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  1. #1
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    los gatos trail question

    Hi,

    What is that trail (fireroad looks like) that I see when I come back down to lexington reservoir from the Sierra Azul park? It's on the other side of hwy 17. Seems to be in the lost gatos/saratoga hills... I google mapped it and there is effectively a trail there but can't find the directions to the trail head... do you guys know what I am talking about ??

  2. #2
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    El Sereno

    It sounds like El Sereno Open Space Preserve. It is accessed either by climbing Overlook Drive to Sheldon Road ( the trail head is at the end of Sheldon) or by climbing Montevina Rd. It is a fire road downhill with plenty of berms and a few jumps. It can be fun on a tacky day and challenging on a dry one.. Either way you go you get a nice climb. The Montevina side is a little easier then Kennedy. The Sheldon side may be harder in some respects although the top is easier.

  3. #3
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    The Montevina road climb is tough, long, and gets very hot in the summer. I went through a bottle and a half of water making that climb a few weeks ago. Kennedy road is shady and not too long. Just be careful you don't pass the Sierra Azul trail head on Kennedy, or you will end up at Shannon road and have a healthy climb back up Kennedy to get back to the trail head.

    If you want to do the whole El Sereno/Around Lexington/Sierra Azul thing, I would definitely start by parking on Overlook, biking up to Sheldon, then up to Montevina (I think this is Aquinas Trail), down Montevina road, across Hwy 17, up Priest Rock Trail (Limekiln in closed but still passable), then over to Kennedy trail, down to Kennedy road and back through LG.

  4. #4
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    thanks... and one more question...

    The elSerino maps seems to indicate that there is only 6 miles of trail in that park...
    I guess to make it worth while (20-30 miles ride) I gotta do most of my riding in the Sierra Azul park... but does it connect to some other parks\open space preserves on the saragota side???

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by stef
    The elSerino maps seems to indicate that there is only 6 miles of trail in that park...
    I guess to make it worth while (20-30 miles ride) I gotta do most of my riding in the Sierra Azul park... but does it connect to some other parks\open space preserves on the saragota side???
    If you go to the top of El Sereno and go right (left if you are coming up from Montevina Road) it becomes Bohlman (sp?) Road in Saratoga, this road goes down and connects to Hwy 9. From there you can go lots of places, but you will be on roads for a while..

  6. #6
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    Not Anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by stef
    The elSerino maps seems to indicate that there is only 6 miles of trail in that park...
    I guess to make it worth while (20-30 miles ride) I gotta do most of my riding in the Sierra Azul park... but does it connect to some other parks\open space preserves on the saragota side???
    It could easily connect with Sanborn County Park but it doesn't anymore that I know of. Years ago I was able to ride up Black Rd. and connect to El Sereno. Now there are houses and private property where that fire road used to be.
    The best reason for climbing Montevina or El Sereno is to get a 2000 foot downhill. Probably at least 1200 of that is in the dirt.

  7. #7
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    Hey Stef...here's a good chance to learn the trail:

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  8. #8
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    Would love to do join you guys...

    but the only way I could make it is if we were starting at 6:00 in the morning as I usually work late... perhaps it has something to do with always getting in the office after 10:00am....

  9. #9
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    Cool-blue Rhythm El Sereno

    It's been a long time but I used to ride in the LG/Saratoga area quite often. I've ridden from downtown LG up to Overlook Rd. and a resident got a bit upset about our group of 3 riding on a private road. Does anybody know if Mid-Pen has gotten public access to El Sereno? It may have have been legal all along, and we just encountered a resident that tried to run us off. We were at the gate when the person encountered us, so it was a matter of riding less than 10 feet to enter the preserve. The person also said for us to come in via Montevina next time. I don't recall if I rode up Overlook Rd again after that.

  10. #10
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    ZOMBIE THREAD
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmdrpiffle View Post
    ZOMBIE THREAD
    Right!?
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by terravelo View Post
    It's been a long time but I used to ride in the LG/Saratoga area quite often. I've ridden from downtown LG up to Overlook Rd. and a resident got a bit upset about our group of 3 riding on a private road. Does anybody know if Mid-Pen has gotten public access to El Sereno? It may have have been legal all along, and we just encountered a resident that tried to run us off. We were at the gate when the person encountered us, so it was a matter of riding less than 10 feet to enter the preserve. The person also said for us to come in via Montevina next time. I don't recall if I rode up Overlook Rd again after that.
    I've ridden up from downtown LG a number of times over the past two years and never been hassled.

  13. #13
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    I heard a rumor years ago that Mid-Pen was working on getting access to El Sereno via Overlook Rd.
    I'd like to ride up there again on a cyclo-x bike someday.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by terravelo View Post
    It's been a long time but I used to ride in the LG/Saratoga area quite often. I've ridden from downtown LG up to Overlook Rd. and a resident got a bit upset about our group of 3 riding on a private road. Does anybody know if Mid-Pen has gotten public access to El Sereno? It may have have been legal all along, and we just encountered a resident that tried to run us off. We were at the gate when the person encountered us, so it was a matter of riding less than 10 feet to enter the preserve. The person also said for us to come in via Montevina next time. I don't recall if I rode up Overlook Rd again after that.
    I dont know about midpen, but I believe that road may say "private" on it but it is open to bicyclists. If it was really private, an owner of the road could have called the police and then you could have been arrested and charged with trespass. I doubt that could happen, I guess a stop in at the LG police station and filing a complaint about the citizen would solve things. Get the person's name and tell them you are going to report their behavior to the police.
    "Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated" -- Mark Twain.

