Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve
Featuring the Arrowhead Loop Trail
This small but scenic park just outside of Morgan Hill mostly consists of open, oak-dotted foothills with nice views of the rural Coyote Valley. The only hiking route is a well-built singletrack trail that climbs into the hills, making a 4-mile loop through the park. The park is quiet and peaceful, but unlike some of the more remote parks, it's approachable and easy to hike.
The park was opened in 2015 and still has that new park feel, with nice facilities and wide, newly-cut trails. It isn't especially busy; there are people there, but it's possible to hike the whole trail without seeing anyone.
Click here to see the trailhead location in Google Maps.
Start at the parking lot at the end of Palm Drive and stay right when the trail splits. The trail starts out as a converted ranch road in the flatlands at the edge of the Coyote Valley. Soon the trail changes to a purpose-built singletrack and starts to contour up into the hills, offering views of the broad valley below. The trail climbs insistently and for a surprisingly long time given how small the park is. There are a few picnic tables at the first viewpoint, although the tables themselves don't have much of a view. Some power lines run along the ridge at the edge of the park, but otherwise the area is wonderfully unspoiled.
After passing a bench, the trail begins to descend, passing through a few wooded patches. The descent is the most scenic part of the hike as the trail winds through attractive grasslands.
© 2017 David Baselt