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  1. #1
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    Bay area trails good for kids? (Rancho Canada del Oro?)

    Yo,
    I'm looking to expand the repitoir of trails that I take my two boys on (6 on a trail-a-bike, 9yo on a 20" wheeled mtb). Our rides are Arastadero, Almaden Quicksilver, and upper campus. I've never ridden Rancho Canada del Oro, and wondering if those might be good? Any other good southern Bay Area trail recommendations for smaller mountain biker kids? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    The standard mountain bike ride at Rancho Cañada del Oro imposes either 2000 or 2110 feet of climbing in 10.8 miles depending on which way you go. It is strenuous indeed. (Look for the thread on this site entitled, "Santa Clara County's Hidden New Gem" for comprehensive info about RCDO.) However, there is a flat paved Americans With Disabilities Act trail about 1/2 mile long right at the RCDO parking lot. It is ultra-easy.

    Another place to take young people (or people of any age) who are rank beginners is the essentially flat dirt road network at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont or Newark. Dress warmly, because it can be windswept, with chilly breezes off the bay.

  3. #3
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    I’ve taken been riding with my boys (aged 7 and 8.5) at Santa Teresa County Park for about a year. Here’s a video illustrating the sort of singletrack terrain experience you can expect:


    But then there’s some fun singletrack that runs parallel to the Los Alamitos/Guadalupe Trail multi-use trail system (singletrack spans for about 1.25 miles) along Camden:
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  4. #4
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    There's the coastal trail at Wilder and Bayfront park in Menlo Park.
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  5. #5
    Axe
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    Try Harvey Bear park - except for a couple short fireroad hike-a-bike to complete a loop if you ride down Gaviota trail. My 8 year old daughter made it down Gaviota fine on her 24" full suspension, but a couple places are a bit exposed. She did Coyote Ridge - Gaviota - Rancho San Isidro - hike-a-bike up - Calaveros - Valley Oak (last two are very nice and would be good for any kid by themselves). Park at Mendoza ranch entrance.

    Avoid hot weather. Nicer there in the winter. Valley Oak is somewhat shaded.

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  6. #6
    rox
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    creek trail at alum rock park. bonus for the youth science center

  7. #7
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    X2 for harvey bear.

    Grant ranch is also an option.

  8. #8
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    Bay area trails good for kids? (Rancho Canada del Oro?)

    Another suggestion for the network of dirt roads and trails along the east bay shore that stretch from the San Mateo Bridge (actually you could even start at the San Leandro marina) down to Milpitas, including Coyote Hills. Some fun exploring and easy riding. Time it with a low tide.

  9. #9
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    More kids ride ideas

    I would agree on Gaviota and Calaveras/Valley Oak at Harvey Bear or Ohlone Bluff at Wilder. Lot's of things at Wilder might be fun for them if taken in moderation.

    Other ideas would be:
    1. Pursima Creek trail starting on the ocean side. Ride up a gradual grade that eventually gets steeper and then turn around when the kids are tired and coast all the way back. It is through the forest and really pretty.
    2. Old Haul Road in Pescadero Creek. Start at Wurr Road and ride up as far as you want, then back. It is in the forest, not too busy, and other things for kids to explore.
    3. Peters Creek trail in Long Ridge. Park at the top of Grizzly flat and go down the trail on the other side of the road. It should be a very manageable ride for the kids going left or right.
    4. Russian Ridge starting at the base of Borel Hill in the vista lot. Take the first trail on the right and ride along the ridge.


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  10. #10
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by CheapWhine View Post
    • Old Haul Road in Pescadero Creek. Start at Wurr Road and ride up as far as you want, then back. It is in the forest, not too busy, and other things for kids to explore.
    • Peters Creek trail in Long Ridge. Park at the top of Grizzly flat and go down the trail on the other side of the road. It should be a very manageable ride for the kids going left or right.
    Old Haul was very nice with a Weehoo trailer bike. Except my son always wanted to stop near every damn banana slug.

    I do not think Peters Creek and whereabouts will be fun with a trailer bike. Plenty of ruts. And fireroads have the usual stupid steep portions.

  11. #11
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    I've taken kids 6 and 8 on a loop that stays in the valley of Grant Ranch. Probably 20ft of climbing if that.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjhiker View Post
    I've taken kids 6 and 8 on a loop that stays in the valley of Grant Ranch. Probably 20ft of climbing if that.
    Taking my boys camping this weekend at J.D. Grant Ranch. Planning on riding out to Dutch’s Flat scenic vista and back this time around. We’ve been taking our bikes with us for the past three camping trips to Grant Ranch. Last time out I believe my boys, wife and I managed 1,700 feet of climbing the whole weekend (I did 8,000+ in total).
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  13. #13
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    Harvey bear without a doubt. If you start at the coyote lake entrance, you can hit rolling singletrack right from the start with no big climbs or descents. Check out Valley Oak trail.

  14. #14
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    Another good option might be the new Emma McCrary trail in Pogonip which opens officially in a week or so. Connect that with Rincon/Uconn as an out and back for a decent little ride without too much climbing.

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    Thanks, everyone! Took my older daughter to Grant Ranch today. We kept on valley trails for the most part and had a blast. Now I can slowly get her into more climbing and technical terrain. Harvey Bear is next.

  16. #16
    Axe
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    Rancho Canada del Oro is not good for kids unless they open that little connector through Calero so you can get directly to longwall, without loose fireroad up and down.

    Harvey Bear is a great loop. Park up at Mendoza ranch, ride down Gaviota (couple spots exposed) either Savannah of Rancho Ysidro, hike you daughter's bike up Willow springs, get back through Valley Oak. My daughter was making that ride at 8, but she ride 24" with disks, so it is a bit more secure than 20". Bits are blown up by cows and horses, but not bad.

    Russian ridge is nice. Park at Rapley ranch road on Skyline. Ridge trail to Borel Hill and back. Good with a trailer, except for a couple switchbacks. Could be a bit rocky for 20".
    Last edited by Axe; 01-26-2014 at 12:23 AM.

  17. #17
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    There's a thread that I started a few days ago about riding on the fireroads/trails/levees around the sloughs of the bay. Alviso to shoreline.

    Bay Trail Map

  18. #18
    Axe
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    Bay area trails good for kids? (Rancho Canada del Oro?)

    Quote Originally Posted by sjhiker View Post
    There's a thread that I started a few days ago about riding on the fireroads/trails/levees around the sloughs of the bay. Alviso to shoreline.

    Bay Trail Map
    There is a cool little single track running parallel to the road from Shoreline to Byxbee. And nice dirt bumps in the flood basin, great for training kids.

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