December 5, 2009

Henry Coe Hiking

We decided to take advantage of the dry weather that is rare at this time of year and headed out for a hike to Henry Coe State Park. We've been meaning to do a hike at this park for some time and a cool December day seemed like a good time to do it. We headed to the Headquarters Entrance of the park which is a fairly straightforward 30 minute drive from Highway 101 with the last 10 miles through a narrow winding road. Once there we headed to the Visitor's Center to pay our fee and pick up our trail map. After gearing up and bundling up we made our way up the road to Monument Trail Head. After climbing 400 feet we made a left at Hobbs Road, a wide fire road. We descended down about 600 feet and then took a junction to Frog Lake. We couldn't see or hear any frogs and the smell and several dead fish in the water kept us moving. We retraced our steps until we reached Flat Frog Trail and headed down the narrow path. We hit a few patches of fog and some rare areas of sunlight on this fairly flat trail. We caught some great views of the surrounding valleys when the fog allowed and there are a few areas with benches to rest and enjoy the view. We heard several birds and saw a few groups of quail scurrying across the path. Corral Trail led us back to the parking lot and our warm car. Although Frog Lake was a little disappointing, it was an enjoyable 4.5 mile hike. Henry Coe is a very large park, with several entrances. There is a huge amount of hiking and backpacking opportunities available to visitors. There is also a campground at the headquarters that has 20 drive-in sites that can be reserved.