On the western slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains, this 3,360-acre preserve has tall redwoods and a lively creek, as well as ferns, berry bushes and wildflowers. Upland areas offer forests of tanoak, madrone and Douglas-fir and sweeping views of Half Moon Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
The preserve's 24 miles of trails and historical logging roads offer both easy walks and long, strenuous hikes and rides. Elevations range from 400 to 2,100 feet. Mountain biking and horseback riding are allowed on most trails, although, dogs are not allowed.
The route described starts from the Southern-most upper trailhead along Skyline Boulevard (35) and quickly descends on the Purisima Creek Trail for 4.3 miles to the lower trailhead (Higgins Canyon). Then the big climb begins up Harkins Ridge to the North Ridge trail (gaining over 1600ft in 3.5 miles) to the other trailhead on Skyline putting you at 8 miles total. The final 2 miles are from the Northern trailhead to the Southern (starting location).
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.