a nut from the Oak Tree. How many of you Oaklanders already knew where acorns come from? Haha I just learned it today when Jon told me!


Lots of diversions, but we stayed on track toward the Fish Trail.




The trail is a series of gentle ups and downs…nothing too strenuous but just enough to get the heart pumping. Being an avid hiker, I would list this as a moderate hike with plenty of shade.


Ascending from a shady valley of trees with only .6 miles left on the hike, the trail opened up into a beautiful field with a picnic table at the top where 5 ladies were resting and chatting away. Other than them and one mountain biker taking a rest at another view, we saw no one else on the trail.


Almost back to the HQ/visitor center.




I was a bit ahead of Jon on the hike – sometimes I like to just start running – so I found a nice bench and waited for him.


The hike took a total of 3 hours; 1/2 hour per mile on the average including our lunch break. There were no frogs, fish, nor lakes, but there was a few dried up streams that will likely flow again once the winter rains start pouring.

We made it back to the visitor center together well before sunset. It was still open so we went inside to take a look at the nature books they have available.


Jon found an outdoor painting book and I found this Field Guide to City and Suburban Survival, which I am going to include in our emergency supplies kit at home.


A wonderful day trip to Henry W. Coe State Park. I can honestly list the place as one of my new favorite places to hike. I’m coming back soon to explore all the other trails!

Find out more about Henry W. Coe State Park at http://coepark.net/pineridgeassociation/



Isabella Guajardo, also known as Girl With A Truck™, is a professional home organizer and a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). Living in Oakland and Monterey, she travels in her truck to work with clients throughout the SF Bay Area, East Bay, South Bay, Silicon Valley, Santa Cruz and Monterey Peninsula. She shares simple and creative ways to stay organized and stylish while reducing, recycling and re-purposing. Join Bella Organizing on Facebook. Gift certificates are available.

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