City offers a Summer Access Pass, a three-month membership covering June 1 through Sept. 6.

Morgan Hill Life file photo


By Chris Ghione

Morgan Hill has got it all: hiking, biking, trails and parks. And at our Centennial Recreation and Aquatics centers, our community has facilities to keep fit.

It’s a great time of year to get outside for some fun in the sun before the heat of summer sets in. Morgan Hill is a lucky spot to be to enjoy everything from general recreation opportunities to exciting outdoor challenges that help keep mind, body and spirit in great shape.

The CRC recently completed a 3,640-square-foot addition designated as a large group exercise studio with high ceilings, large windows, a new sound system and additional parking. The new space frees up the existing gymnasium for even more basketball, pickleball, volleyball or badminton.

Not only can residents enjoy the improved facility, but also join virtual and on-demand classes, which are now part of a membership. Whether it’s individual fitness, group exercise classes, enjoying the Aquatics Center, the Kids’ Club or wellness coaching, a CRC membership has you covered.

If a full-time membership is too much, you might consider a Summer Access Pass, which is a three-month membership covering June 1 through Sept. 6. The pass grants access to both the CRC and Aquatics Center, which is open for recreational swimming June 7.

The Madrone Channel Trail lies adjacent to Highway 101 on the east side of the water channel. The city and Valley Water partnered to make the trail easily accessible to the public. It runs between Cochrane and Tennant avenues for a total length of 2.9 miles. Just over a mile of paved path has been added recently between Main Avenue and Cochrane Road. Pavement of the trail’s remainder is in the planning phase.

Also in coordination with the Valley Water’s upcoming flood control project, Morgan Hill has approved and funded the extension of the West Little Llagas Creek Trail. Currently it is a paved Class 1 bike and pedestrian trail that runs from Spring Avenue at the north end, past the Centennial Recreation Center, and through the Paradise Park area to Watsonville Road. Another mile is under construction in the south past Watsonville Road, ending just before Silveira Lake. The project will also include enhanced pedestrian crossing systems at roadways along the trail. The city has scheduled construction to start at the end of summer.

A great intro into what outdoor opportunities lie close by is Henry W. Coe State Park. Located along the rugged ridges of the Diablo Range, it is the largest state park in Northern California. For hikers, there are easy to access and scenic trailheads near the Coe Ranch entrance. For mountain bike enthusiasts, try any of the park’s 200 miles of roads and trails. They can be rugged in some spots, but a great challenge to enthusiasts. Sound scary? Less difficult bike trails are Flat Frog Trail and Manzanita Point Road. Henry W. Coe State Park is located at the far end of East Dunne Avenue. Visit www.coepark.net for more details.

Coyote Creek Trail at sunset.

An easy haven right in town is the Coyote Creek Trail, which is part of a long trail system that extends into San Jose. The trail’s southern reach spans between Tully Road and Morgan Hill’s Anderson County Park for a total of 16.8 mainly paved miles that wind in and out of open space. Horse-back riding, as well as cyclists, hikers and leashed pets are all welcome. You can access it at Anderson Lake County Park at the parking lot at 19245 Malaguerra Ave. Visit www.sccgov.org for more details.

And for some tougher trails biking enthusiasts recommend the multiple options at Uvas Canyon County Park. Advance reservations are required because of limited parking and high demand, but well worth the effort. Contact Uvas Canyon County Park at www.sccgov.org. The park entrance is located at 8515 Croy Road.

I hope you take time to explore the great outdoors around Morgan Hill. Be sure to check each park’s webpage for the latest reservation information, closures, weather or health updates.


Chris Ghione is the public services director for the city of Morgan Hill.

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