The Road to Henry Coe Park, and Poppies

by Fitcoachion | Last Updated: April 20, 2020


I rode most of the way up to Henry Coe State Park on my bike, and also checked out poppies both near my house and further afield.

Henry Coe is the largest state park in northern California at 8700 acres (350 square km) (the second largest in the state behind Anza-Borrego dessert state park) . It is beautiful in the spring with the hills all green. My favorite historical tidbit about the park is that the route John Muir took when he walked all the way from Oakland to the Sierras passed through this region. All state parks are temporarily closed to vehicular access, and quite a few where people were not getting the concept of social distancing are closed completely. Coe is not on the closed list, so is open by bike and on foot. The most direct access is from Morgan Hill on East Dunne Ave, it is 16.5 km (about 10.25 miles) from the foot of East Dunne, with 860 m of climbing (about 2800 feet). Since there are grades of more than 17%, my regular bike is not currently geared low enough for this (or my old legs aren’t strong enough). So I took my e-bike. I ran out of time just short of getting to the park, but saw some nice scenery along the way.

A cool old truss bridge over Coyote Creek where it feeds into Anderson Lake. I was originally a civil engineer, and these were the first structures we learned to analyze, so they’ve been special to me for some time.
Part of Anderson lake county park. The development across the way is Holiday lake estates, a nice neighborhood with great views. The view would be even nicer if the lake were full, but it is kept below 50% because of seismic concerns about Anderson dam. Soon it will have to be drained completely, and the dam completely rebuilt.
Much further up the hill, Lake Anderson is now far below, the Santa Cruz mountains on the horizon
Not too far from the entrance to Coe Park. The park covers all you can see in the hills in the distance plus a lot more.

Poppies!

After coming back from Coe I checked out some local poppies, which are now nicely in bloom.

Pretty displays right near my house. Right across the street (left) and around the corner (right).

This is on my ride the next day, on Coyote creek trail:

The top photo is early in the morning. If you look closely, the petals are closed up to protect against the morning chill. The bottom is at about the same spot a couple of hours later. Now they are wide open, delighting in the late morning sunshine.