Update: I re-visit the park Jan 2021 and it is open to the public at the north entrance visitor center.
You still can't hike at the remote sections of the park but Frog Lake and Manzanita Point hikes are open.
Link to Updated map on public access sections:
note Oct. 19, 2020: due to Summer 2020 large fire complex the park is currently
close to visitors and I do not know how bad it was damage from the fire and
what will be the trail condition and landscape once it will reopen to the public.
Where? : Located 1 hr drive south of Sunnyvale (east of Morgan Hill), the park has few entrances, the main one with the ranger station and campsite is at Coe Ranch Visitor Center (end of E. Dunne Ave road).
Another popular entrance to the parks (popular for mountain bike riders) further south is Hunting Hollow Park entrance (near Coyote Lake Park).
Far to the south on Hwy 152 there is another park entrance on Kaiser Aetna Rd. that lead to Dowdy Ranch Area Visitor Center (never visit this entrance).
What? : Although Henry W. Coe is the largest CA state park in northern California this is not a well-known park but if you are looking for something close to the bay for long hikes or bike rides and wilderness backpacking experience this is the place.
The park spread over large area of mountains and running water streams with many options to have very long hikes and it also include overnight backpacking in organized sites or in the wilderness sites. The park has relatively few visitors and you will have plenty of nature all to yourself.
Due note 1: The park is mountain bike friendly
Due note 2: Recommended to a nice winter/spring day. For most trails, especially deep in the area there is no much shade, not recommended to hot summer days
My thoughts: This is very large state park and I can’t say I know it all. I did few hikes in the north section and few long hikes in the south. Although there isn’t any main attraction point, I liked the park, it gives you real wilderness experience, only few people endless trails and many options to hike. It has very nice open landscape with old oak trees and grassland. Except of few short-medium hikes near the north entrance this park is mainly for long hikes, if you want to get to one of the park lakes you will need to cover a lot of miles and cross few mountain ranges. Highly recommend this park for mountain bikes.
The huge park is networked mainly by wide and well-maintained fire road trails that connected by single-track paths. Usually there is no shade, very hot at the summer season, open to rain during winter day.
There isn’t any specific “park attraction”, but this is the best place to have long hikes, cover ground, discover the mountains and water streams, excellent place to feel the wilderness and to have solitude experience. You will enjoy the mountains covered with old Oak view and the fact that you will probably won’t see anyone else during the hike.
There are many camping options both near the small Coe Ranch Visitor Center and options to have overnight sleep in the wilderness.
Recommended trails from Coe Ranch Visitor Center:
Short: You can have short 2-3 miles hikes in trails near the visitor center.
Option 1 (Blue trail on the map): From the visitor center take Coral Trail, connect to Spring Trail that will lead you to Manzanita Pt Rd. keep going on the main trail all the way to the small pound (right side of the trail) at Manzanita Point.
On your way back you can take Forest Trail or enjoy the old large Oak trees and go on the main road back. This trail does not include any climbs, so it is relatively easy.
Option 2 (Red on the map): take the Corral Trail, cross Manzanita Pt Rd. and connect to Flat Frog trail, the trail will take you to Frog Lake.
On your way back you can go on the shorter Hobbs Road back to the visitor center.
From Frog lake you can connect to Manzanita Point ridge through Flat Frog Trail, this is the recommended way to go back and see other sections of the park.