Purisima Open Space Preserve to Huddart Park
Updated: Jan 14
Water for Horse: Yes. Dogs: No.
Cell service: No
Potable water: No
Public toilet: Yes
This is a trail that is pretty much in my backyard and I ride it more than any other trail. In spite of the fact that it is my most common ride, I have to say that it is possibly the most beautiful ride that I have done. Of course, that is my own perspective because I particularly like this kind of trail. The trail is mostly a fire road as you go through Purisima OSP. But it narrows in many places once you get into Huddart park.
This trail is on the West Coast of the Bay Area Peninsula and it drapes over the Santa Cruz mountains. The Santa Cruz mountains are like a wall that separates the coast from the insane concrete jungle of San Jose. The trail I take starts in Purisima Canyon which is accessed from the town of Half Moon Bay and goes over the Santa Cruz range, across the ridgeline and descends down the other side. The trail I described is a Lollipop with dark redwood forests on the coastside and dryer Oak and pine in the rain shadow.
To do this trail, it is best to park your trailer on the road at Purisima Creek road and enter the park at the Purisima Creek Trail Head entrance.
Once you are in the park, grab a map and follow whatever trail you prefer. There will be bridges to cross the creek which runs throughout the year and will provide water for your horse. No dogs, and no camping allowed. Camping is permitted once you cross over into Huddart park but no horse camping and only in designated areas.
Purisima Creek Open Space Preserve has some of the tallest trees in the world in spite of the fact that they are all second growth forests. The old growth was cut down to build San Francisco. If you like a dark forest experience then this is the place for you. Dress in layers regardless of the time of year as the valley is generally quite cold.