Bridge Creek Trail
ElevationAscent: 438' 133 m
Descent: -100' -30 m
High: 718' 219 m
Low: 361' 110 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 16% (9°)
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“A fun run along a creek, through the redwood forest, and to a waterfall.”— Joan Pendleton
From its trail start, Bridge Creek Trail heads toward Aptos Creek which it meets after only 0.1 miles. The trail then heads for Bridge Creek where it arrives at 0.2 miles from its trailhead. From here, Bridge Creek Trail runs along Bridge Creek to where the trail ends at Maple Falls. Vegetation is dense and lush along Bridge Creek, and the creek valley walls are steep. Bridge Creek Trail runs right next to Bridge Creek in places and high above Bridge Creek in other places.
At about the 0.7 mile mark, Bridge Creek Trail crosses Bridge Creek and then begins to climb gradually as it continues upstream along the creek through the dense stream valley vegetation of the redwood forest. At about the 1.4-mile mark, Loma Prieta Grade ends at Bridge Creek Trail at the Bridge Creek Historic Site. (There are no obviously visible historic ruins remaining here though.)
After passing Loma Prieta Grade/Bridge Creek Historic Site, Bridge Creek Trail fun increases as the already steep sided Bridge Creek Valley narrows and becomes canyon-like. The trail runs along the creek at water level (and probably underwater in places after heavy winter rains), crossing the creek (no bridges) many times. To make it even more fun, fallen logs also criss-cross the creek and trail in all sorts of interesting configurations. The trail wiggles its way through this creek obstacle course and eventually climbs above it, and Maple Falls comes into view. The trail continues to Maple Falls where it ends.
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Land Manager: California State Parks - Santa Cruz District