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Madrone Knoll Trail

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

1.1 mile 1.8 kilometer point to point
81% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 540' 164 m
Descent: -17' -5 m
High: 2,415' 736 m
Low: 1,875' 572 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 22% (12°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by David Hitchcock

Run from the junction of the Alma Trail and the Redwood Springs Trail up to Bear Peak Summit.

David Hitchcock

Features Birding · Wildflowers

Bear Creek Redwood Preserve is open from half an hour before sunset to half an hour after sunset.

Need to Know

Restrooms are located in the parking lot, there are none on the trail. Make sure to bring plenty of water with you as the trail has a lot of constant climbing. The trail is shaded thanks to the forest that surrounds you, making it a pleasant run even in the middle of the day.

Runner Notes

The trail is wide and fairly free of obstacles. The center of the trail may be softer than the edges where they have driven vehicles up to the top of Bear Peak.

Description

To gain access to the Madrone Trail, you can take the Alma Trail or the Redwood Springs Trail to the point where the two trails meet. There is no other access to the trail at this time. The Madrone Trail ascends from the junction of the Alma Trail and the Redwood Springs Trail to the Bear Creek Summit beneath a canopy of trees.

The dirt and grass trail departs the junction and climbs gently for roughly 0.2 miles before the incline increases. At 0.25 miles, the trail crosses a private road and continues to wind its way up hill. The trail climbs steeply from 0.25 miles to the 1 mile mark, with a couple of areas where it levels off momentarily before climbing steeply again. When you reach the Bear Creek Summit, the trail levels off and circles the summit, so you can go in either direction. Take a minute to relax, as you've climbed over 500 feet from the beginning of the trail in roughly 1 mile. You've put in a lot of work to get to this point.

It is roughly 0.2 miles around the summit, but all of the views are obscured by the trees there. Once you have enjoyed the summit and taken a breather, you can return to the junction via the trail you just climbed, getting to enjoy the descent as a reward for all the climbing you did on the way to the summit. When you get back to the junction, you can either make a loop via the trail that you did not take, or return back to your vehicle by the path that you took. It's about the same distance either way, so the choice is yours.

Though there are not sweeping views, if you are quiet you may encounter various species of birds and can hear them even if you can't see them. As evening approaches, listen for owls hooting in the woods. Ferns, mosses, and other species of plants grow beneath the trees and along the side of the trail. The undergrowth is pretty thick, making it difficult to see mammals and other animals in the preserve.

Flora & Fauna

Redwoods and Oak Trees can be seen throughout this section of the trail, as well hawks and other migratory birds. There is a lot of undergrowth in this area, making it difficult to see animals unless they are on or very close to the trail.

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Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 1 vote

#4

in San Jose

#21763

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  3.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#4

in San Jose

#2,516

in California

#21,763

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10 Views Last Month
105 Since Jun 10, 2019
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

This old growth redwood sits off the left side of the trail and reminds you just how gigantic these trees can become.
Jun 18, 2019 near Lexingt…, CA
The Redwood Springs Trail levels off as it approaches the Alma Trail.
Jun 11, 2019 near Lexingt…, CA
You can see how steep portions of the Alma Trail are as it climbs toward the intersection with the Redwood Springs Trail.
Jun 11, 2019 near Lexingt…, CA
The trail approaches a private driveway that you need to cross to get to the summit. Take a minute to enjoy the respite from all of the climbing that you have been doing.
Jun 11, 2019 near Lexingt…, CA
When the trail reaches Bear Creek Summit, also known as Madrone Knoll, it splits around the summit. You can go in either direction as both will lead you back to this point.
Jun 11, 2019 near Lexingt…, CA
Take a moment to enjoy the texture of the bark on the trees, as various trees have different textures. There are amazing patterns and shades of brown and green on the trees.
Jun 11, 2019 near Lexingt…, CA

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