Jan 21

Visit the Back Country of Henry Coe State Park in April

For one spectacular weekend this spring, Henry W. Coe State Park will open the gate at Bell Station on Highway 152 east of Gilroy. The annual Coe Backcountry Weekend, held in the little- traveled east side of the 83,600 acre park is scheduled for April 26-27, 2003. This event, sponsored by the Pine Ridge Association and the Department of Parks and Recreation, allows visitors vehicle access to a remote and beautiful area. Hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians have a unique opportunity to see and enjoy an area isolated from the park’s Morgan Hill entrance by long distances and rugged terrain.

This area of the park puts on a spring extravaganza of colorful wildflowers in the oak woodland. Fishing for bass and sunfish is excellent in secluded ponds and reservoirs. The trails provide panoramic views of the Diablo Range. Visitors may come into the park for the day, camp overnight at Orestimba Corral or Pacheco Creek Crossing, or backpack to one of the seldom visited areas of the park. They may explore on their own, join a guided ride or hike, or participate in interpretive activities. Brochures, maps, information, activities, and volunteer assistance will be available.

Participants will travel 8.5 miles on an unpaved road from Bell Station to Pacheco Creek Crossing or an additional 3.8 miles to the Orestimba Corral. The road is in good condition and passable by two-wheel drive vehicles, although there are some narrow and steep sections requiring high clearance. Four-wheel drive is strongly recommended for towing horse trailers. Because of space limitations, steep hills, and creek crossings with sharp embankments, the road is not suitable for camp trailers or motor homes.

Entry for the weekend is by reservation only. Flyers announcing the event and providing an application form are available at the Coe Park web site (http://www.coepark.org); the REI stores in Berkeley, San Carlos, and Cupertino; Silacci�s Feed Barn in Gilroy; Gunther�s Feed Store in Morgan Hill; FISCO Farm and Home Store in Modesto; and at the Coe ParkVisitor Center. Written requests for applications (include a self-addressed stamped business envelope) should be addressed to Application Forms, Coe Sector Office, 5750 Obata Way, Suite A., Gilroy, CA 95020.

Applications and entry fees, $10.00 per vehicle for day use, $20.00 per vehicle for overnight, must be postmarked by SATURDAY, MARCH 29, 2003. One vehicle per application, please. We strongly encourage car pooling. A random drawing will be held to meet the 350 vehicles per day space limitation. All unsuccessful application forms will be returned with their checks to the applicants. No dogs will be allowed. Camp stoves will be permitted, but no open fires, barbecues, or hibachis. A group campfire will be held on Saturday night.

Join us for an unforgettable experience. The backcountry of Henry W. Coe State Park on a spring weekend is not to be missed.

This article has been provided by the Pine Ridge Association.