There’s a rarely traveled corner of Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve where the trail goes deeper and deeper in to the woods, the grass gets taller and taller, and then, ultimately, the trail fades to nothing.

I hiked this trail last spring (see Deep in the woods of Purisima) and it still sticks in my mind as one of those wonderful trails known to almost nobody, that gets you to a place distinctly unlike everywhere else.

Here’s a map of the trail:


Click here for a larger version.

Here’s a nest of caterpillars I saw way back in there:

Caterpillar nest

The hike starts out at the Tunitas Creek Road trail head, a few miles west of Skyline Boulevard.

You work your way over to the Bald Knob Trail to the Irish Ridge Trail — passing through some excellent stands of redwood along the way — then take the Lobitos Creek Trail till it fades into the forest, then retrace your steps. About eight miles and change, from the looks of the map. Download the PDF of the whole park here.

Our group didn’t see any other hikers out this way, even though it’s one of the best hikes in one of the best hiking locales in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Jane Huber’s Bay Area Hiker page tells how to get to the trail head. (If you’re too lazy to click: it’s about two miles west of Kings Mountain Road-Skyline Boulevard intersection).

View Larger Map

This’ll be a fine place to check out as the weather warms, though you may want to get out there sooner to see the expansive views to the ocean; it tends to get fogged in later in the summer.

Please add your favorite trail-to-nowhere suggestions in the comments.