Redwood Retreat and Mt Madonna Roads

This was written on June 9th, part of my backlog of “stayventures”.

The other day I rode by Redwood retreat road southwest of Morgan Hill and said I’d return to it soon. I decided to do that today. This road dead ends after 7.09 km (4.4 miles), with really nice scenery on the way. Mostly rolling with a net rise of 300 m. This is a little further up Redwood retreat from Watsonville road:

The road gets narrow along the way but is very lightly trafficked. Here is one of several vineyards:

This pretty little cottage could be the road’s namesake, with the very nice redwood grove behind it:

On the way back, the corner of Redwood retreat and Mt Madonna roads. I went up Mt Madonna hoping to get to the back entrance to the county park. This is goes a little over 4 k (2.5 miles) until it runs into Pole line road. It’s a pretty steep climb of about 500 m. It would have been a grind with my gearing but I kicked in some electric assist. From Mt Madonna you can also get to Summit road, which runs along the summit of the Santa Cruz mountains (unpaved) all the way to Los Gatos. Before you get to Pole line road there is the loop trail into Mt Madonna park which I was headed for:

I didn’t make it that far because the road became unpaved, which I knew, but it had a steep gravel section I would have had to ride up (and eventually, back down). Going down steep gravel is currently out with my fragile shoulder situation. The side trip up Mt Madonna was still well worth it, with some spectacular panoramas:

The picture doesn’t do justice to how pretty the redwoods were along the ridgeline. Next I rejoined Redwood retreat, and here’s some more nice scenery on the way out:

After rejoining Watsonville road I headed south towards Hecker pass highway (which goes to Watsonville, which is why this is called Watsonville road). There is a really nice valley right before Watsonville runs into Hecker pass highway:

I turned around and took Watsonville road back to Morgan Hill. About a 2 1/2 hour ride total, a nice morning’s outing.

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