Hiking Project Logo

Wood Road Trail

Intermediate
 4.5 (4)

A spectacular scenic trail on the Santa Cruz Mountains side of Quicksilver Park.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

1.5

Miles

2.3

KM

Point to Point

1,571' 479 m

High

1,399' 426 m

Low

311' 95 m

Up

161' 49 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

12%

Max Grade (7°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views · Wildlife

Description

The Wood Road Trail goes from the edge of the Santa Cruz Mountains, to the Mine Hill Furnace ruins deep in Quicksilver Park. When the cinnabar (mercury ore) mines in Quicksilver Park were active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Mine Hill Furnace processed the cinnabar, to extract its mercury. Wood to fire the Mine Hill Furnace and Hacienda Furnace, was cut in the Santa Cruz Mountains near the Wood Road Trail trailhead. The wood was then transported to the furnaces along the old Wood Road. Wood Road Trail follows the old Wood Road.

Wood Road Trail starts at the Hicks entrance to Quicksilver Park. This entrance is off of Hicks Road, on the northeastern edge of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The trail starts by gradually climbing through wooded terrain to the top of a ridge - Jaques Ridge. The surrounding terrain is rather rugged with steep hillsides falling away from the trail. Jaques Ridge runs parallel to the main ridge that traverses Quicksilver Park - Capitancillos Ridge. Breaks in the trees provide magnificent views of the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains.

At the top of Jaques Ridge, the trail veers left and descends into the valley between Jaques Ridge and Capitancillos Ridge. As it descends it leaves the woods and crosses grassy terrain. Although this is a valley, it is also the divide between two creek watersheds. Thus, steep hillsides fall away from the trail on both sides of the trail, making for dramatic scenery - views of the Santa Cruz Mountains and Quicksilver Park hills.

After crossing the valley, Wood Road Trail gradually climbs Capitancillos Ridge, to the Mine Hill Furnace ruins. This section of the trail goes through grass and brush terrain, with stands of trees dotting the hills. It runs along a hill side, a side of Mine Hill, the tallest point of the Capitancillos Ridge. Wood Road Trail ends at the Mine Hill Furnace ruins and Castillero Trail.

Flora & Fauna

Grass, brush, and wooded hills. Deer.

Contacts

Land Manager: Santa Clara County Parks

Shared By:

Joan Pendleton

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 4 votes

#6420

Overall
  4.5 from 4 votes
5 Star
50%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#565

in California

#6,420

Overall
18 Views Last Month
1,273 Since Feb 5, 2017
Intermediate

0%
0%
100%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

The Quicksilver Hills and Santa Cruz Mountains hide their peaks in the clouds on a stormy winter day along the Wood Road Trail.
Feb 5, 2017 near Almaden…, CA
The Santa Cruz Mountains are shrouded in clouds on a stormy winter day along the Wood Road Trail.
Feb 5, 2017 near Almaden…, CA
The Santa Cruz Mountains stand in fleeting sunlight on a stormy winter day along the Wood Road Trail.
Feb 5, 2017 near Almaden…, CA
The Wood Road Trail meanders through the Quicksilver Hills with the Santa Cruz Mountains in the distance.
Feb 5, 2017 near Almaden…, CA
The Santa Cruz Mountains poke through the clouds on a stormy winter day along the Wood Road Trail.
Feb 5, 2017 near Almaden…, CA
Ruins of the Mine Hill Rotary Furnace - used to extract mercury from cinnabar in the early 20th century.
Dec 18, 2016 near Almaden…, CA

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 78 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Apr 23, 2020
Ana Montalbano
3.8mi
Mar 30, 2020
Sophia Barwegen
Jan 25, 2020
Jim Caldwell
Mar 24, 2019
Michael Cecere
nice walk in the woods. some old ruins to see with picnic benches and then hike back to car. 3mi — 2h 30m
Feb 4, 2017
Joan Pendleton