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  1. #1
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    John Nicholas trail status

    Anyone have any idea when it may reopen? I went on the Facebook page, which stated that it was permanently closed. Santa Clara county website states that the trail is closed, with no information regarding future plans for the trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EDRN911 View Post
    Anyone have any idea when it may reopen? I went on the Facebook page, which stated that it was permanently closed. Santa Clara county website states that the trail is closed, with no information regarding future plans for the trail.
    Nobody knows. We have to get through this storm today and tomorrow. 5 days of clear then more rain comes again.

    The officials have to wait and see how much more damage happens in these rounds.

    I hear the trail itself from Skyline blvd is in good shape. It's just that the exit trails at the bottom are blocked. Thus they cannot responsibly open it.

    But if someone goes from the top, down then climbs back up, that should be good trail since the new build is bulletproof. But not allowed since officially closed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    I hear the trail itself from Skyline blvd is in good shape. It's just that the exit trails at the bottom are blocked.
    There are five "trails" coming out of Lake Ranch, of which three are vehicle-sized trails, all three of which were completely obliterated in at least one spot last I was there (before my recent knee operation).

    That means they can't get a vehicle into Lake Ranch, even though I saw a SJWC pickup truck go by me and then turn back. I flagged him down and he said he was trying to get to the lake and I told him there was no way he'd do it in a pickup (even 4WD won't help when there are landslides and canyon washouts).

    I posted pictures of all three roads' obliterations here:
    - Landslide completely closes Los Gatos Lake Ranch

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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead!

    It's unreal how bad the exit fire road is right now.
    There are downed trees and huge slides in at least a half dozen spots
    and many more spots on the fire road are ready to collapse.
    I don't see it opening until at least July.

    On a positive note, besides the small branches everywhere, the trail itself all the way down to the lake is in great condition right now.

    John Nicholas trail status-jack-devastation.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crooked Cop View Post
    I don't see it opening until at least July.
    With all the trails around Lake Ranch closed, I was calling Sanborn Park Rangers to ask about the rules for off-trail riding and hiking.

    I keep getting just their answering machine, but the encouraging news is that the current answering machine message says that work has started on clearing the trails.

    I think part of their problem is that all three dirt roads touching Lake Ranch that can support a truck are closed by landslides so they have to pick a direction and tunnel in from there.

    I haven't been riding the area due to an ACL replacement surgery.

    Anyone know which direction they're bringing in the heavy equipment?

    Black Road?
    Sanborn Road?
    PG&E Road?

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    On my way home today I stopped off at Sanborn Park where the ranger on duty (Leroy Rodriguez) told me that the section of the John Nicholas trail from Black Road to Lake Ranch is NOT handled by the county.

    The SJWC is responsible, according to him, for the maintenance of the spur from Lake Ranch to Black Road.

    The park is responsible for the spur from Lake Ranch to Sanborn Road, so the park is already working on clearing up the landslide that I first reported the morning after it happened overnight, on January 12th.

    PG&E is responsible for the spur that goes from Lake Ranch to Montevina Road, but he didn't know anything about whether they have started to work on that section since it's not a public easement and has nothing to do with the parks.

    LeRoy also told me that Caltrans is trying to grab an easement from the parks near where the road collapsed near Las Cumbres where the road collapsed, where Caltrans is presenting the parks with a proposal soon.

    Anyway, that answers the question of which way the park is clearing to Lake Ranch.
    If you see heavy equipment there, snap a picture for us, as it will be interesting to see what kind of equipment they use to clear the obstacles.

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    [/QUOTE]

    Damn, that looks as bad as Tamarancho

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    The ranger I talked to Saturday said the water company is hoping to fix the road from Black to lake ranch by some time in May. I've not seen any sign of activity but I dont' go by there that often these days. For the slide on the Sanborn side he said they had to hire a special and expensive crew to take down the large trees on the slide itself. That's pretty hazardous work so I can understand it being expensive.

    It also sounds like the work fixing Skyline north of Las Cumbres will interfere with the skyline trail (like by dumping fill on it). There's surveyor marks on the trail just south of the washout. He seemed to think the Skyline road fix (whatever it is) would be done in 8-10 months.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    The ranger I talked to Saturday said the water company is hoping to fix the road from Black to lake ranch by some time in May. I've not seen any sign of activity but I dont' go by there that often these days. For the slide on the Sanborn side he said they had to hire a special and expensive crew to take down the large trees on the slide itself. That's pretty hazardous work so I can understand it being expensive.

    It also sounds like the work fixing Skyline north of Las Cumbres will interfere with the skyline trail (like by dumping fill on it). There's surveyor marks on the trail just south of the washout. He seemed to think the Skyline road fix (whatever it is) would be done in 8-10 months.
    Thanks for the intel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    The ranger I talked to Saturday said the water company is hoping to fix the road from Black to lake ranch by some time in May. I've not seen any sign of activity but I dont' go by there that often these days.
    Thanks for that update from the ranger on the SJWC section from Lake Ranch to Black Road.

    While their section is relatively flat, I think they have the lions share of the work to be done because there is so much damage between Lake Ranch and Black Road.

    I suspect the SJWC may also be waiting for the park to open up the way from Sanborn Road so they can get equipment in from both sides, especially since Black Road is apparently marked for 2-Axle vehicles only.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    For the slide on the Sanborn side he said they had to hire a special and expensive crew to take down the large trees on the slide itself. That's pretty hazardous work so I can understand it being expensive.
    I agree that it isn't going to be easy. When I was there last, I spoke to workers who said the still-standing trees are the hardest part. The one tree in the middle of the trail is a hundred (or so) feet tall.

    If it had fallen, it would be easier; but it simply slid into the middle of the path!

    I think there is some danger to the work crew because the slope is pretty steep and they are, by necessity, on the downslope (and it's a cliff below and above).

    If I were attacking that landslide, I'd rather attack it from above than from below; but they have no choice until SJWC cleans up the entrance from Black Road, which isn't likely to happen first.

    They can't get in from Montevina Road either, as the PG&E Service Road is washed out in multiple places, with landslides too, and, according to the park, almost all on private property anyway (so they'd have to get permission from a dozen people).

    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    It also sounds like the work fixing Skyline north of Las Cumbres will interfere with the skyline trail (like by dumping fill on it). There's surveyor marks on the trail just south of the washout. He seemed to think the Skyline road fix (whatever it is) would be done in 8-10 months.
    I don't know that area well, but the park ranger I spoke to was unhappy that Caltrans was proposing to allow people to cut through the park property to get around that problem.

    Does anyone have a marker on a Google Map where that cut-around might be?

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    [QUOTE=woodrock;13083001

    Does anyone have a marker on a Google Map where that cut-around might be?[/QUOTE]

    John Nicholas trail status-screen-shot-2017-03-14-5.51.32-am.jpg

    John Nicholas trail status-screen-shot-2017-03-14-5.53.54-am.jpg
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    I sure would not want to cut down a 100 foot tree on a slide that could come down any time, and whose roots were ripped out and it's being held up by mud. I'm glad they found someone to do it and no one was hurt. It did sound like they're working on the Sanborn side already.

    The slie on Skyline is in a place where the skyline trail loops out away from the road a bit. In some places the trail is very close to the road. But in this section there's a small hill between the trail and the slide, though the trail comes back close to the road on either side of the slide. Especially the south side where it's close to the road just a short ways from the slide. I think Caltrans may have to take out some of the trail on the south side to make the curves on the new section of road wide enough... which is probably why there's surveyor marks on the trail there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbrdan View Post
    attached photos
    Thanks. I used the GPS location in the photos to figure out where it was as the news just said it was "near mile marker 10.47" on Highway 35 (aka Skyline).

    Your GPS location is fuzzy but it seems to be Latitude 37.222334 north, Longitude -122.102514,15 west.

