#PixinParks Mt. Madonna

The Park

Black hawk trail, Mount Madonna
Image: Black hawk trail, Mount Madonna. ©Brandy Maldonado.

Littered with majestic redwood and oak forests, the Mt. Madonna County Park has over 4,500 acres of land. Hikers and horseback riders have access to 14 miles of trails, including a self guided nature trail, a reservable amphitheater and over 100 campsites.The Mount Madonna County park is also one of three county parks that have an archery range available for public use. The archery range is open 7 days a week except for the first and third Saturdays of the month. For more information on archery, take a look at the SJPL catalog for these digital materials:

The Ultimate guide to Traditional ArcheryTraditional ArcheryBasic Illustrated Archery

The Hike

Iron springs trail, Mount Madonna.

Image: Iron springs trail, Mount Madonna. ©Brandy Maldonado.

I can't stress it enough folks, be sure to plan ahead. In my hurry to beat the summer heat, I forgot to print out my paper map and grab my compass. Both of which would have helped me stay on the correct trail. Be sure to have plenty of water, a light snack and shoes with an ankle support for this hike. A friendly reminder: There is a parking fee for this park, it costs $6 per car to use this park for the day, be sure to have it ready and say hello to friendly park rangers.

I started this hike early in the morning on the first of June, the breeze from the coast made for an eerie hike as fog often dropped in from seemingly nowhere. Although I went on a Saturday and the parking lot was half full, I went long distances without seeing other people, if you do not enjoy hiking alone bring a buddy! This hike took me about 2 hours due to my detour but the photo op was relatively easy to find. Only one more park challenge left in this magnificent adventure, are you ready?

The History

Henry Miller's bungalow at Mt. Madonna completed in 1901.
Image: Henry Miller's bungalow at Mt. Madonna completed in 1901. Courtesy Stadtarchiv Brackenheim, Henry Miller Foundation.

Before becoming one of the most well-known cattle ranchers in the state of California, Henry Miller had a successful butcher business in San Francisco. In 1858 Henry Miller shifted his business to cattle raising and quickly became one of the largest producers of cattle in California.

In 1875 Miller bough nearly 13,000 acres of land where Mt. Madonna County Park sits today. Miller built his summer home on Mt. Madonna (pictured above), the foundation of which can still be seen today. Santa Clara County Parks Department acquired the land in 1927 and 1953.

#PixinParks Challenge

For more information on the Pix in Parks challenge visit the Santa Clara County Parks Department website or my previous blog on the San Jose Public Library website.

Further Reading

California Rocks!Archery for Fun

Further Reading in the California Room

Special thanks to our friends at the Santa Clara County Parks Department for making this challenge available for Santa Clara County residents.

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