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What Keeps Us Coe-ing

Hikers hike along a creek.
Hiking along East Fork Coyote Creek in Henry Coe

The Coyote Creek watershed is home to many incredible places. The creek itself offers a refuge for multitudes of native plants and animals. From north to south there is the Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge, Watson Park, Olinder Park, Kelley Park, Hellyer Park and Anderson Lake Park to name a few. Following this trajectory, you would eventually find yourself in Henry W. Coe State Park where the Coyote Creek begins.


Hikers on forest path
Hiking through the hills 2022.

As the place of origin for one of the largest watersheds in the South San Francisco Bay Area, Henry Coe is an integral part of the Coyote Creek's overall health. Thankfully this area is one of the most pristine natural stretches of the watershed. Despite the 2020 summer fire, this state park offer's beautiful scenery abounding. Its rolling hills and expansive valleys show off a multitude of different ecosystems. Grand views can be spied on the higher peaks covered by chaparral. In its lower areas tend to be smaller creeks, often the tributaries to the Coyote Creek, and they bristle with verdant life. In the wintertime the surging creeks become a spectacle, and the leaf litter is filled with newts and ladybugs.


It's no surprise that the most popular activities in this park are hiking and backpacking. Each year, Keep Coyote Creek Beautiful (KCCB) hosts a weekend backpacking trip in early April. Though the backpacking can be fun and meaningful in its own way, this annual trip offers a unique opportunity that goes beyond what's written on paper.


Volunteers pickup litter
Team Leaders Colter and Karan picking up litter at Olinder Park.

Year round KCCB works diligently to removes literal tons of trash and pollution from the more northern sections of the creek. Seeing these heavily impacted areas, time and time again can have a negative effect on both volunteers and staff. When seen enough times, a person may be inclined to think the task of keeping Coyote Creek beautiful may be outside of their ability.


To help with this feeling, KCCB also hosts events like BioBlitzes, which help the public get excited about the local wildlife and reminds everyone of some of the reasons why we work so hard for this watershed. To that end, the backpacking trip is one of the more important events KCCB hosts. Since Henry Coe is one of the most wonderful parts of Coyote Creek, it serves as a beacon, a hope, a reminder, a promise that all of Coyote Creek will one day be this beautiful.


Hikers enjoy the view at Frog Lake. Photo Credit: Ed Miller

If you're interested in joining us for the annual backpacking trip, which is usually the first weekend of April, please send an email to Deb Kramer (deb@keepcoyotecreekbeautiful.org) or look out for it on the KCCB Eventbrite Page.


Wildflowers found on the trails of Henry Coe. Photo Credit: Ed Miller and Colter Cook


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The KCCB Backpacking Trip to Henry W. Coe State Park was my first backpacking excursion into the mountain ranges surrounding the peninsula, and with every step I was drawn deeper into the heart of the Coe landscape. I knew was experiencing a very special and sacred place. As a young man, the Sierra crest had been my place to explore and connect with the land. But, as I walked through oak-lined canyons and grassy slopes, the contrasts of bright colors bordered with darken depths of forest greens, I felt the land beckoning and I knew a connection with Henry W. Coe park was being forged. This occurred last year while on the 2023 KCCB Backpacking Trip. Now, after complet…

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