    What's interesting is that it seems that it's park on both sides of the road, with Castle Rock on the west and Sanborn Park on the east.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    I sure would not want to cut down a 100 foot tree on a slide that could come down any time, and whose roots were ripped out and it's being held up by mud. I'm glad they found someone to do it and no one was hurt. It did sound like they're working on the Sanborn side already.
    I agree with you that the tall tree that is "standing up" is almost certainly precarious, since it slid into the middle of the trail still standing; so, they probably can't just climb it and lop it off from the top down nor can they just cut it at the bottom easily.

    At least not without risking the whole tree (with crew) tumbling down the 100 feet slope to the stream below and/or popping out of the mud, like a straw in a milkshake flipping the crew up in the air.

    From my thread on the Lake Ranch Trail closure, here's a photo I took from the other side of that mess, at the time that the park was first surveying the damage, where you'll note that I said at that time that they knew they'd need to call in the professionals.


    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    The slie on Skyline is in a place where the skyline trail loops out away from the road a bit. In some places the trail is very close to the road. But in this section there's a small hill between the trail and the slide, though the trail comes back close to the road on either side of the slide. Especially the south side where it's close to the road just a short ways from the slide. I think Caltrans may have to take out some of the trail on the south side to make the curves on the new section of road wide enough... which is probably why there's surveyor marks on the trail there.
    Thanks for that description. Without a topographical map, it looks like Caltrans can crob space from either Skyline on the east or Castle Rock on the west, but according to the ranger I spoke to, it's clear that Caltrans is proposing looping around that hole in 35 by strong arming an easement from Sanborn.

    The location seems to be near latitude 37.219002 north and longitude -122.0755417 west, according to Google Maps.

    Here's a road-closure map:

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    Having been there to see it there is NO chance of going west. East is the way they will go.

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    The south/west side of the hole is private property, not Castle Rock. Location is just to the right of the marked spot.

    John Nicholas trail status-skyline2.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbrdan View Post
    Having been there to see it there is NO chance of going west. East is the way they will go.
    Yes. The west side is STEEP. And it's made of fill. That's why it slid- when they built the road they just piled material they'd removed from the road cuts in there. On top of a known spring, according to one old-timer I heard from. And yes it's private property. There are houses on that side just to either side of the slide.

    The part of the trail that looks to be affected (because it's marked) starts at the top of the rocky chute just north of the stairs and runs north about 200' to where the trail tees with a short stub that goes out to the road (you can see the barriers on the south side of the slide from there) and the north continuation of the skyline trail along an old fire road, which curves around a hill that 35 cuts through.

  18. #18
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    How's JNT these days? Black Road and the respective trail open for business?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy View Post
    How's JNT these days? Black Road and the respective trail open for business?
    Closed as closed can be. Black Road is open but the fire roads from Black Road to the bottom of JNT have collapsed.

    From Highway 9, Highway 35 is missing a big chunk.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy View Post
    How's JNT these days? Black Road and the respective trail open for business?
    JNT is still closed. The fireroad section from the lake has numerous slides though the singletrack section is in good shape from what I have heard.
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    Anyone know if it is possible (and legal) to ride Skyline trail to JNT, descend to the reservoir, climb back up, then back on Skyline trail?

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    But, but, it's the mountain bikes that cause all the trail erosion, right?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Closed as closed can be. Black Road is open but the fire roads from Black Road to the bottom of JNT have collapsed.

    From Highway 9, Highway 35 is missing a big chunk.
    Rode it a couple weeks ago from Los Gatos by way one of those "alternative" trail entrances. It's in good shape outside of being nearly scoured clean of any kind of organic matter on the trail surface.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sid Duffman View Post
    Anyone know if it is possible (and legal) to ride Skyline trail to JNT, descend to the reservoir, climb back up, then back on Skyline trail?
    The Skyline trail is legal and open. A few fallen trees I believe. Down and up on John Nicholas trail is in good shape. But since the trail is closed due to the Black Road exits, then it's not legal at the moment. They have to close it because they can't expect all users to climb back up to get out of the park.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    The Skyline trail is legal and open. ... They have to close [the JNT] because they can't expect all users to climb back up to get out of the park.
    I like the way you think - which is logical and reasonable.

    The JNT leg from Lake Ranch to Skyline Road is currently a dead-end trail, which may be why they would mark it as "closed", even if it might technically not be closed to traffic for expressly safety reasons.

    Of the five known connective routes emanating from Lake Ranch, only three are open to the public, and all three of those are (apparently) currently closed, even as the section from Skyline Road to Lake Ranch is in pretty good shape compared to the two other public sections from Lake Ranch to Black Road (maintained by the SJWC) and from Lake Ranch to Sanborn Road (maintained by SCC Parks & Recreation).

    Last I spoke with Sanborn Park (a few weeks ago) they had started working on the Lake Ranch Trail, which has only one blockage between Lake Ranch and Sanborn Road.

    Anyone have a picture or update of their progress?

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodrock View Post
    I like the way you think - which is logical and reasonable.

    Anyone have a picture or update of their progress?
    Dude, you're the picture man...we rely upon you for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by griz View Post
    Dude, you're the picture man...we rely upon you for that.
    I think he's asking so he can walk there this morning and photo the heck out of it.
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    Ah, supper bummer. Thanks for the intel guys!
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    The sign at the trailhead on Black changed recently to "caution road work" so I went down it a short ways. The only work I saw was surveyor's marks. No evidence of any heavy equipment having used the road. If they're working on it they're doing it from the Sanborn end. The ranger I talked to a few weeks ago seemed to think the Lake Ranch road would be open in May some time. That probably depends on a lot of things including weather. If the ground is too wet they can't use heavy equipment.

    On my way back I saw that the "caution road work" sign was stuck on top of the road closed sign that's been there for months so I don't think it's actually open. In any case I don't think it's rideable to the bottom of JNT.

    Skyline trail has a lot of trees down on it.

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    First post, so hello all. I'm wondering if anyone has any update on the skyline trail and JNT?

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    ^^^I have no info on the trail status but, welcome to the forum.

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    JNT is open.
    I'm the problem....

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    Fantastic. Thanks for the info. Do you know if it's relatively clear up to the intersection of Rte 9/Skyline?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbrdan View Post
    JNT is open.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrRoboto View Post
    Fantastic. Thanks for the info. Do you know if it's relatively clear up to the intersection of Rte 9/Skyline?
    Yes it is.
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    Can you get to the trail from Black Rd yet?

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    Still officially closed though plenty of people were coming up.
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    There's a lot of carnage on the road from Black to Lake Ranch Reservoir. You will have to carry your bike over some very large tree trunks.

    It may be open on the other side, from Sanborn. I'm not sure.

    JNT from the reservoir up to Skyline is in excellent shape with no obstacles, though every little rock is exposed. It can use some riding to clear the loose rocks.

    I also rode Skyline Trail from the cave-in to JNT and that was in good shape too.

  38. #38
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    Lake Ranch down into Sanborn is open.
    I'm the problem....

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    yep, rode that on Saturday. Must have been an impressive slide they removed from Lake Ranch Trail, looks like a lot of diggin.
    From BlackRd you should also be able to just pedal up the remaining corners (I know those are steep) and then turn right and enjoy the lonely ride on 35 to Skyline trailhead. No cars (meaning very view ones) there because of the closure.

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    I keep getting confused by this....

    JNT between the reservoir and Black Road is open?

    Checking the closure status on SCCParks it says closed. "John Nicholas Trail is open to Skyline (SR35), JNT closed south to Black Road." https://www.sccgov.org/sites/parks/Pages/Closures.aspx

    I can understand if this website is behind on the updates.

