Spring · Views
This is an 8-mile loop through Pescadero Creek County Park and should take roughly 3 hours to complete. Highlights include the Hikers Hut, a nice panoramic overlook of the County Park, and some beautiful redwoods. This loop takes you through two very different terrains - a damp redwood forest (on the north side of the ridge) and an arid pine forest (on the south side of the ridge).
Mostly smooth, hard-packed dirt or gravel. Watch out for unexpected roots.
This loop starts and ends at the Heritage Grove trailhead parking lot. All trails are clearly marked, and the Pescadero Creek County Park map is a great reference and has all trail markers clearly numbered and marked (you can pick up a paper map at the ranger station).
You start on the Heritage Grove Trail
(turning left at the first fork), until you get to the Hikers Hut. From there, you can walk down the fire road a bit to a nice scenic overlook of Pescadero Creek County Park. Next, you backtrack on the fire road (or East/West Brook Trail, which runs parallel to the fire road). Follow the fire road, past the horse camp (turn left at the fork at the horse camp), until you hit Pescadero Creek Road.
Right across the road, you'll find the Forest Trail
, which will take you to the Sam McDonald Park parking lot (where you'll find restrooms and a nice map of the park). Cross the road again (on the north-east edge of the parking lot) to hop back on the Heritage Grove Trail
. This will take you back to the trailhead and the original parking area.
Flora & Fauna
This loop highlights two distinct climates of the Santa Cruz mountains. The first half of the run (on the southern side of the ridge) features mostly dry, low grass and sparse pine conifers and oak. The second half of the run (on the northern side of the ridge) is through a cool, damp redwood forest. The contrast between these two climates is remarkable, and to have both on this run is a pleasure.
History & Background
The Hiker's Hut
is a nice place to stop for lunch. You can also book this hut for an overnight stay.
Shared By: Duncan M