  15. #15
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    We lived just above Lexington reservoir on a private road a short while back. We were at the end of the road adjoining over a thousand acres of redwood forest. One of the documents we had to sign was giving right of way for the piece of road we owned to people wanting to get to the forest.

    Maybe there are similar provisions for Overlook and Sheldon?

  16. #16
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    Openspace.org - Your Preserves - El Sereno

    A permit is needed for Overlook. DT

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quasi View Post
    I dont know about midpen, but I believe that road may say "private" on it but it is open to bicyclists. If it was really private, an owner of the road could have called the police and then you could have been arrested and charged with trespass. I doubt that could happen, I guess a stop in at the LG police station and filing a complaint about the citizen would solve things. Get the person's name and tell them you are going to report their behavior to the police.
    Sheldon and overlook(single lane) are both in fact private roads. Sheldon residents have a license agreement with mid Penn so cyclists/hikers can use Sheldon to access the Monte Senero trail head during the hours the trail is open (1/2 hr before and after sunrise/sunset). This is all clearly marked by a sign at the base of Sheldon.

    I ride up there quite often, and have a buddy that lives there. I have never been hassled, in fact, residents have always been cool, but have heard of after hours night riders being hassled and ticketed for trespassing.

    Personally, I would be really pissed if the license agreement was revoked and I couldn't ride up there, so I try to be considerate.

  18. #18
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    Only for parking " a permit is required to park in this lot.". Just ride up from downtown LG. I haven't been hassled in the last 2 years.

  19. #19
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    Road or Trail?

    I think the original poster was talking about the ES02 entrance at the end of Sheldon Road (bottom of Aquinas trail). There is access via Sheldon Road but no parking.It is best to start and end in downtown Los Gatos if you have to drive here.

    There is also an Overlook Trail in El Sereno which may be causing some confusion. There is an entrance to Overlook Trail (ES06) farther up Overlook Road and, once again, no parking. The other end of the trail (ES05) is at the top of Canon Dr. There is a small parking lot there and this is where the parking permit is required. There is a non-county sign on the road that says no bicycles on Canon Drive, but I don't know if it is legal as it is not official and there must be some way for my "vehicle" to access the parking lot even if I don't park.

    I find that my knobby tires sometimes make some noise on the pavement and it can be hard to hear whatever it is that people might be trying to say. I am pretty sure they would be wishing me well and the return of a wave and a smile would be in order.
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  20. #20
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    A friend and I are going to ride up Overlook/Sheldon to the Aquinas Trail and up to the top at Bohlman Rd. Then go back down to the Aquinas trail or maybe Montevina back to LG. I built up a rigid 29er frame/fork into a 'gravel bike'. It has 700c x 35mm tires, and low gears. We rode Johansen Rd in Big Basin to Gazos Creek and on to Hwy1 on our road bikes, so El Sereno should be ok for a gravel bike. I'll do a post on the ride afterward.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by terravelo View Post
    A friend and I are going to ride up Overlook/Sheldon to the Aquinas Trail and up to the top at Bohlman Rd. Then go back down to the Aquinas trail or maybe Montevina back to LG. I built up a rigid 29er frame/fork into a 'gravel bike'. It has 700c x 35mm tires, and low gears. We rode Johansen Rd in Big Basin to Gazos Creek and on to Hwy1 on our road bikes, so El Sereno should be ok for a gravel bike. I'll do a post on the ride afterward.
    Be prepared for some MINDBLOWING fireroads. (the views are pretty nice though)
    I'm not sure how this works.

  22. #22
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    On Saturday 2 of us rode our gravel bikes from downtown LG to Overlook and on up Sheldon to the Aquinas Trail in the El Sereno Open Space. There's definitely some lung buster climbs riding up to the top (at Bohlman Rd, particularly since neither of us had a granny gear. It was incredibly foggy and cold with visability perhaps 25 feet, so we weren't able to enjoy the beautiful views from most any spot in the trail system. When we arrived at the Aqinas trailhead there was a sign declaring that Sheldon Rd was open to hikers and cyclists through a negotiation with the Sheldon Rd residents. The sign asked users to be respectful to the residents. I'd ride my gravel bike here again and ride down the Serenity Trail and back up to Bohlman. I also would like to ride the trail on Sherry Rd over to the reservoir off of Black Rd. I asked a Montevina Rd resident if it was ok to ride Sherry Rd and they replied "yes". We might try it from Black Rd however, that way if a Sherry Rd resident begins to harangue us we can turn around and head back to Black Rd. If anyone has ridden Sherry Rd leave a post of your experience. Thanks

