This is a fantastic loop that utilizes excellent trails in both Huddart County Park and Wunderlich County Park, and the Skyline Trail that runs between the parks. It’s one of those loops that just makes sense! The elevation ranges from 400 feet at the base to ~2,300 feet at the top of Wunderlich Park.
The trails in Huddart are singletrack and the trails in Wunderlich are generally wider but still soft (the Bear Gulch trail is a nice single track variation in Wunderlich). The run is virtually all forested with redwood forest, mixed forest, and some spots of deciduous forest. The section of pavement at the bottom between the parks was much shorter then expected thanks to the horse pathways along the road.
Logical places to start the run are at Wunderlich County Park or near the Woodside Store Historic Site. I chose to start at historic Woodside Store and I think this is preferable if you do the loop counterclockwise because it gives a couple miles of flat terrain at the end of the run to shake the legs out from the long downhill in Wunderlich.
I felt far less than optimal at the beginning and on the first part of the hill climb in Huddart, but things loosened up, especially by the time I got to the Skyline Trail. A nice part about this run is that the vast majority of the hill climbing comes in the first part of the run.
The route outlined below is essentially the shortest loop you can make utilizing trails. The are numerous variations within Wunderlich Park and Huddart Park that would increase the mileage (i.e. Crystal Springs Trail at Huddart and Bear Gulch Trail at Wunderlich). A longer loop would utilize the Phleger Estate and the steeper Lonely Trail (20+ miles).
Also of note is the trail development along the Skyline Trail between Huddart and Wunderlich. The existing trail is narrow single track, but trail crews are currently widening and improving the trail to meet Bay Area Ridge Trail specifications. Current plans are to continue the Bay Area Ridge trail all the way to the gap along the Half Moon Bay Rd. (Hwy 92). I like the narrow trails, but at least this development will hopefully net several more miles (~8 miles) of new ridge trail that will provide a nice connection to the North Ridge area of Purisima Creek redwoods, the and scenic vistas of the entire Bay Area from the San Francisco Watershed Lands.
Route: 17-17.5 miles, ~2,600 ft of elevation gain
- Start – Historic Woodside, trail along Kings Mountain Road
- Right on trail along Greer Road
- Left in Huddart Park
- Take the Bay Tree Trail at the East Meadow area
- Right on Crystal Springs Trail
- Left on Dean Trail
- Left on Chinquapin Trail
- Straight onto the Skyline Trail
- Left on Alambrique Trail
- Left on Woodside Road (Hwy 84) – short section of road, then horse paths on the left side
- Straight on Tripp Road & paths along road
- Finish at Historic Woodside junction with Kings Mtn. Road
- Start (turnoff before Historic Woodside) – 0:00
- Top of Chinquapin Trail (intersection with Skyline Trail) – 40:30
- Junction with Alambrique Trail in Wunderlich Park – 1:22:30
- Wunderlich Parking Lot – 1:53:00
- Finish – 2:04:45