The highlight of this hike is the variety of the landscape, which varies from redwood forest to oak woodland, and dense chaparral to grassy meadows. This hike goes through Miller Estate, which has a captive herd of white fallow deer, a species that is not native to this region.
This route, the Merry-Go-Round Trail
to Sprig Trail
via part of Tan Oak Trail
, is a 9.0 mile, moderately trafficked loop located near Gilroy, California. The land, which is now part of a county park, once belonged to Henry Miller, a person who is considered to be one of the founders of Gilroy. Santa Clara County Parks acquired part of the area in 1927, and acquired the remainder of the estate in 1953.
This Featured Hike is rated moderate and offers plenty of beautiful views. The route includes redwood forest, chaparral, scrub-oak forests, and the ruins of Henry Miller's mansion. There are also plenty of wildflowers along the trail. Another section of this route passes a pen of captive White Fallow Deer. These deer are the descendants of a pair given to the Miller family in 1932.
The initial 0.75 miles is a little steep, but most of the trail is of moderate difficulty level. This park is also a big horse riding area which means some sections of the trails are very wide. Most of the trail is under shade and provide beautiful views. Sprig Trail
passes all three of the park's major campgrounds, and makes a scenic ascent (or descent) through one of the prettiest stands of redwoods in the park. The last link is the popular Merry-Go-Round Trail
connecting to the Sprig Lake Recreation Area.