Looking for a place to escape to on a weekend, Willie and I found Henry W. Coe State Park. It’s located east of Morgan Hill, just south of San Jose. I’d heard about the extensive trails at Henry W. Coe, but I hadn’t been there yet. It was too early in the year to hike the Yolla Bollies, another area that we were considering, so we opted for the coastal hills at Henry W. Coe.
The season was perfect for backpacking in this location – the grass was green, wildflowers were blooming, and there were lots of newts about. We did a three-day loop from the park headquarters. Our route took us to Coit Lake via Poverty Flat Rd. and Willow Ridge Rd., on the first day. Coit Lake was pleasant, and contained black bass and crappie, but it was hard to find any place to cast a fly rod with all the tules growing around the shore. A spinning rig would work well there. On the second day, we hiked to China Hole via the Cross Canyon Trail and Mahoney Ridge Road. One of the most interesting sections was the part that passes through Kelly Cabin Canyon, where the trail became faint and we mostly walked along and through a small creek. On the last day, we hiked from China Hole back the headquarters, via China Hole Trail and Manzanita Point Rd.