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    no, that´s exactly what the website says:
    Sanborn Rd to Lake Ranch Reservoir (pretty steep about half mile climb): open, big slide(s) removed.
    Connection from Lake Ranch Reservoir to Black Road: closed. However, saw some people on the other side of the lake on Saturday, so either they just walked there for fishing or illegal - whatsoever, closed (as per website).
    JNT from Lake Ranch to Skyline: open, you can go up and down all day long.
    Skyline to Castle Rock: closed. Not sure about the respective part of the Skyline Trail, i.e. whether you can pass the road closure on it or not.
    Skyline to Black Rd: open on the road.
    B

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    Nice to hear that JNT is open even if the dirt road from Lake Ranch to Black is still closed.

    Skyline trail is open. You can pass the giant slide on it, for now. It may be closed later on when they're working on the giant slide. There's a lot of trees down on it when you get closer to 9. Epic poison oak too.

    Highway 35 is closed at Las Cumbres on the south side. You can drive or ride to the Sunnyvale Mountain trail head but since that's officially past the road closed signs you may get ticketed if you park there.

    A couple weeks ago it looked like they were about to start work on the Lake Ranch to Black dirt road. I was told a while back by a ranger that they hope to have it open in May but I have doubts.

    Black rd has more traffic on it than before the giant slide on 35. All the people who live up there and used to take 9 now come down Black.

    There's still random no notice road closures in the area to fix roads, power lines etc. Usually not on weekends though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbrdan View Post
    Lake Ranch down into Sanborn is open.
    I had complications so I'm not out yet. Anyone have pictures of the work they did on the lake ranch trail between the lake and Sanborn Road?

    Quote Originally Posted by BerndK View Post
    Must have been an impressive slide they removed from Lake Ranch Trail
    Next time you are there, can you snap a pic for us voyeurs?

    Quote Originally Posted by starvingdavid View Post
    I keep getting confused by this....
    JNT between the reservoir and Black Road is open?
    The JNT has two "legs" and there are as many as four to five legs emanating out of Lake Ranch. I just drew a graphic for you from memory and post it here for review of any errors.

    NOTE: I get in trouble when I post truthful detail so let me know if this oversteps the boundaries but it is the truth so we should not be afraid of the truth - should we?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BerndK View Post
    no, that´s exactly what the website says:
    Sanborn Rd to Lake Ranch Reservoir (pretty steep about half mile climb): open, big slide(s) removed.
    Connection from Lake Ranch Reservoir to Black Road: closed.
    I fixed the graphic a bit to make it slightly more realistic as to what the JNT actually is, since the JNT is three sections and the LRT is the fourth section in the park.

    Let me know if you see errors on this diagrammatic view of the Lake Ranch vicinity because the goal is to create the next graphic, which can be an update as to the trail status.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    Nice to hear that JNT is open even if the dirt road from Lake Ranch to Black is still closed.
    Based on what people said in this thread, I think this is the correct status of the current and future trails that are intended to be bike-legal trails inside the MPOS and Sanborn Park.


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    What is this "Future connector" that links lake to Montevina Ridge Trail? When is this happening? Any more info?
    This will allow for legal access from LG up to JNT, correct?

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    Quote Originally Posted by noblige View Post
    What is this "Future connector" that links lake to Montevina Ridge Trail? When is this happening? Any more info?
    This will allow for legal access from LG up to JNT, correct?
    There are a bunch of threads on the future connector so this probably isn't the right thread to go into the (very gory) detail (there is an entire 100-page or so park planning document posted already!).

    Here is a screen shot of the future trail from the MPOS thread:


    Suffice to summarize that there are multiple projects and multiple government entities involved including semi-public entities like the water company and private owners and MPOS and SCC and even the state, all of which have different charters, etc. and there are therefore a spate of legal issues that they are working on (e.g., a recent senate bill and easements on the private property) but when those legal issues are surmounted, then they have money issues to surmount (since there is no money allotted yet to build the trail).

    Assuming all that is ironed out (probably five to ten years?) the easy part is where the trail will go. It will start at the JNT at the Sanborn end of the lake and it will go up to the PG&E Service Road (which is currently closed to cyclists) and it will then go past the locked gate that delineates the start of a dozen private properties.

    The very detailed map that the SCC parks gave me showing all the property owners (which I can't distribute but which I can summarize) shows that the planned trail will go less than a half mile up the PG&E Service road (measuring from the lake) and then it will go into just two private properties in its way up the hill to the connector trail that currently exists between Bohlman and Montevina.

    While there are private paths in that vicinity, this will be a completely new public trail because it has to go through SCC property, then private property, then SCC property then private property and then MPOS property - and then - even so - at the top - it's still two more private properties and one MPOS property.

    (Note: This is just the summary.) :-0

    If we care about truth, it's important to realize that even what some people think of being the Bohlman part of this trail is on private property so they have to iron out that legal issue also as there is no easement for anyone but the property owners at the top of Bohlman for about a quarter mile or so.

    It's better on the Montevina side, where the public is actually allowed at the gate, and they can park within 20 feet of the center of the road as long as they're off the white stripe since that is in the county ROW.

    All of this is covered in other threads. One thread that comes to mind is this one:
    New status of MPOS dog rules and private property easements on El Sereno trails!

    But there are others with the actual documents and some which got closed because we gave you too many real details.

    NOTE: I just realized from your question and my correct answer that I didn't correctly draw the graphic for that last quarter mile at the top of Bohlman. I correct it below because only the land owners (one of which is MPOS!) are legally allowed on the last quarter mile between Bohlman Road and the MPOS gate as there are two private properties where MPOS is in the process of "perfecting" an easement for the public but it is not a fait accompli despite that everyone seems to act as if it is (which is legally a case in and of itself).

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    Minor update to the graphic.

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    Pie graph, please.



    (pie = truth)



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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    Pie graph, please.
    (pie = truth)
    It's hard to post the truth here because they closed a thread that had the truth already. People only want to make believe. I'm too aspergers to make believe. Sorry.

    Nonetheless, here is your requested pie chart.

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    :-) :-) beautiful visualizations of what lacks details on Google maps!

    Only addition I would suggest: I know the Lake - BlackRd connector is named part of JNT, but I would doubt the "T" in it. As far as I remember (from riding it twice since this is a bit out of direction for me as Cupertino citizen), this is more like a fire road, not a trail.

    Cheers
    B

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    Quote Originally Posted by BerndK View Post
    :-) :-) beautiful visualizations of what lacks details on Google maps! Only addition I would suggest: I know the Lake - BlackRd connector is named part of JNT, but I would doubt the "T" in it. As far as I remember (from riding it twice since this is a bit out of direction for me as Cupertino citizen), this is more like a fire road, not a trail. CheersB
    You are correct that the JNT from Skyline is more of a trail, but the leg around the lake and the legs to both Black Road and to Sanborn Road are pretty much vehicle roads.

    They're really dirt roads.
    Each one is used by trucks which is why they exist in the first place.

    AFAIK, the Lake Ranch to Black Road leg is used by the SJWC as their access road and the Lake Ranch to Sanborn leg is used by both PG&E and by the SCC parks as their access road.

    PG&E uses the leg up to Montevina Road as their access road to maintain the power lines, so that one is a road also. It has a PG&E lock on each end.

    I'm not sure who uses or maintains the access road from Sanborn Road to Bohlman Road but all I can say is that the gate that blocks it in the middle has a PG&E lock on it and a look on the map shows that it is chock full of private property, so it's just there by way of fleshing out the summary a bit.

    The only other mention is the reasonably well maintained (for an unmaintained trail anyway) trail that goes from the lake to Bohlman via the PG&E service road from within the park, but that one, which is a small trail and not a vehicle road, also suffers from the fact there is a gate at the top (not always locked but sometimes locked) and it goes through private property so it's off limits.

