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Merry-Go-Round Loop Hike Information

Mount Madonna supports a highly diverse landscape with redwood forests, oak woodland, dense chaparral and grassy meadows.

Watch for:

Banana slugs when the ground is wet, red-tailed hawks and black-tailed deer.

Hiking Details for Merry-Go-Round Loop

Distance: 4.6 miles

Elevation change: 1200′ gain

Hiking time: 3-4 hours

Trail surface: Uneven, rocky dirt

Best Season: Year round

Managing agency: Santa Clara County Parks

Parking lot location: Click here for directions

Overview: There are a lot of trails to explore the redwood forests and chaparral habitat of this 4,605 acre park. Dogs on leashes are allowed on all trails, and horseback riding is popular. You can even reserve a trail ride at Mt. Madonna Stables, located within the park.

For this hike, start at the Sprig Lake entrance, go right and continue on the Merry-Go-Round Trail, left on the Loop Trail, then follow the Ridge Trail back to the parking lot. This hike is great all year round, but can be spectacular in spring when the wildflowers are in bloom.

If you want an interesting detour, watch for the signs to the Miller trail (there is a lower or upper loop) to see the ruins of cattle baron Henry Miller’s summer mansion. Then return to the Loop trail to continue the hike.

Directions to the Merry-Go-Round Loop Hike

The park is located on Highway 152 (Hecker Pass Highway). From 101, take the exit for 152 heading west and park in the parking lot on Blackhawk Canyon Road.

More About Mt. Madonna County Park

The park was once the home of cattle baron Henry Miller; a one-mile self-guided nature trail takes you around the ruins of his summer home. There is also an archery range and multiple camping options, as well as an amphitheater that features nature-led slide shows every Saturday evening from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The famous white deer – the first of which were donated by William Randal Hearst over 85 years ago – are a popular attraction for families and are kept near the visitor center.

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