The Phlegar estate is a couple of trails accessed from Huddart Park near Woodside, CA. Access to the park costs $6, which isn’t bad considering how much time you could spend having fun in the park. The park itself is open only to horses and hikers (trail runners), so bicycles are strictly off-limits.
We only had time enough for a taste of the trails, but what we saw was an excellent, cool hike.
With more time, we hope to return and see more of the park and estate. This is also the location of my Woodside 50km Ultramarathon, and I can say the place looks much better without the torrential rains.
Bahiker.com has this information about the start of the trail:
• From Interstate 280 in San Mateo County, exit CA 84 (Woodside Road). Drive west about 1.5 miles, then turn right onto Kings Mountain Road. Drive about 2 miles on this narrow and winding road (watch out for deer, cyclists, and motorcyclists), then turn right into Huddart County Park. Once past the entrance kiosk, park in the lot on the left.
• You may also enter the park from Skyline Boulevard. Park at MROSD’s Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve (the PC03 gate, not the main Purisima parking lot), cross Skyline Boulevard to enter Huddart, and then walk north into Phleger.
• A third access is via Crystal Springs Trail east of Phleger. This saves you the $5 entrance fee, but the walk to Crystal Springs Trail is not as pleasant as the wooded trails of Huddart. (If you’re not familiar with the area, refer to a map.) Turn west off Cañada Road onto Runnymede, then park at the curve in the road, where Runnymede changes to Raymundo. Walk on the side of the road about .75 mile to the end of Raymundo, and take Crystal Springs Trail into Huddart (you come out on Richard’s Road Trail), then turn right and hike a little over 0.5 mile to the Phleger entrance on the right side of the trail.
Get driving or public transit directions from Transit and Trails:
GPS Coordinates* for Trailhead:
(* based on Google Earth data, shown as degrees, minutes, seconds)
Gas, food, and lodging:
Gas, restaurants, and picnic supplies available at Woodside, about 2.5 miles south. The only camping in the park is youth group camps.
$5 entrance fee (self-registration if entry kiosk is unstaffed). Plenty of parking. Maps available at the entry kiosk, or at the self-registration station. Restrooms near picnic areas; refer to map. Pay phone at the Chickadee Trailhead; on the right just past the entry kiosk. There is no direct public transportation to the park.
No bikes or dogs. Trails are open to horses and hikers only.
• Use AAA’s San Francisco Bay Region map to get there.
• Map from NPS
• CSMP’s Huddart map
• Afoot and Afield: San Francisco Bay Area, by David Weintraub (order this book from Amazon.com ) has a great map and descriptions of a Phleger Estate hike.
• The Trail Center’s Trail Map of the Central Peninsula is my favorite map of the park (order this map from Amazon.com ).
• Tom Taber’s The Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Book has a simple map (order this book from Amazon.com ).
• Peninsula Trails, by Jean Rusmore, has a simple map, preserve descriptions, and suggested hikes (order this book from Amazon.com ).
Lots of squirrels and animals are along the path, and this is definitely a trial you’ll want to visit earlier in the day rather than later. Keep in mind, the park closes at 5pm and doesn’t open until 8am… rather restricted hours. But you’ll see a lot of trail runners out there, and bicycles are very common along these routes to/from the park also, so drive carefully. Our little hike through Phlegar showed a climb of almost 1,000′, but it’s much more gradual than some of the other Open Space Preserves we’ve run recently. Also, there are quite a few… “presents” left by the horses on the trails, so be careful where you step.