    The entire PG&E service road, even the part inside the park proper, is off limits to cyclists anyway, so, its' just there in the diagram as a descriptor of what the future will hold. Inside the park pedestrians can use the PG&E Service road (although Greg (the SCC trails guy) told me that the PG&E park signs are wrong and that nobody can use it inside the park) but outside the park the PG&E service road is not even open to the park or to the SJWC or even to the residents who own portions of it.

    It's only open to PG&E because it only exists for them.

    I don't want to say too much because the last time we went into details, we got in trouble and they locked the thread and deleted everything that MoePed and I documented so I'm keeping it really general here and saying only what everyone already knows and which is obvious just looking at a map.

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    The dirt road from Black to Lake Ranch used to be called Lake Ranch road. When they made the JNT from Lake Ranch to Skyline trail they renamed the dirt road JNT.

    The 2008 master plan for Sanborn has a bunch of future MTB-legal trails. I'm sure Woodrock knows this but others reading the thread might not. One is making the PGE trail to Montevina legal. I wish they'd move faster on these, the pace is glacial.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    The dirt road from Black to Lake Ranch used to be called Lake Ranch road. When they made the JNT from Lake Ranch to Skyline trail they renamed the dirt road JNT.
    That's very interesting, and it makes sense that the dirt road from Black to the lake had to have a different name 'cuz the JNT trail naming is rather new.

    Thanks for that tidbit on "Lake Ranch Road", which, based on the naming of the Lake Ranch Trail, probably went from Black Road to the lake and then along the west side of the lake and then down to Sanborn Road.

    I'm going to guess they split "Lake Ranch Road" into the JNT on the south end and the "LRT" on the north end ... but if others actually know more detail - please let us in on the secret as facts are what matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    The 2008 master plan for Sanborn has a bunch of future MTB-legal trails. I'm sure Woodrock knows this but others reading the thread might not.
    Yup. There's an entire thread on that topic alone.
    I'm not sure of the link to that thread, but anyone interested will find it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    One is making the PGE trail to Montevina legal.
    This is completely false.

    I've been told countless times there are no plans to do what you say, there never were plans to do what you said, and there almost certainly never will be.

    I can always be wrong (and things change over time); but before we assert what you just said, we have to reference somewhere where you get that idea.

    To the contrary, I have spoken at length to key people at MPOS, Sanborn County Parks, Santa Clara County Parks, and even with land rights executives at PG&E and at the SJWC, so I think I have a pretty good handle on what the plans are for all the "paths" in the pie chart above, including all the private areas.

    As most people here already know, I also camped out at Sheldon Road, Overlook Road, Overlook Drive, Montevina Road, Sherrys Way, Bohlman Road, Ambrose Road, McGill Road, Sanborn Road, etc., asking everyone I could what the situation is.

    It turns out that EVERY one (surprisingly) is a different situation, which I reported upon in gory detail in the aforementioned MPOS thread so I won't repeat that here.

    What's not surprising is that the actual legal situation is a mess at almost all these connections - where - for example - even Bohlman Road has no legal access for anyone on that dirt road between the paved road and the MPOS gate except for the three land owners at the top of Bohlman, one of whom is MPOS themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    I wish they'd move faster on these, the pace is glacial.
    I think everyone is in agreement that they move at a glacial pace.
    And, things aren't ever what they appear to be, as noted above in the Bohlman situation, which you'd only know if you asked the questions that I asked of the people I asked.

    Even when asking Greg Bringelson about the PG&E service road "within" the park, they don't have their act together (in that he told me the signs were "completely wrong" and he said he was going to fix that pronto). I think he has since fixed the things he said were completely wrong, but the point is that they move very slowly in the parks department.

    For example, MPOS doesn't even have permission for legal access to *either* end of the Overlook Trail for cyclists or pedestrians yet, and that's a well known and well marked trail that is public once you parachute onto it but you can't get there legally any way other than by car, and that's because the MPOS is a homeowner who considers people that get a permit their "guests".

    As another example of how slowly they move, look at the Sheldon Road situation, where, again, the only way to actually be legal is to parachute in there, because MPOS has a "license" (it's not an easement!) which doesn't allow access on Overlook Road so you can't legally get there but once you parachute in, you're OK during daylight hours.

    I doubt most of these issues will be cleaned up in our lifetimes.

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    At a JNT trail work day a few years ago I heard Greg say that they were working on access to the PGE road. I don't doubt what you're saying the situation is now. Maybe he really said something else and I misunderstood him, or that was what they were doing then and it's since changed. I thought it was on the 2008 master plan but I don't have the maps in front of me to check.

    It sounds like you have done a lot of work and possibly know more than people at the agencies. Do you feed that back to them? If not it might help them out some. I very much appreciate the posts you make here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    At a JNT trail work day a few years ago I heard Greg say that they were working on access to the PGE road.
    Well, I won't say more than I think Greg is tired of me because I keep calling him on what he "says" which is different than what the head Ranger for the park said (Patrick Silva, who moved on) and what the head of the real estate office said (John Gallo), etc..

    To his credit, Greg did understand that the signs were all wrong on the private side of the PG&E trail, and he (or someone) had them removed, so, I think I only brought it up to say that Greg is a decent resource, but he may not be the last word on things.

    Antoinette in the Santa Clara County real estate office is better for what the plans are in the future since she is the one who handles that stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    I don't doubt what you're saying the situation is now. Maybe he really said something else and I misunderstood him, or that was what they were doing then and it's since changed. I thought it was on the 2008 master plan but I don't have the maps in front of me to check.
    I can only guess what Greg was trying to tell you, but I can certainly tell you (which we already said above) that the first 1/2 mile of the PG&E Service Road is in the plan to be opened.

    Multiple people inside of SCC Parks including Antoniette, have told me that they're working with the property owner who owns the property at the gate, and then with the property owners at top, where MPOS has separately told me that they're working with the lady at the top of Bohlman (who is agreeable) and a guy next to her (who is less so), in order to complete the connection at the top.

    The main point here is two things:
    1. For the first 1/2 mile of the PG&E service road, there are as many as 4 separate properties which need to be accessed - but that is in the plan - where the end result will be a bike-friendly trail from the lake to the Montevina Connector and then on to Montevina, if not also Bohlman.

    2. There are no plans for the rest of the PG&E service road, there never have been plans for the rest of the PG&E service road, and (IMHO) there likely never will be - simply because there are a dozen owners, all of which have to agree, and as far as I know, none of them are amenable, and besides, as far as I can see, there's no need since the plan above is easier, makes use of park property, and only involves two property owners (and as many as four if you count the top of Bohlman, of which we know at least one is amenable).

    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    It sounds like you have done a lot of work
    I'm Aspergers. It's what I am. Facts. Only facts. Feelings be damned.
    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    and possibly know more than people at the agencies.
    No. The people at the agencies know everything.

    It's the MPOS park rangers who don't know - but the executives I reported on (with phone numbers and positions) know the answers. The SCC Park Rangers also aren't as clued in. Neither is Greg.

    But the real estate people and the tax assessor and the owners and the GIS guys at the county and the execs at SJWC and the execs at PG&E real estate, etc., they all know exactly what the scoop is.

    Basically, the entire PG&E Service Road, today, from the beginning to the end, is off limits to cyclists - and to the public outside of gate at the bottom by the transmission line. The funny thing is even the land owners can't use the service road to get to their land if it means crossing someone else's land (and it does).

    Of course, with permission, anyone can cross anywhere, so if there is a private permission on record, I wouldn't know about it and neither would anyone else unless it's recorded somewhere - but Larry Stone's office didn't know of any.

    The only plans are to extend it a bit. I think there are something like dozens of signs so I don't think it's ambiguous to anyone who has been there in the last year or so.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    Do you feed that back to them? If not it might help them out some. I very much appreciate the posts you make here.
    As I said, the real estate executives at MPOS, SJWC, SCC Parks, and PG&E know far more than we will ever know. There's nothing I can feed them that they don't already know.

