In my blog: Tips for Hiking with Kids, tip number 6 is, find a favorite spot. A spot that is close to your house, that makes getting out easy and fun. Today, I’m going to share ‘our spot’ with you. It’s close to home yet far enough away to cure any wanderlust hearts. It’s called Hunting Hallow, let me tell you all about it!
We don’t always have all day to spend hiking, even if we do, but just don’t feel like an all day thing, this is where we go. We have come here so often that we now miss it when we haven’t been in a while. It’s fun how places, hikes, rivers and hills can make you feel at home. Their familiarity doesn’t take away from their refreshing ability or their beauty. I actually recommend visiting the same place during different seasons. Even here, in the South San Francisco Bay Area, where we have almost no seasons, things change. Different animals will be visible, the amount of water in the creeks, the color of the hills changes. It’s so fun to see a place through it’s seasons. It’s a great learning opportunity too. My kids now know when Frogs lay eggs and when they will find tadpoles or grown frogs or toads, they know when to find salamanders and when butterflies migrate, all because we have seen it here. But it hasn’t become predictable either, nature always keeps us on our toes. Droughts, rainy seasons, a warm winter or mild summer all effect what we see.
So, our place is technically in Henry Coe Park. But it’s not through the main entrance area. It’s called Hunting Hallow. To get here, take Roop Road into the East hills, go past Coyote Lake County Park. The road will turn into Gilroy Hot Springs Road as it curves left, keep going. The entrance will be on the right. The entrance fee is $6 and is self regulated, so bring exact change. You can also use your California Explorer or Golden Poppy Passes here (these are yearly passes that get you into select state run beaches, parks and recreation sites)! There is a large parking area, two covered picnic areas and a couple porta-potties. The trial starts at the back end of the parking lot.
This trail crosses a creek/river several times. So be prepared, wear tall boots or water friendly shoes. We have been in a drought for so long that we had only ever seen water in deep puddles along the creek but this winter it was a rushing river. The creek usually dries up between May and July and stays dry until mid January when our rains typically start.
Anyway, we usually stay on the main trail, Hunting Hollow Road and explore the stream and throw rocks, find frogs, tadpoles, salamanders, snakes, spiders, bugs of all kinds, butterflies and evidence of bob cats and deer. It’s never a boring hike and it changes with the seasons making it ever new. Hunting Hollow Road has trails that veer off of it, of varying difficulty. The main Road is in a valley and has very little elevation gain or loss and just kind of gently rolls. Stay on alert for mountain lions, this is their kind of territory, we have never seen one but they have been reported in the area occasionally. Hunting Hollow Road goes past a windmill, little pond and on for miles. We typically walk out a mile and then turn around and walk back, exploring along the way. This trail is a horse, bike and walking trail, great for everyone and everything!
Wear water friendly shoes
Bring those basics (water, hat, sun glasses, sunscreen…ect.)
Dress in layers, it gets hot in the summer and breezy in the winter.
Bring things to catch bugs or tadpoles with if you want.
For more info about the park check out their web site!
So, this is it, our ‘go to’ place. Do you have a ‘go to’ hike or day trip. An old standby for when you want to get out but don’t want to go far or to an unknown place? Let us know in the comments below or tag us on social media #themeyerlife to share ‘your spot’ with us.
Get up, get out and go adventuring!