The Beautiful Mt. Madonna Park



The air quality was still ok yesterday morning. CalFire the fire that’s affecting us now 86% contained. Go firefighters! So I rode out Redwood retreat rode to Mt. Madonna road, which leads to the back entrance to the county park of the same name. This took about 2 hours and 45 minutes round trip on my e-bike, I could have done it a bit quicker with more assist. I rode around the park for a while checking it out. There appeared to be some great hiking trails to try out in the future, but unfortunately I had not budgeted enough time for that. But I’ll definitely be back now that I know I can get there pretty quickly.

The Beautiful Mt. Madonna Park 1
This beautiful tree specimen is in the middle of the junction between Mt. Madonna and summit roads. Mt. Madonna road is coming up from the right. Summit is facing forward. Summit runs near the top of the Santa Cruz mountains south of highway 17, it becomes skyline boulevard on the north side. At this junction, summit changes it’s name to pole line road, which continues behind this vantage point down into the park.
The Beautiful Mt. Madonna Park 2
This is near the back entrance. It looked kind of haunted up here because I’d ridden right up into the marine layer that can hang out at the top of the mountains, just starting to burn off. This is fog, not smoke.
The Beautiful Mt. Madonna Park 3
A nice forest vista from the road. There are a ton of redwoods in the park, but lots of other species too.
The Beautiful Mt. Madonna Park 4
A Cathedral groves of redwoods

Cathedral groves are not that uncommon. They grow because redwood trees have two ways to propagate. They have small cones with seeds. But as a backup, a parent tree can send shoots up from it’s roots that eventually become separate trees. So the child trees can end up in a circle around their parent. If the parent dies eventually the circle can be empty in the middle.

The Beautiful Mt. Madonna Park 5
The view looking up inside the grove

This visit just scratched the surface. I can’t believe this beautiful park has been here west of Gilroy all these years and I’ve never hiked there. I’ll be back!