I love the Pix in Parks challenge, this is my third one! There are 7 new parks for me to explore in Santa Clara county with recommended hikes. I am able to access all of these parks from my home in Santa Cruz, CA. Mount Madonna County Park is in Watsonville and I drove south on highway 1 and then along 152 to get there. My favorite things about hiking are exploring new trails, parks, and towns. It was really fun to drive up into the hills behind Watsonville. Especially, since it has been so many years since I’ve been in that part of California. We are so lucky to live here because we have the oceans, the mountains, the redwoods, the beaches, and the cliffs. I could go on and on.
Mt. Madonna is a gorgeous little county park up in the hills and there are views to die for. It has a lot of camp sites, and it makes me want to go back for that reason alone. I checked in with the park kiosk to get directions to my starting point, and the parking lot turned out to be off the main road and free. Luckily, I beat the rush because I was there early. The parking lot is on highway 152 and was pretty easy to find. There is a special lot for horse trailers and though there weren’t any when I arrived, there were plenty of beautiful horses as I headed back to my car.
I started my hike on Merry-Go-Round trail even though it was steep and I climbed all the way to the top of the hill. It’s interesting to see how the landscape changes in the autumn months. I saw a lot of dry grasses on the first part of the hike and also there were lovely views of the hills and valleys. When I reached the first trail intersection, old mine trail, I decided to follow it to see where it would lead. There was a pretty view of the valley and a small peaceful lake in the distance.
I continued on my hike along Tie Camp trail which led me through redwood forests and lovely cool paths. Somehow, I missed Tie Camp viewpoint and ended up on Ridge trail. I took a selfie there because I did not want to backtrack. The hike back down to the parking lot was sunny and warm and I passed quite a few more hikers along the way. I am very excited to go back to Mount Madonna soon. I may even plan an overnight at one of the campsites!
Start/end: Sprig Recreation Area parking lot on highway 152
Trails: Merry-Go-Round, Tie Camp, Ridge trails
Mileage: 3.8 mi (not including old mine trail)
3 pix in parks finished! Only 4 to go! Is anyone out there with me?!