With mild year-round weather and an ideal location close to many of California’s best-loved parks, Gilroy is the perfect place to explore and enjoy the outdoors. Whether you’re interested in hiking, biking, boating, birding, camping, horseback riding, fishing, or running…Gilroy’s got it!
INSIDER’S TIP: If you just want to get in some steps, head for the lovely, looping (but mostly flat!) 2-mile Martin Murphy Trail at Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch.
Anderson Reservoir, a seven-mile long, 1,250 surface acre lake, provides opportunities for power and non-power boating and fishing. Shoreline picnic and BBQ facilities are provided at the Woodchopper’s picnic area, which can be accessed by boat or vehicle at the south end of the lake. First-come, first-served family picnic areas are available year-round along Coyote Creek below Anderson Dam. Also, there are two group picnic areas available by reservation. Fishing is permitted year-round in Anderson Lake, and during fishing season in Coyote Creek (April – November).
The park is open year-round from 8am until sunset. Lake use fees are collected daily and vehicle entry fees are collected year round. Launch and entry fees are posted at the entrance. Boating reservation can be made by phone.
The Bright Ranch is our working horse ranch nestled in the rolling foothills and vineyards of southern Santa Clara county in the small town of San Martin, California. Visitors can take horseback riding lessons, learn horse training, learn basic or advanced horse care techniques, or round up some of the ranch's Texas longhorn cattle. Available for corporate retreats or team building.
This beautiful and culturally significant 4.3-acre park features the beautiful Uvas Creek and a wealth of cultural artifacts, including bedrock mortars and petroglyphs left by the Ohlone Indians. The park includes a self-guided interpretive walk and an interpretive shelter focusing on Ohlone Indian culture and the Adams schoolhouse, which was sited on this property from the 1850s until 1956.
This 4,595-acre park, nestled in the Diablo Range, east of Gilroy, features a 635-acre lake, camping & boat launch facilities, and 28.5 miles of horse, bicycle and hiking trails that wind through oak-studded canyons. Also, it is located on top of grassy ridgelines, providing spectacular views of the south Santa Clara Valley.
This county park offers visitors a myriad of outdoor activities. Start your visit at the Visitor Center where you can see exhibits on local wildlife, including live reptiles and amphibians. You can also purchase annual park passes, and pick up park information here. Rangers provide interpretive programs year-round. In the summer, rangers show movies and conduct campfire programs on weekends.
Coyote Lake provides opportunities for power boating, jet skiing, water-skiing, sailing, canoeing/kayaking, and fishing. The lake contains bluegill, blackcrappie, channel catfish, carp, and black bass. NOTE: All vessels require a zebra/quagga mussel inspection prior to launching (fee will be charged).
Henry W. Coe State Park
9000 East Dunne Avenue
Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Henry W. Coe Park is a vast natural treasure, with over 87,000 acres of wild open spaces to explore. The terrain of the park is rugged, varied, and beautiful, with lofty ridges and steep canyons. Once the home of Ohlone Indians, the park is now home to a fascinating variety of plants and animals, including the elusive mountain lion. Within Henry Coe Park are the headwaters of Coyote Creek, long stretches of the Pacheco and Orestimba creeks, and a 23,300-acre wilderness area.
The park is open year-round for hikers, mountain bikers, backpackers, equestrians, car campers, picnickers, photographers, and people who simply like to visit parks.
Mt. Madonna County Park
7850 Pole Line Rd
Watsonville, CA 95076
(about ten miles west of Gilroy
on Highway 152)
Mt. Madonna County Park is one of the most majestic of Santa Clara County's regional park and recreation areas. The park overlooks the Santa Clara Valley to the east and Monterey Bay to the west. As the slopes of Mt. Madonna descend toward the valley, the landscape changes from redwood forest to oak woodland, dense chaparral and grassy meadows.
Mt Madonna Stables offers horseback trail rides, which are a wonderful way to explore the beauty of this 3,688-acre park.
Tent camping, RV parking, and yurts are available for overnight guests.
Rising out of the chaparral-covered Gabilan Mountains, east of central California's Salinas Valley, are the spectacular remains of an ancient volcano. At Pinnacles National Park, massive monoliths, spires, sheer-walled canyons, and talus passages define millions of years of erosion, faulting and tectonic plate movement.
Visitors to Pinnacles National Park can hike on over 30 miles of trails, explore two talus caves, and go rock-climbing on hundreds of routes throughout the park. Depending on the time of year, you might even spot endangered California condors in the wild or enjoy a breathtaking display of spring wildflowers.
Tent camping, RV, and group sites are available.
Five Fun Trails
Mummy Mountain Trail
Coyote Lake – Harvey Bear Ranch County Park. Enjoy old oaks and scenic vistas along a 3+ mile loop with a couple of choices at a fork in the trail. Hikers only.
Sprig Lake Loop
Mt. Madonna County Park. The 4+ mile loop is uphill to the top of the grassland and chaparral-covered hills, then loops downhill. Find the picnic table under an ancient oak near the top for a wonderful lunch stop.
Uvas Creek Levee Trail
City of Gilroy Uvas Park Preserve. This popular 2+ mile urban trail is entirely paved and suitable for everyone from serious runners to casual strollers. Clear your mind while you get those steps in!
Chitactac-Adams Interpretive Walk
Chitactac-Adams Heritage County Park. This self-guided walk packs a lot of history into just 0.4 miles, with petroglyphs, bedrock mortars, and tule structures that recreate village life of the Ohlone natives who once made their homes here.
Coyote Ridge Trail
Coyote Lake – Harvey Bear Ranch County Park. Hike through rare blue oak woodlands up to the ridge and enjoy marvelous views of the lake and surrounding foothills.