I learned that my new favorite flower, the globe lily, is often called a fairy lantern and I saw them again at Henry W Coe SP in Morgan Hill. I’ve been wanting to hike there for years. I heard from a friend how beautiful it is there and it’s in one of my favorite guide books, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles.
Henry W Coe SP is the largest state park in northern California. I only did a short loop hike but the possibilities for hiking and backpacking are endless. There is a visitor center and parking lot nearby so it feels very safe hiking from that location. The ranger in the shop was very friendly and the shop has books, maps, and souvenirs. I found a new guide book about California wildflowers that I’ve been desperately needing.
I began my hike on Corral trail which begins crossing a bridge and meanders downward with wildflowers all along the sides of the trail.
It was a bit cool and overcast, so perfect for hiking. The trail intersects quite a few other trails in a large
field with views of mountains in the distance. I turned next along Flat Frog trail which had every wildflower imaginable in bloom. It took forever to do this section because I kept stopping over and over to photograph the flowers. The fairy lanterns along the path were pinkish white and so delicate and beautiful. I saw flowers in every color of the rainbow. I also saw gorgeous manzanita trees along this trail as well. A tiny black snake with a red belly startled me by slithering across the trail right where I would have stepped! I stopped quite a few times to remove ticks from my pants, they must have jumped on when I brushed up against the grasses along the narrow trail. There was quite a bit of poison oak as well, bright green this time of year, and very shiny. Note to self: wear long pants when hiking this year. At the end of this section of the hike, there was a small creek and I took the opportunity to put on my Dirty Girl gaiters to keep the ticks off my ankles and the pebbles out of my shoes.
I turned onto Hobbs Road trail which was wide and steep uphill, probably a fire trail. The sun had come out at this point so it was getting warm. At the top of the hill off to the left was the Henry W Coe memorial. He was a rancher and his
daughter donated the land to be turned into a park. I turned onto Monument trail and walked through a field with hundreds of purple irises. The view from the field was amazing. I could see the town down below and in the distance. I backtracked a bit and continued further down the trail back to the visitor center.
There are so many good possibilities of things to do when I return. I’d love to do a longer hike. I’d also love to do an overnight backing trip if I can find someone to go with me. It feels very safe there because the park is quite a distance from town and the presence of the ranger on-site. There are a few campgrounds right near the
parking lot also.
Start/End: Henry W Coe SP visitor center
Trail names: Corral, Flat Frog, Hobbs Road, Monument
Has anyone ever backpacked there? Are there more ticks at Henry W Coe SP than other locations or are there just more ticks everywhere this year?