I have a sort of like-hate relationship with Henry Coe park. It’s a huge park with many miles of great trails, but most of them are connected by hellish forest roads, and many trails are way too steep and poorly engineered for mountain bikes. On top of challenging terrain, Henry Coe Park is just far enough inland that there is no relief from the blistering sun and the cool ocean breezes you get at Skeggs or Saratoga Gap just a handful of miles away are sorely missed. During the summer, 90-100 degree days are common and potable water is scarce.
All of which paints a somewhat unfair picture of Henry Coe park. It is a massive park with tens of miles of great trails and many, many miles of decent trails. There are over 100 miles of trails which can be connected in endless ways and every year the park changes and evolves as the park service improves trails or trails are closed due to conditions or simply get too overgrown from getting under-used.
Which is why I’m really glad I took Fast Eddy up on his offer to come out this weekend. Being able to pedal 17 miles in to Pacheco Camp in the middle of the park, enjoy a day of riding in some of the more remote regions, and then pedal back out is perhaps the best way to appreciate the epic scale of this amazing park. For bike packers or adventurous riders who like long miles of exploring, Henry Coe is a truly epic destination….
… but I still hate those nasty super steep downhills, hundred degree heat, thistle…