    The only ones who are not in the know are the lower level guys like almost all the park rangers in MPOS (if not all) and most of the park rangers at Sanborn and the trail guys. There's nothing I can tell them either since they shouldn't believe anything I say - they should talk to their own real estate execs.

    To that end, I know that Antoniette has been planning to put up signs marking the boundary of the SCC parks at Sanborn, where she plans on putting up "entering" and "leaving" park boundary signs.

    They're tiny. But they would help because I admit that it's hard to tell where the park ends, for example, on the trails that go up to Bohlman that don't have gates at the bottom. The PG&E Service Road isn't one of them as it has had a locked gate, I'm told, since it was first built in the 1960s - but the other paths only have gates midway for one, and at the very top for the other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodrock View Post

    The main point here is two things:
    1. For the first 1/2 mile of the PG&E service road, there are as many as 4 separate properties which need to be accessed - but that is in the plan - where the end result will be a bike-friendly trail from the lake to the Montevina Connector and then on to Montevina, if not also Bohlman.
    That's the future MPOS connector on your graphic from yesterday?
    Maybe that's what Greg meant and since there was mention of the PGE road because it's the begining of that connector I assumed he meant the whole PGE road to Montevina.

    I haven't been on any of them as they're not legal. Not knowing anything about them I have no preference... any connection to up there is ok by me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    That's the future MPOS connector on your graphic from yesterday?
    Yes. Exactly.
    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    Maybe that's what Greg meant and since there was mention of the PGE road because it's the begining of that connector
    Almost certainly that's what Greg meant because that connector trail has been in the plans (unfunded, of course) for many years. So it's widely known.

    In addition, I have talked to Greg on the phone and he is very clear about where the park boundary is at that locked PG&E gate and he told me that NOBODY (not even pedestrians) are allowed anywhere on the PG&E Service Road inside the park (which is not what the signs actually say).

    Others in the park (it's all in the other thread) have told me the same thing, and Antoniette Romeo told me they are in the process of fixing the signs (but I don't really know what that means to them other than the boundary signs which she plans on putting up wherever any trail in the whole park system crosses boundaries).

    Right now, it's hard to tell where the boundaries are, which I found out when I asked the park system to just tell me where their boundary ended and where the private property started on the trail that goes up to Bohlman just inside the park gate at the last transmission line. They gave me maps galore, but there is no clear delineation when you're on the ground.

    So nothing is the same situation in any two locations of this multi-jurisdictional yet intertwined park system.

    For example, MPOS has the Aquinas Trail which I'm sure you're all familiar with, which actually crosses into private property (SJWC mostly - which will change if the senate bill proceeds to the final stage), so, when they did the "dog thing" that I reported on, the SJWC expressly told the MPOS to NOT PUBLICIZE that people were crossing into private property.

    That just shows it's a weird world out there - where nothing is the same at any two locations - but it's all legal stuff - and liability stuff mostly - and privacy stuff for homeowners - stuff anyone owning property would understand - and certainly stuff their insurance company is well aware of.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    I assumed he meant the whole PGE road to Montevina.
    I think we can safely assume he never meant the whole PG&E Service Road, since I have spoken to him about ALL the trails in the area, that being one of them so I know what he knows about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    I haven't been on any of them as they're not legal. Not knowing anything about them I have no preference... any connection to up there is ok by me.
    I won't say whether I've been on every inch of every trail that we're talking about, but what I will say is that I think everyone would agree that any connection from the JNT to the MPOS Montevina Connector Trail is fine with all of us.

    Logic dictates that the shortest and least disturbing connection is one that goes through the fewest private properties since the government has to pay, somehow, for the privilege of usurping someone's land rights (this country being founded on such things, much to the chagrin of the Native Americans, who had different ideas about land rights than what is established in European common law).

    Given that the government is all powerful, who is to say what will happen in the future.

    For example, in the Mt Umunhum thread, Moe Ped referenced documents that showed that the government took the land rights by force (aka by eminent domain), costing, I think, half a million in land rights (as I recall). So, for example, with a dozen owners on the PG&E Service Road, that's only 6 million bucks, which the government could afford if they really wanted it.

    But the point is that they can get access from the gate at the PG&E Trail to the top of Bohlman & Montevina for just two agreements, so that's only a million dollars (at those rates).

    So, assuming those rough (but realistic) numbers, it's 1 million to take the land rights by force from the existing owners via the planned trail, while it's 6 million to take the rights to the land by force via the direction you mentioned (one half million going to the same guy who owns the property at the locked bottom gate in either case).

    Which one makes more sense (using just that one monetary argument)?

    [Note: I know there are plenty of other ways to structure an argument, like the fact that the PG&E Service Road is already built, for example - so you're welcome to propose a counter situation if it contains facts.]

    In all reality, the land rights grab at Sheldon & Umunhum (mostly against the owners' wishes) and the obvious (but clever) duplicity at Overlook Drive shows that the government can (and will) do whatever it wants to do - without much consideration for the cares of the individual land owners - when considering the needs of the many as being more important than mere property rights of the few.

    So, if it wants the Ambrose or PG&E or McGill routes, it would just ratchet up the pressure, starting from a dubious interpretation of the existing land rights like they clearly did at the Saratoga side of the Overlook Trail but which doesn't seem to work on the Bohlman side of the Montevina Connector (perhaps because the MPOS is not the end landowner as they are at Overlook Drive).

    If a clever interpretation of existing legal agreements fail them (as it seems to have on the top of Bohlman), their next bid would likely be to initiate a lawsuit for a prescriptive easement (maybe also adverse possession, but not likely because that now requires paying taxes on the property for five years in California).

    That's what effectively got us rights to Sheldon Road, where the landowners themselves bitterly relayed to me that they settled for a "license" as the least expensive way for the lawsuit to go away (MPOS real estate pros told me the same thing, which is that a license was better for the landowners than the alternative).

    If those legal attempts to obtain a license for land rights for the public don't work, the government has plenty more options, like tax incentives (especially when an estate tax is involved) and there's always outright purchase of the land (everyone can be bought at a fair price although I doubt any of those rather wealthy landowners want to sell their land for anything less than lots and lots of millions each).

    In summary, if dubious interpretation of existing easements fail (like they seem to be failing for the top of Bohlman), and if prescriptive easements fail (like they seem to have failed on the Loma Vista Trail) then the government can at any time just use coercion (like they did with their license at Sheldon) or they can use outright force (which is what they essentially did at Umunhum).

    Or, they can just offer the landowners a fair price (but probably that's not in their plan based on what I know about each of the trails we're talking about).

    In the end, like the FBI, the government will always get their land!

    All it takes is the government having a plan... and acting on that plan.

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    I tried the fire road from Black to the lake yesterday. The sign at Black had changed from area closed to road under construction. Well, it's not under construction. They have done NOTHING. The hikeabike log crossings are many and extreme. Not worth it in my opinion. It's still marked closed on the lake end, so its likely that you could be cited. And that sign at Black could change again, like it's done before.

    If you want to ride JNT (the real JNT, the single track) go from the Sanborn side. That part's open.

    I wonder if there is a way for us to tell San Jose Water how important the Lake Ranch road is.

  60. #60
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    Highway 35 construction has started on the Las Cumbres Ravine. It's pretty impressive.

    IPA will save America

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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    I tried the fire road from Black to the lake yesterday.
    Thank you for your update because I can't get out there to snap a photo for the team with my healing having issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    The sign at Black had changed from area closed to road under construction.
    Strange sign.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    Well, it's not under construction. They have done NOTHING. The hikeabike log crossings are many and extreme. Not worth it in my opinion.
    Last I was there was when the photos above were taken, where I would agree with you unless you were trying to EXIT out that way. If you wanted a "nice ride", perhaps it is not useful because you have to stop and go so many times.

