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.
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.
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.
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.