Madrone Knoll Trail
ElevationAscent: 540' 164 m
Descent: -17' -5 m
High: 2,415' 736 m
Low: 1,875' 572 m
GradeAvg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 22% (12°)
Current trail conditions
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“Hike from the junction of the Alma Trail and the Redwood Springs Trail up to Bear Peak Summit.”— David Hitchcock
The dirt and grass trail departs the junction and climbs gently for roughly 0.2 miles before the incline increases. At 0.25 miles, the trail crosses a private road and continues to wind its way up hill. The trail climbs steeply from 0.25 miles to the 1 mile mark, with a couple of areas where it levels off momentarily before climbing steeply again. When you reach the Bear Creek Summit, the trail levels off and circles the summit, so you can go in either direction. Take a minute to relax, as you've climbed over 500 feet from the beginning of the trail in roughly 1 mile. You've put in a lot of work to get to this point.
It is roughly 0.2 miles around the summit, but all of the views are obscured by the trees there. Once you have enjoyed the summit and taken a breather, you can return to the junction via the trail you just climbed, getting to enjoy the descent as a reward for all the climbing you did on the way to the summit. When you get back to the junction, you can either make a loop via the trail that you did not take, or return back to your vehicle by the path that you took. It's about the same distance either way, so the choice is yours.
Though there are not sweeping views, if you are quiet you may encounter various species of birds and can hear them even if you can't see them. As evening approaches, listen for owls hooting in the woods. Ferns, mosses, and other species of plants grow beneath the trees and along the side of the trail. The undergrowth is pretty thick, making it difficult to see mammals and other animals in the preserve.
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Land Manager: Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District