    But if your itinerary included exiting out Black Road, then it's still useful I think, since all the crossings were easily forded (even the quagmire, although I was up to my ankles in mud).

    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    It's still marked closed on the lake end, so its likely that you could be cited. And that sign at Black could change again, like it's done before.
    When I was there last, the lake had ZERO signs. But that was before vehicles could get to the lake so with Sanborn Road to the lake open, a lazy ranger can get a truck in there for the free ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    If you want to ride JNT (the real JNT, the single track) go from the Sanborn side. That part's open.
    I was the first to see (and photograph) that landslide (even before the park saw it) so I'm interested in a photo of what they did to fix it.

    Did you perchance snap a photo that you can upload?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    I wonder if there is a way for us to tell San Jose Water how important the Lake Ranch road is.
    I call them all the time but I go through the main number.


    San Jose Water Company 110 West Taylor Street San Jose, CA 95110
    408-279-7900 (Customer Service) 408-279-7917 (FAX)
    https://www.sjwater.com/
    customer.service@sjwater.com

    What I generally do is call the young kid who answers the phone and I ask her to stay on the line until she gets me a real human for my question.

    Once I get a human, I get contact information from that human and don't let him go until I wring what I want out of him.

    Maybe we could write up a petition and have everyone sign it but I'm not going to do all that work so I'll let the idea float. Easiest I guess is for everyone to just call them and pester them (that I can do well) for answers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodrock View Post
    Yes. Exactly.

    (SJWC mostly - which will change if the senate bill proceeds to the final stage)
    Wait, what senate bill?

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    Quote Originally Posted by starvingdavid View Post
    Wait, what senate bill?
    SB-492 proposes selling some San Jose Water Company land to MidPen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyline35 View Post
    SB-492 proposes selling some San Jose Water Company land to MidPen.
    Yup. Senate Bill 492. Bill Text - SB-492 Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District: purchase of property: San Jose Water Company. Effectively, I think it means that the patchwork of SJWC and MPOS will be merged into one, which eventually has implications for SCC Parks which is the other government agency in the Castle Rock Ridge, Saratoga, Los Gatos & El Sereno quadrangles.
    (1) “District” means the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.
    (2) “Water company” means the San Jose Water Company.
    (c) the water company may sell lands in the Upper Guadalupe watershed, including the Los Gatos Creek and Saratoga Creek watersheds, to the district in accordance with the following conditions:
    (1) The district shall commit to improve open-space trail connectivity, encourage forest management practices to promote late seral or old-growth habitat conditions, maintain wildland fire safety, preserve open space, and protect the downstream beneficial uses of water, including, but not limited to, critical elements of the public drinking water supply, in perpetuity.
    (2) The water company shall retain all its existing water rights and a necessary fee title or easement interest, in perpetuity, to make certain that the customers of the water company have access to safe and reliable drinking water. The fee title or easement interest shall include all facilities owned and operated by the water company, including, but not limited to, treatment plants, delivery systems, reservoirs, and main tributaries.
    The authority for the water company to sell lands to the district pursuant to subdivision (c) is inoperative on January 1, 2023.
    I think, in English, it means that the SJWC "can" sell to the MPOS district any lands it wants to sell them, as long as both the MPOS and water company have their needs met, and as long as it happens within the next 5 years.

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    I'll go down the Sanborn side and take pics next time I'm out there.

    The water's all fordable but many of the logs are huge.

    I wonder if SJW is taking their time because they can access the lake through Sanborn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    I'll go down the Sanborn side and take pics next time I'm out there.The water's all fordable but many of the logs are huge. I wonder if SJW is taking their time because they can access the lake through Sanborn.
    Thanks.

    Since the LRT coming up from Sanborn Road had a hundred-foot-tall tree which slid down still standing right up in the MIDDLE of the road, it would be interesting to see how they fixed it up.

    I agree that the logs on the JNT going over from the lake to Black Road are huge. But by now the foot and bike traffic must have worn the most likely path, as even when I was there (just a few days after it happened) there were tire treads and footprints to follow as people chose the best way up and over.

    Regarding the SJWC, a funny story came out of a recent set of door knocking I did at the top of Bohlman and Montevina, and at the end of McGill and Sherrys Way, Ambrose, Sheldon, and Overlook Road & Overlook Drive.

    As you might know, I knocked on the doors of the last half dozen houses in all those places, where on Sherrys Way, one of the owners said that the SJWC put a lock on their gate and they told the SJWC to remove that lock and they did.So the assumption is that the SJWC was trying to get to the lake any way they could but they got caught so they apologized and removed their lock.

    A similar thing happened on Sheldon according to the last lady on that offshoot road to the right as you're facing the culdesac on the road. She said she asked the MPOS to enforce the parking so MPOS came down to enforce that rule.

    I knocked on doors at Overlook Road, where the last lady (with the gate) who just recently bought the house said she didn't even realize the road was private until I told her. But at the end of Overlook Drive, almost nobody answered the door knocks so I have to go back some time to ask what is going on there.

    Anyway, the good news is that the lake is open in two legs of the three, where the bad news is that the LRT being opened to truck traffic means that the SJWC has less of a need to fix the JNT to Black Road.When they sell that land to MPOS, then it will be up to MPOS to maintain the path from the lake to Black Road, I would think.

    I don't know of any plans to sell that section to the county parks - but maybe MoePed knows more as he's more up to date on the parks than I am.

  67. #67
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    1. follow the liability & 2. follow the money.
    As of last night at dusk:
    At the north damn road/trail intersection from park side, center of trail on the damn, a bright red sign states trail is hazardous and closed to traffic. At Black Road side, a sign (as reported by others) still says, "Under Construction." In theory if you walk/ride in from Black to the lake, you could be ticketed going back out the very legal way you came in. I doubt this would actually happen, but there still has to be a sign. Why, because parks dept has more liability due to being a public agency, whereas, SJWC probably has less liability and the fact that the burden likely falls on public agency anyways as part of easement. Same goes for being able to comment on next steps for a trail or access, easement etc. The official answer has to be 'no plans', otherwise liability is incurred, e.g., "so and so said this or that," etc. Don't expect a consistent answer and we now learn that even the written signs can get you in trouble.
    Anyway, the slides are all easily passable on foot and 1 or 2 heave-hoes needed for a bike. The good news is JN trail is cleared and in good shape and Sanborn side from lake is completely cleared and open. In short order all but one down tree spot will be rideable on the BR side. However, based on the various slips in the road before the slides, it is hard to imagine how the big equipment will ever get in to fully clear the debris. The slipped road repair is a bigger job than the clearing job.

    Factoid - At the north side of Overlook trail, there is a building that was to be a ranger station (better yet sleeping quarters). The building was bought some 5 years ago, from none other than an owner that had ties to MPOS, if not actually an employee who lived in Santa Cruz. The problem now is the the building was red tagged and not habitable anymore. The purchase price for the shack was $1M and with it came the 100' access road to a beautifully manicured permit parking area. Not only do you need a permit to get the privilege to park there and key to open the last gate, you need a helicopter to drop it in. I wonder how many bits of land are getting purchased with knowledge that MPOS will 'acquiring' a section of land in the near future?
    As someone new in the White House often says, "this is pretty complicated."

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    Obstacle course

    Here are some Black-to-Lake pics from yesterday. Even though some areas look impassible, they are, but you'll need to carry your bike. It'll only cost you an extra 10-15 min or so in total (depending on how much gawking you do). I'd be surprised if they reopen officially by the end of May, since some portions of the trail are gone. Also, noticed A LOT more bugs than usual. P.S. Sorry, looks like the forum auto-rotated the pics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommybees View Post
    a bright red sign states trail is hazardous and closed to traffic. At Black Road side, a sign (as reported by others) still says, "Under Construction."
    I'm not a lawyer and don't play one on TV but that seems that there is enough ambiguity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tommybees View Post
    I wonder how many bits of land are getting purchased with knowledge that MPOS will 'acquiring' a section of land in the near future?
    That's a great factoid! I had spoken to MPOS about the "easement" to drive on Overlook Drive to access the Overlook Trail and they told me they owned a property on the road, which I had assumed was that last house.

