The Loop Trail
start, as shown here, is found in the center of Mt. Madonna County Park near the end of Ridge Trail
. This is a very pretty mixed redwood forest trail that runs along the eastern and northern slopes of Mt. Madonna, passing several other trails along the way.
From its start at a well marked trail junction along Ridge Trail
, Loop Trail
heads north. The densely forested, steep slopes of Mt. Madonna drop off to the right and rise to the left, as they do for the entire length of this trail. This is a mixed redwood forest filled with very tall, old stately redwoods as well as younger redwoods. Large, tall, light trunked eucalyptus trees are also sprinkled along the trail.The undergrowth is thick and lush, with beautiful ferns in many places.
Almost immediately, the back side of the Archery Range is passed on the left, followed by Lower Miller Trail
at the 0.35 mile mark, Upper Miller Trail
at the 0.4 mile mark, and Loop Trail Cut Off
at the 0.75 mile mark, all on the left (west) also. At the 0.8 mile mark, Loop Trail
turns left (west) at a trail junction with Merry-Go-Round Trail
that comes in on the right, from the east. Merry-Go-Round Trail
ends at this trail junction.
Continuing on in the thick mixed redwood forest on the steep northern slopes of Mt. Madonna, Loop Trail
winds around without passing any more trails for the next 1.4 miles, to where it ends at the remote Mt. Madonna Road. Along this stretch there are hints of views to the north/right, but they never really emerge through the tall, thick trees.
Mixed redwood forest with dense undergrowth. Notable in the mix are some very tall, large eucalyptus trees with their light trunks. And beautiful ferns in places.