Demo Forest Corral Loop trail - Can we add any simple additions to this loop?
(This is one in a series of threads referencing riding areas near Santa Cruz)
We are looking for moderate trail suggestions for Demo Forest next week. I found this one that might work. Demo Forest (Corral Trail) - Bay Area Mountain Bike Rides
My 14 year old son and myself are coming up to Santa Cruz next week for 2.5 days. We plan on exploring some of the riding areas around Santa Cruz. I am an advanced rider in good shape, but my son is not. I would classify him as an intermediate rider. We have been logging 8 Ė 11 miles every other day for the past 6 days and will continue for the rest of the week riding every other day to improve his conditioning. We ride moderate grades.
I need help with suggested trails to ride that would fall within my sonís limits, not necessarily mine. We are looking for loops or out and backs under 12 miles. We anticipate moderate climbing and not a lot of steep climbs.
Check out Shuttlesmith in Aptos. They can get you up the hill to eliminate some of the initial climbing, you could do a loop in Demo, then still have a ton of descending for free (be it fireroad with a little ST thrown in). Then you can sample the pump track at the end of the ride (unmissable).
Corral is dope (in my Op) but half of it is fireroad. It has Lots of side features and let's you open it up a bit. I'd maybe op for Braille as it's a classic and you'll dig it. More of an extended ST run adding a bit more climb.
The climb out isn't horrible (no walls really - just a steady 3 mile climb if you park on Highland). If you shuttle with Dave (above)...you will have to get back up top which is a grunt but not super long.
Bring a lot of water...it get's warm.
PM me for details if you need. Have fun!
Peanut butter Tuesday, if you know what I mean!
Parking in highland, the climb to the top is about 1000' of climbing and 4 miles (IIRC). Corral is a lot of fun at the top and even the high speed fireroad portion is a blast. You could also go down Tractor to do the new flow trail, and then climb back up (about 700-800').
Last alternative: park on Highland, go down Hihn's Mill (boring), and climb Tractor to do the flow trail (very fun). Probably the shortest (maybe 10 miles), and the least amount of climbing (under 1500'), but that cuts out the fun top part of Ridge.
Summary: if you start from the parking lot on Highland and do Corral, I'm guessing 11-12 miles, 1500-1800'. If you're doing Tractor-flow trail, about 13 miles, 2000-2200'.
As stated above, the climbs are fairly mild, but they go on for a while.
Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun
Judging from what you wrote about your son, I would probably skip Demo on his behalf (you can do it on your own another time - you will love it) and hit Wilder Ranch - it is milder (climbing and descending), more accessible, and cooler (temperature that it)
I would be afraid that some of the stuff at Demo might be a bit much for him - especially if you are trying to keep it around 12 miles - it is hard to do a quality Demo ride that short and the climbs can be brutal to get to the good stuff - it just takes so long to climb in and out
If you are targeting 8-10 miles loop, there is nothing to add to Corral loop. Keep in mind, that while Corral trail is one of easy way down options, Ridge trail you'll have to ride before that, have few rough spots.
I brought many friends who new to Demo forest so while most regulars would just shrug off my warning, I seen many different reactions.
Easiest but still fun loop I'm running recently while introducing my wife to Demo is following: Hinns Mill road down, Sulfur up, Ridge down to Tractor, down Tractor (stay right) till Flow segment 3, down to Tractor to Flow 5 to bottom, Hinns Mill up back to parking. 10.5 miles total.
You always can combine Corral and Sulfur/Flow to get 15-16 miles. I would recommend against dropping Braille unless your son have zero issues on Ridge/Corral.
I used to run tubes like you are, but then I got thorn in my wheel.
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