Bay Area Bike Rides by Ray Hosler

Ride 51 -- Henry Coe State Park

In the third edition I had 51 rides. The card deck can only handle 50, but of course it should be 52 to qualify as a real "card" deck.

As it turns out, I have an extra ride to share, which didn't make it into the deck as planned. This ride is a new route for Henry Coe park. The route in previous editions was wiped out by the fire of 2007. I did this ride at the south entrance, which turns out to be a better area than the north entrance because it offers more options and more fun rides.

The south entrance has a fairly gentle climb up to a ridge where you can then descend on lots of single-track. Everything was ready to go until the publisher contacted me, worried that the park was going to close. Gov. Schwarzenegger had it on his hit list, but it hasn't happened, yet. I can't imagine trying to enforce such a closure. I had to revise the Grant Ranch Park ride from the previous edition and use that instead.


Henry Coe SouthHenry W. Coe State Park would be a suitable location for one of those wilderness survival tests. The park's remote trails and steep roads challenge the best riders' abilities. Excellent bike handling, lots of stamina, and a safety-conscious attitude is essential for riding here.

Although a 48,000-acre fire burned about half of the park in 2007, the southern section was spared. Additionally, it offers far more single-track riding.

This 13.5-mile loop at the south entrance begins on the secluded Gilroy Hot Springs Road, following the tree-lined Coyote Creek. The historic hot springs resort at road's end closed in 2003 when purchased by the California parks department. The bridge over Coyote Creek is gated.

Coit Spring Rd. climbs steadily, with grades of no more than 14 percent. After leveling off on Coit, turn right at the signed Coit Spring Tr. and descend on this woodsy single-track. It offers some rocky stretches that will make even experienced riders pay attention. Most trails are signed, but deer trails mixed with single-track can confuse. Having someone along who knows the trails will reduce the chance of getting lost. How to get there.

Mileage Log
Start mileage at stop sign for Hunting Hollow entrance off paved Gilroy Hot Springs Road east of Gilroy. 1.9 Right onto dirt Coit Rd. at gate. 3.8 Anza Tr. on right. 4.1 Begin climb. 5.0 Coit Springs Rd. junction. 5.1 Coit Camp. 7.23 Right on Coit Spring Tr. single-track. Watch for a post that says Coit Camp. 8.1 Left jog, with rocky sections in next mile. 9.3 Grapevine spring, marshy area. 9.36 Right onto Grapevine Rd. at T intersection. 9.7 Left onto Coit Rd. at T intersection. 11.5 Left onto Gilroy Hot Springs Rd. at gate. 13.5 End ride at Hunting Hollow parking lot.


Henry Coe Park map