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Mt. Madonna County Park

Published on: 10/14/2016 10:43 AM
Park Info

Plan Your Trip to Mt. Madonna County Park


  • Blackhawk Canyon Trail
    Blackhawk Canyon Trail is currently closed. The trail work planned for 2016 is a continuation of the road to trail conversion implemented on the Blackhawk Canyon Trail in 2015. Anticipated opening of the Blackhawk Canyon Trail is September 2016.

Hours of Operation

Open Year-Round
8:00 a.m. – Sunset


Make a Reservation


Contact Info

Mt. Madonna County Park
7850 Pole Line Rd
Watsonville, CA 95076


Park Office: (408) 842-2341

Senior Park

Ranger : John Heenan

(408) 335-3293
Senior Park Maintenance

Worker : William Howsmon

(408) 479-0192

Mt. Madonna County Park Use Plan

July 27, 2016

Trail repairs are nearing completion on the Redwood and Rock Springs Trails.  The Redwood Trail is open for use and the Rock Springs Trail is open from the junction with the Iron Springs Trail to the junction with Redwood Trail.  The Rock Springs Trail from the Redwood Trail to the Upper Miller Trail is expected to remain closed until the end of July.

Hikers on the reopened trails may notice signs of earth moving and disturbance resulting from the repairs.  County Parks staff will be fully restoring these areas later in the summer and fall, working with crews from the California Conservation Corps (CCC).  Prior to the onset of the rainy season, Parks and CCC workers will install erosion control measures and cover disturbed areas with rice straw.  After the first rains have wetted the soil, native ferns salvaged from work areas will be replanted along the trail. 

By mid-winter, natural needlecast and leaf fall will carpet the restored trails.  Hikers may not be able to tell at that point that the trails were recently repaired, but erosion and sediment transport into Blackhawk Canyon during rainstorms will be substantially reduced.

We hope to open all trails affected by the Blackhawk Canyon Sediment Reduction project by the end of October 2016.  For questions, please call the Mt. Madonna Ranger Station, (408) 842-2341.

Bridge construction on the Blackhawk Trail, 2015  
Spreading rice straw for erosion control, Upper Miller Trail, 2014  

June 10, 2016

Starting June 15, 2016, Santa Clara County Parks, in cooperation with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, will be continuing a major watershed restoration project to protect steelhead habitat and improve visitor access and safety along park trails.  Park staff will use heavy mechanized equipment to repair eroding sections of the following trails:

  • Blackhawk Trail between Pole Line Road and Ridge Trail
  • Loop Trail between Ridge and Upper Miller Trails
  • Contour Trail between Blackhawk and Ridge Trails
  • Sprig Trail from Pole Line Road to Valley View Campground
  • Iron Springs Trail between Blackhawk to Ridge Trails
  • Rock Springs Trail from Pole Line Road to Iron Springs Trail
  • Redwood Trail between Blue Springs to Iron Springs Trails
  • Blue Springs Trail between Blackhawk and Rock Springs Trails

These trails are shown highlighted in blue on the map below, and will be closed to all public use during repair work to provide for the safety of park visitors and to prevent damage to the trails.  Closures will be short term and will change on a weekly basis, depending on the progress of the repairs.  Please observe signs and directions from Parks staff and volunteers.  Park rangers will strictly enforce these closures.

In addition, park visitors should be alert for vehicles using trails to access project areas.
Thank you for your cooperation.  If you have any questions, please contact the ranger station at Mt. Madonna County Park at (408) 842-2341.



horseback trail rideWelcome 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 FeesCamping FeesGroup 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.​​​​

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