In order to get back to your car, you either have to retrace your steps or climb up the Charcoal Road
Trail. Make sure to bring plenty of water for your run, as there are no services along this trail.
The trail is narrow, with roots and rocks scattered throughout the climb, so you'll need to watch your footing.
The Table Mountain Trail descends from Skyline Boulevard through a forest of oak and evergreen trees into the lower parts of Upper Stevens Creek County Park. Unlike some of the other trails in the area that are open to bikes and horses, this is a foot-traffic only trail, making it a great getaway from some of the higher trafficked trails.
The trail departs from Charcoal Road
by dropping down and running parallel to it before moving away from the old road. Unlike charcoal road which is a wide dirt and gravel trail, this is a narrow singletrack dirt trail, with roots and rocks sprinkled throughout the run, so watch your footing! The trail moves further away from Skyline Boulevard, so the sound of the traffic starts to fade away and you get to enjoy the sounds of the woods that surround you.
The trail runs along the top ridge for about a half mile before starting its descent. Descending gently at first, the trail moves through a section where shrubs line each side of the trail, giving you a little bit of a view if you are tall enough to see over them. The trail then enters the woods and starts to descend more steeply.
It winds along the hillside and passes through several creek valleys that are dry most of the year, but may have water in them in the winter time depending on recent rainfall. There are sections where there are steep drop offs on the left side of the trail, so if you are with children, keep an eye on them.
Thanks to the mature forest around you, a lot of the sun is blocked out, making this a pleasant run even in the middle of the day. Once you pass the 2 mile mark, the trail passes through the last creek bed and then starts to climb back up toward Table Mountain. The trail emerges from the woods and intersects with the Table Mountain Fire Road
From here, you can descend further into the preserve on the Table Mountain Fire Road
Trail or you can turn to the right and climb back up toward your car via the Charcoal Road
Trail. Another possibility is to retrace your steps. Either way, you need to be prepared for an uphill run on the way back to your car unless you arrange a shuttle run.
The trail passes through forests of oak and evergreen trees as it descends through the park. Birds can be seen in the trees alongside the trail, and you may see the occasional deer. However, because most of the trail is in the forest, you have to keep your eyes peeled for any wildlife.