    Do you concur that the last house is actually owned by MPOS?
    It looked abandoned when I was there; nobody answered my knock on the door.

    The legal situation there, according to MPOS management, is that they are an owner on the road which means they have the same easement that all the owners on the road have, which is a common one which allows the property owner, their utilities, and their guests access.

    Since the MPOS only allows people to drive on the road who have a "permit", the trick that they use is that they call that permitted person, their "guest". Hence, simply by virtue of them owning property on the road, and by virtue that they (somehow) limit the "burden" on the easement, they are within the law.

    The told me that the burden is only about 30 permits per year, but you'll note, as I think you did, that only vehicles are allowed on that permit. Not equestrians, pedestrians, or cyclists. In addition, you have to access that road by a map that they supposedly give you, since the easement is only for one set of roads, and, of course, there is no corresponding easement on the other side, so, you have to come out the way you came (which you would if you parked a car there).

    Methinks reality is far more than 30 "guest" visits occur; but if the Overlook Drive residents don't complain, I can't see that this is a problem for anyone.

    On the other side of the Overlook Trail, that of Overlook Road, the situation is, as you noted, completely different, in that there is a "license" given to MPOS to keep Sheldon Open (but not any easement on Overlook Road), so again, you need a helicopter drop to be successful.

    On Bohlman, the ownership is slightly different in that MPOS and two private property owners own the dirt part from the last MPOS gate to the paved part of Bohlman, so, for that section, they told me they could easily "perfect" the easement (whatever that means, to them).

    Apparently of the two other owners, both of whom I have spoken to, the last lady is very agreeable, and welcomes cyclists; the penultimate owner not so much.

    Thanks again for the update on the last house on Overlook Drive.
    To clarify ... are you saying that last house is the one that is owned by MPOS?
    (I thought it was but I didn't ask that specific question of them.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by LexBiker View Post
    Here are some Black-to-Lake pics from yesterday.
    Thanks for those wonderful pictures of the lake to Black Road impasses.

    As a public service, here they are (rotated back to normal) for easier viewing.










    Now all we have left to cover is the cleaned up area on the Lake Ranch Trail from the lake to Sanborn Road.

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    Thanks Woodrock, for straightening things out with the photos. Any clues for the future on how to prevent the BB software from auto-rotating like it did?

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    Heading up now to check it all out...
    I'm not sure how this works.

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    I was just there today. Parked on Black Road. Did hike a bike a few times on the fire road. Still has the signage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LexBiker View Post
    Thanks Woodrock, for straightening things out with the photos. Any clues for the future on how to prevent the BB software from auto-rotating like it did?
    I didn't analyze what happened so all I did was reset the EXIF image tags.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Mackenzie View Post
    I was just there today. Parked on Black Road. Did hike a bike a few times on the fire road. Still has the signage.
    If you get a chance, can you snap a photo of what they did on the Lake Ranch Trail down to Sanborn Road so we can see how the SCC partks system cleaned it up?The SJWC will likely use similar methods on the Black Road branch of the JNT.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodrock View Post
    I didn't analyze what happened so all I did was reset the EXIF image tags.If you get a chance, can you snap a photo of what they did on the Lake Ranch Trail down to Sanborn Road so we can see how the SCC partks system cleaned it up?The SJWC will likely use similar methods on the Black Road branch of the JNT.
    I'll try to make it out again next few days and climb up from Sanborn Road. I talked to a group who rode up Lake Ranch Trail and they didn't mention anything weird other than telling me I'll get a ticket for coming in through Black Road.

  76. #76
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    I rode up to the top of JN from LG today. Lake Ranch has an official closed sign on Black Rd and at the lake. At the lake, the sign says penalty of fines. People were still hiking on it and there was no patrol (this time). JN was fun...my first single track since jacking my knee three weeks ago in SC. I've also been hacking up a lung for three weeks too. Today was ****ing awesome.
    I'm not sure how this works.

  77. #77
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    ^Were you the lone mountain biker I saw riding up Black Road?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Mackenzie View Post
    ^Were you the lone mountain biker I saw riding up Black Road?
    You are never alone when you are paranoid.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Mackenzie View Post
    ^Were you the lone mountain biker I saw riding up Black Road?
    I would assume so...but I was riding with Floyd. Pink Floyd.

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
    I'm not sure how this works.

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    @squashyo - bummer!, are you sure the Black Rd entrance said closed? It had the orange, "roadwork ahead" sign for a couple of weeks now..sure hope they have not officially closed it again. There are a lot of users/activity on that end these days and even saw a ranger driving up Black on Thursday at around 8:00pm (heh heh). I am just starting to get back into doing a lunch loop, parking at the Black Rd entrance and ride the road to the upper JN entrance. It would be crushing to loose that again..still carrying the fat from the rainy winter and no other good ride options. On weekends I sometimes do a loop from LG; across 35, back down JN thru Sanborn and out Hwy 9 and so might cross paths some day. It is almost a 3 hr loop door to door for me. The road out of Sanborn is a wicked FAST downhill...need to clock it but guess 50mph is possible.

    @ Woodrock, the Sanborn entrance side is fully cleared with the only remnant being discolored mud across the fire road. Otherwise no notable trees or branches etc. The gate bypass is mudded up so you have to stop and carry over the grating but in general it is as clear as last Fall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Mackenzie View Post
    I'll try to make it out again next few days and climb up from Sanborn Road.
    Thanks. I'd do it myself, as I was riding every single morning at daybreak until my operation so, I'm just convalescing now and living vicariously through you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Mackenzie View Post
    I talked to a group who rode up Lake Ranch Trail and they didn't mention anything weird other than telling me I'll get a ticket for coming in through Black Road.
    Has anyone EVER gotten a "ticket" for being on a closed trail in that area?
    I don't know if you saw my pictures, but when it was completely blocked, I was taking pictures of the park personnel climbing over the debris. They didn't mention a word when they saw me about the trail being closed.

    Of course, that was early on, but still, the only way I could get in from any direction at that time was over trees and past landslides unless a helicopter dropped me at the lake.

    I doubt (but don't have experience) that they would actually ticket anyone.
    I suspect it's more of a liability thing in case you try to sue them for breaking your leg.

    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    I rode up to the top of JN from LG today. Lake Ranch has an official closed sign on Black Rd and at the lake. At the lake, the sign says penalty of fines.
    I looked up trespassing laws. It's pretty complex in California. It's pretty hard to stick if anyone fights it. Of course, who feels like fighting such things, so, I guess it is best to follow the signs.

    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    People were still hiking on it and there was no patrol (this time). JN was fun...my first single track since jacking my knee three weeks ago in SC. I've also been hacking up a lung for three weeks too. Today was ****ing awesome.
    From the pictures posted above, there are complete trails around the impediments, so, plenty of people are hiking/biking it for sure.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tommybees View Post
    @ Woodrock, the Sanborn entrance side is fully cleared with the only remnant being discolored mud across the fire road. Otherwise no notable trees or branches etc. The gate bypass is mudded up so you have to stop and carry over the grating but in general it is as clear as last Fall.
    Thanks. Probably there is nothing to see now that they cleaned it up. I know where the slide was, and I'm sure it's visible, so I'll snap a photo next time I get a chance to be there.

