If you are looking to beat the California heat on your next Central California hiking adventure, Sprig Lake Trail just might be the best option. This Santa Clara County Park sits on top of Mount Madonna, just a few miles from Monterey Bay. Mount Madonna is a barrier between the scorching Central Valley heat and the cool, moist, and often foggy air that blows in from the Pacific Ocean. Redwoods, live oak, and madrone trees thrive under these conditions.
Sprig Lake Trail begins at an equestrian trailer parking lot to the Sprig Lake Recreation Area (unfortunately the lake dried up some time ago). The parking lot is a trailhead for a few more hiking adventures such as the Merry-Go-Round Loop. The trail begins with gentle elevation changes and soon leads to the outskirts of the Mount Madonna Valley View Campgrounds.
The Twin Giants Trail is a short and worthwhile detour. It's a quick half-mile trail that leads through some old-growth redwood trees and connects back at the Valley View Campground. You can either backtrack to the trailhead or cut through the campground back to the Sprig Lake Trail. From this point the decline slowly gets steeper and eventually turns into a moderate to strenuous downhill hike with a few switchbacks that descend into a ravine. The parking lot is not much farther from this point.