Huddart County Park
and Phleger Estate
Bordering the town of Woodside, Huddart County Park stretches from the outskirts of town up to Skyline Ridge. The park is almost entirely covered in second-growth redwoods and its shady trails and picnic areas are great for warm summer days.
Huddart's wooded hillsides don't offer a lot of variety or any scenic views, so long hikes can get a little dull. In this regard the park isn't nearly as enjoyable as nearby parks like Windy Hill, Coal Mine Ridge, and Purisima Creek. Huddart does, however, have a full range of facilities including group campgrounds, picnic areas, volleyball courts, even an archery range, so it would be a better choice if you want to do anything else besides hiking. The park is also very popular with joggers, maybe because the trails are so shady.
Also, while most of the park is very peaceful, the lower portion of the park is afflicted by traffic noise from Highway 280, with a constant hum emanating through the redwoods.
Wunderlich County Park, just a few miles to the south, is very similar to Huddart. Of the two, however, Huddart is somewhat more scenic and makes for more enjoyable hiking, with more interesting topography and lusher, more attractive woodland. Huddart also adjoins the GGNRA's Pfleger Estate, which provides some nice loop hikes.
The park has an entrance fee of $5/car.
Click here to see the trailhead location in Google Maps.
Start at the small parking lot at Zwerlein Trailhead. Three trails branch off from this trailhead; take the middle one, which heads downhill through small yet attractive redwoods toward Richards Road. Turn left on Richards Road. The road runs along a the bottom of a little valley, next to a creek. After crossing the creek, the road begins to climb. Turn onto the well-marked Miramontes Trail into Phleger Estate. Of the two possible routes through the Phleger Estate, the Mount Redondo Trail is slightly more scenic.
The well-maintained trail climbs up through a ravine. Leaving the ravine, the depressingly-named Lonely Trail makes a somewhat less-interesting climb through mixed redwood and hardwood forest, finally topping out at Skyline Ridge.
From Skyline Ridge, three different trails descend back to the bottom of the park. The most interesting (if not the shortest) route is to start on the Chinquipin Trail, which descends along one side of a large ravine, and then cross over to the Crystal Springs Trail, which gradually descends to the bottom of the same ravine.
© 2010 David Baselt