    The picture will close the loop on this thread.
    Thread: Landslide completely closes Los Gatos Lake Ranch Trail Sanborn Park 8am 1/12/2017

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommybees View Post
    @squashyo - bummer!, are you sure the Black Rd entrance said closed? It had the orange, "roadwork ahead" sign for a couple of weeks now..sure hope they have not officially closed it again. There are a lot of users/activity on that end these days and even saw a ranger driving up Black on Thursday at around 8:00pm (heh heh). I am just starting to get back into doing a lunch loop, parking at the Black Rd entrance and ride the road to the upper JN entrance. It would be crushing to loose that again..still carrying the fat from the rainy winter and no other good ride options. On weekends I sometimes do a loop from LG; across 35, back down JN thru Sanborn and out Hwy 9 and so might cross paths some day. It is almost a 3 hr loop door to door for me. The road out of Sanborn is a wicked FAST downhill...need to clock it but guess 50mph is possible.

    @ Woodrock, the Sanborn entrance side is fully cleared with the only remnant being discolored mud across the fire road. Otherwise no notable trees or branches etc. The gate bypass is mudded up so you have to stop and carry over the grating but in general it is as clear as last Fall.
    Yup, the sign I read said, "this b!tch is closed...we will ticket" (I took liberties there). But there were a ton of hikers so you can find out real quick if the coast is clear...not that I condone that.

    The roll down Black is crazy fast too...swoopy too. That road decent from Sanborn is crazy fast. I did it once full boar and got crazy scared thinking about a deer jumping across the road...it would not have ended well and it happened to my buddy on 9...just a side swipe but very close.
    I'm not sure how this works.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommybees View Post
    @squashyo - bummer!, are you sure the Black Rd entrance said closed? It had the orange, "roadwork ahead" sign for a couple of weeks now..sure hope they have not officially closed it again.
    It's marked closed again. Not only did the sign change back to a closure sign but it's chained across one of the two gaps by the gate, and the other gap is blocked off with another sign and caution tape. I don't know why the sign changed to under construction twice now (for a few days each time). Maybe a disagreement between SCCP and SJW. But I'd guess that it's been officially closed all along. If the closed signs are gone on one end you may have an excuse but its still possible that one could be ticketed. It might take a ranger who is in a bad mood and/or being a dick to said ranger but it's a possibility.

    I have heard of people using the PGE trail getting ticketed.

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    I rode up Black and down JNT this morning. Below is some pics of the Lake Ranch road repair (the part below the dam into Sanborn, not the closed part to Black rd).

    Descending JNT and then riding back up is like having the pie first then the brussels sprouts. I like climbing but its just wrong.

    John Nicholas trail status-img_0255.jpgJohn Nicholas trail status-img_0254.jpg
    John Nicholas trail status-img_0253.jpg

    It's not as steep as the last picture shows.
    Dunno why the forum software is auto-rotating it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    Dunno why the forum software is auto-rotating it.
    Rotated to normal ....


    Thanks for snapping those photos, as it looks like they cleaned it up real well. There's no trace it seems, of the landslide, other than the hill is gone at the spot, based on the photos you kindly took.

    Thanks!

    BTW, here is what it looked liked before they cleaned it up.
    That tree sticking up slid down off the hill, still standing, until it stopped in the middle of the trail.

  86. #86
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    Hey...Woodrock is back, where you been? I think you might have missed out on mtb411...you would have liked him even more than Tom-Cat. I think they might have been closely related

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    Rode up and down JN today with some pals. The FR from Black is still "closed" and did not see any nails on the trail as previously noted.

    Buddy got hit be yellow jacket on Skyline trail...a little early for those attacks...great!

    And finally, they gated off the HWY 35 land slide so you can't really go see that anymore. Looks like they are making a ton of progress there.

    later
    I'm not sure how this works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    The FR from Black is still "closed" and did not see any nails on the trail as previously noted.
    There were no barricades at the Black Road entrance this morning.

    The SJWC is fixing the washed out section in the middle between Lake Ranch and Black Road.

    It's still marked closed, but the construction workers just said "travel at your own risk".

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    How far did you go up? I heard that it's cleared at least up to the turn with the small water crossing. That's as far as my source went.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    How far did you go up? I heard that it's cleared at least up to the turn with the small water crossing. That's as far as my source went.
    You can get from the lake to Black Road.

    Here are more photos taken this morning if you're interested.













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    Zero hike-a-bike...still closed but all clear. I gave the road crew a big high five on my way out...they were pretty nice people.
    I'm not sure how this works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    Zero hike-a-bike...still closed but all clear. I gave the road crew a big high five on my way out...they were pretty nice people.
    Thanks for that update.
    Pictures are always nice since they show the progress SJWC is making.

    The signs at each end of the JNT from the lake to the paved road say no vehicles or pedestrians but the workers and park personnel don't seem to be stopping cyclists nor hikers.

    The workers just say "be careful" and "travel at your own risk", which indicates that there's a decent amount of traffic on that path that they're used to seeing.

    I'm not a lawyer, but I think common sense says they're still liable if we get run over by one of their trucks, but the signs put the blame a bit on us too, so it would be up to a court to figure it all out.

    BTW, in the interest of accuracy, here's an update on the trail status diagram, showing that the JNT to Black Road leg is still closed. I have tried to be as accurate as humanly possible in the diagram below, so if you find mistakes, please let me know.

    See also relevant data in this thread:
    El Sereno to JNT/Skyline Route?
    Last edited by woodrock; 06-17-2017 at 01:33 PM.

  93. #93
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    Very excited for this to re-open (officially)!
    -eric-

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  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy View Post
    Very excited for this to re-open (officially)!
    When it opens, there will be a blythe of two-way traffic on fast, blind corners.
    IPA will save America

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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    When it opens, there will be a blythe of two-way traffic on fast, blind corners.
    As far as I can determine there is only one real bad blind/dangerous corner where two downhills meet. Just know it and call out when you get there. As to all the other turns, I find there is fairly good visibility...just know there will maybe be people...if you want speed trails, go to demo or SC or that trail you cherish so.
    I'm not sure how this works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    As far as I can determine there is only one real bad blind/dangerous corner where two downhills meet. Just know it and call out when you get there. As to all the other turns, I find there is fairly good visibility...just know there will maybe be people...if you want speed trails, go to demo or SC or that trail you cherish so.
    It's not me. I haven't been there in a long, long time.

    Descending, I was encountering hikers with sticks. Climbing, there were kinda rad riders descending faster than their vision.
    IPA will save America

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    Trippy...I've been riding there a lot because it's close and pretty good for riding injured. Have yet to have a run in with either rider or hiker...everyone is usually really nice. But some trail conflict is inevitable there perhaps.

    There was this one guy who wouldn't let me pass once but he was not all there upstairs.
    I'm not sure how this works.

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    Rode it today. A couple new trees down on the single track harshin my flow. One you can almost bunnyhop. Workers still on the fire road. Looks like they are putting in a small bridge with steel beams. They will probably be done in a few weeks. Good news is no hikers ascending for a while. At least not on weekdays.
    I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crooked Cop View Post
    Rode it today. A couple new trees down on the single track harshin my flow. One you can almost bunnyhop. Workers still on the fire road. Looks like they are putting in a small bridge with steel beams. They will probably be done in a few weeks. Good news is no hikers ascending for a while. At least not on weekdays.
    Awesome report.
    IPA will save America

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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post

    Descending, I was encountering hikers with sticks. Climbing, there were kinda rad riders descending faster than their vision.
    Do you mean they were waving/threatening you with sticks? Or just hiking with hiking poles? Cause I've ridden JNT a hundred times and I've never seen the former. Hikers there are generally pretty polite; the worst behaviour is just not paying attention or hearing my bike bell when they're blocking the trail.

    Other MTBers are more of a threat, due to descending faster than their skill or sight line actually allows. I take it easy on weekends when there's a lot of people on the trail.

    When the bike park opens people who want to push their limits will hopefully be going there.

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