Hiking Project Logo

Coal Road Trail

 2.0 (1)
Zoom in to see details
Map Key


0.8 Miles 1.3 Kilometers

249' 76 m


-52' -16 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (9°)

1,954' 596 m


1,755' 535 m


Shared By David Hitchcock



Getting forecast...

A shaded hike through an oak forest along the Coal Creek Open Space Preserve Boundary.

David Hitchcock

Dogs Leashed

Features Views · Wildflowers

The preserve is open year round from dawn until half an hour after sunset.


The Coal Road Trail allows for a lollipop hike when combined with the Crazy Pete's Road Trail and an alternate access route to the Alpine Road Trail. This trail can be taken on its own or in reverse, but the climb back up the Crazy Pete's Road Trail is steeper than the climb up this trail. To access this trail, park along Skyline Boulevard and hike down the Crazy Pete's Road Trail for .4 of a mile for the first cutoff, or continue to hike along the trail until .9 miles, where the Coal Road Trail breaks off to the right at a fork in the trail.

The Coal Road Trail dips slightly as it leaves the Crazy Pete's Road Trail before it starts climbing uphill toward the entrance gate. The trail is wide, composed of mainly dirt, leaves, and grass. It climbs steadily uphill through an oak and madrone forest, which provides ample amounts of shade, even in the middle of the day. Since the trail is used by hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians, you need to pay attention as you hike for others who might be using the trail.

The trail swings back to the right around the .3 mile marker, following the preserve's boundary as it begins to level off. On the left hand side of the trail is private property while on the right hand side, views of the South San Francisco Bay are obscured by trees and brush. Every once in a while, you'll get a glimpse of the bay as you hike along, but most of the views are obscured. After .6 miles, the trail begins to climb again as it makes its way back to the Crazy Pete's Road Trail and the entrance to Coal Creek Open Space Preserve. From here, you can follow the road to the left back to your car. If you accessed this trail from the Alpine Road Trail, you can take a right and follow Crazy Pete's Road Trail back down to where the Coal Road Trail breaks off.

When combined with Crazy Pete's Road Trail, this offers a great lollipop hike. It's also great when you need to hike in the middle of the day as the forest provides shade and relief from the heat.

Flora & Fauna

There are a lot of oak trees along the trail, and mushrooms are seen in the fall and winter as their is enough moisture to support them on the mountain tops. Various species of birds can be found in the woods, as well as deer, squirrels, and other small mammals. Mountain lions have been seen in the area, and signs provide guidance on what to do if you encounter one during your hike. Wildflowers can be seen along the trail in the spring or early summer.


You & This Trail

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Your Check-Ins


Nov 12, 2016
David Hitchcock
Hiked Coal Road Trail as part of a loop with the Crazy Pete's Road Trail. 0.8mi

Trail Ratings

  2.0 from 1 vote


  2.0 from 1 vote
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star


in California


2 Views Last Month
42 Since Nov 12, 2016
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate



Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking