Mt. Madonna County Park Use Plan
BLACKHAWK TRAIL UPDATE
May 14, 2018
Improvements to the Blackhawk Trail were completed as planned in October 2016. Unfortunately, one of our rebuilt stream crossings and culverts was badly damaged during the storms in the winter of 2017. Parks is currently in the planning and permitting process to rebuild the stream crossing. It is anticipated that repairs may be completed by spring 2019, so we are delaying the opening of the lower section of the trail between the Contour and Ridge Trail junctions. All other trails affected by our project are now open for use, subject to normal wet weather closures for equestrians, including the upper section of the Blackhawk Trail from Pole Line Road to the Contour Trail junction. We appreciate your patience while we repair the lower section of the trail.
Welcome to Mt. Madonna County Park, one of the most majestic of Santa Clara County's regional park and recreation areas. This 4,605 acre park is dominated by the redwood forest so characteristic of the Santa Cruz Mountain range. To the east, the park overlooks the Santa Clara Valley, to the west, Monterey Bay. As the slopes of Mt. Madonna descend toward the valley, the landscape changes from redwood forest to oak woodland, dense chaparral and grassy meadows. Park visitors may learn about areas where Ohlone Indians hunted and harvested, and will understand why cattle baron Henry Miller spent his summers here. Enjoy your visit today, and return often to the pristine redwood forest of Mt. Madonna County Park. Mt. Madonna Stables offers horseback trail rides, it is a wonderful way to explore the beauty of this park.
How to Get There
Mt. Madonna County Park is located at:
7850 Pole Line Rd Watsonville, CA 95076
Park Office: (408) 842- 2341
The park is located on Highway 152 (Hecker Pass Highway), 10 miles west of Gilroy. From the east, use Highway 101, and take the Highway 152 West exit. From the west, use Highway 1, and take the Highway 152 East exit. The entrance to the park is located at the summit of Highway 152 at Pole Line Road.
Hikers and equestrians have access to an extensive 14 mile trail system. Mt Madonna Stables offers horseback trail rides, it is a wonderful way to explore the beauty of this park. A one mile self-guided nature trail winds around the ruins of cattle baron Henry Miller's summer home.
Bowmen may practice archery skills at the beautiful archery range.
The park's amphitheater, available by reservation for weddings and other special functions, also features live music and slide shows Memorial Day through Labor Day. These free shows are provided by park docents every Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The park also features a visitor center where the natural history, geology and cultural history of the park is highlighted.
Visitors may choose from 118 drive-in and walk-in reservable campsites spread throughout four campgrounds. Each site comes equipped with a barbecue pit, food locker and picnic table. Showers are also available (no coins needed) with a day use or camping fee required, as well as 17 partial hook-up RV sites. Yurts are also available for reservation. These domed-tent like structures come in three different sizes - 16', 20' and 24' offering bunk beds with mattresses, fold out futons and a wrap-around deck.
Overnight camping is one of the most popular activities at Mt. Madonna. View here for more information about tent, yurt and RV camping!
Shaded picnic areas are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Group picnic, group camping and youth camping areas are available by reservation.
Hours and Fees
The park is open year-round from 8 a.m. until sunset. All non-campers must leave the park 30 minutes after sunset. Vehicle entry fees are collected year-round. Fees are required for camping, and for use of group picnic and group camping areas. Fees are posted at the kiosk and at the ranger station.
Access fees information here: Vehicle Entry Fees, Camping Fees, Group Picnic Site Fees
In compliance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ('ADA'),the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its programs, services, or activities. The Department will make reasonable modifications to policies and programs to ensure that people with disability have an equal opportunity to enjoy our programs, services, facilities, and activities. If you need assistance with an ADA request, please contact our ADA Coordinator.