  23. #23
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    If you rode all the trails in El Sereno O.S. plus Sherry Rd to the reservoir and down Black rd to Lexington Reservoir and rode St Joseph's Hill and down Jones Trail to LG, that could be a decent ride.
    Or you could include The Overgrown Trail on up to the top Of Sierra Azul and down Kennedy would also be good.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by terravelo View Post
    I asked a Montevina Rd resident if it was ok to ride Sherry Rd and they replied "yes". We might try it from Black Rd however, that way if a Sherry Rd resident begins to harangue us we can turn around and head back to Black Rd. If anyone has ridden Sherry Rd leave a post of your experience. Thanks
    The entire stretch from Montevina Road to within sight of Lake Ranch Reservoir is private property. I was told by a home owner on Sherrys Way to turn back but I blew him off and he must have called the Sheriff because two of them were waiting for me at the bottom near where the Y shape connector hits the John Nicholas trail that goes along the southern end of Lake Ranch. The sheriff says I violated California Penal Code 602L and it took a while for my wife to get there with my license ID. While we were waiting, a Sanborn County Park ranger came up and he told me that there are a dozen private properties that I crossed, including those on the paved part of the Sherrys Way road and on the PG&E trail. It's totally off limits to the public.

  25. #25
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    Dang! Misdemeanor... Did they throw the book at you or give you a warning? Thanks for the update and sorry to hear.

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    I'm not sure how this works.

  26. #26
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    It's interesting that this route has been getting heavy interest for 10 years now and nothing's changed. Looked on the assessor's map and if you count Sherrys Way there are indeed 12 private parcels of land. Access road crosses 23 property lines as it weaves around.

    Sanborn and El Sereno touch in a couple of places; I wonder why the County/Midpen haven't built a connector trail there? (Oh---that's right; Midpen's involved!)

    It's not just bikers causing property owners grief; I'm pretty sure dope growers have also used the PG&E road.
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  27. #27
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    Until you have determined the status of these private roads and your potential right to use them please refrain from posting maps and what appears to be illegal activity on the forum. We appreciate your eagerness to help the community, however. Thanks.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    This sounds correct. Your "castle" house is like 5 houses too far up the road.
    Thanks for helping me figure out the confusion. I think I now understand where I missed it. It's just after the smooth but very steep paved part that looks completely out of place with everything before and after it having come up from Ambrose where it was all dirt and ramshackle (trailers, old cars, all sorts of junkyards and debris and then, wham! The nicely paved road and beautiful home!).

    So, my "landmark" will be that when the road changes completely, pretty much at the second "nice" house, immediately start to look to the right for a path down to the PG&E service road.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    RE Strava heatmap just about nobody approaches this trail from the Ambrose end; they're all coming in from the top. (Bohlman Rd side)
    Thanks for explaining the enigma why Ambrose only had a short spur at Sanborn and another short spur at McGill, but nothing in between.

    Since I don't do GPS, can you explain how the Strava heat maps are created? Does everyone log into a web site and constantly upload their coordinates with a magic app? Or do they upload their tracks after the fact?

    The reason I ask is that those two short spurs at the bottom and top of Ambrose look like people "explored" and then turned back, which would support a theory that Strava is real time, but there's really no need to be real time since you can upload tracks after the fact so that's why I ask.

    How does Strava work?
    Is Strava real time, or after the fact?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    FWIW usually MTBR deletes threads like this when they get too descriptive of potentially illegal bike routes.
    Uh oh. It would be a shame to lose all this good data since anyone wanting to know more about these areas would be enlightened by all the good information we uncovered.

    Maybe I'll open a separate thread, one for each of these separate routes, to flesh out their facts. The fleshing would just be facts and pictures. Nothing more. Would they still delete a thread that just had facts and pictures of what "is"?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodrock View Post

    Maybe I'll open a separate thread, one for each of these separate routes, to flesh out their facts. The fleshing would just be facts and pictures. Nothing more. Would they still delete a thread that just had facts and pictures of what "is"?
    If it appears you are pushing legal rights and being a nuisance to land owners then yes, the threads will get deleted. Your efforts are more likely to harm the biking community than to help it.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCWages View Post
    If it appears you are pushing legal rights and being a nuisance to land owners then yes, the threads will get deleted. Your efforts are more likely to harm the biking community than to help it.
    And there you have it!

    In regards to Strava; the Stravalabs heatmaps have a lag time built in---I suspect it's weeks or months. The way the data gets to heatmaps is that it must be a ride/run submitted as "public" at "regular" Strava.

    "Regular" Strava is a treasure trove of information also; there some activities are indeed real time depending on the app/device the user is using. When I use Strava I upload the activity later and will class it as either public or private depending. I mostly keep the data as odometers for my bikes.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    And there you have it!
    LOL. I didn't realize we were skating on thin ice, so I will be extremely careful moving forward because a LOT of our combined effort was just blasted away, lost forever, including all your efforts at finding out the truth that the parcel maps and Greg Bringelson (SCC Trails Coordinator) clearly confirmed.

    It really hurts to lose all that effort, especially since we painstakingly confirmed a LOT of good information from the proposed trail plans, the property maps, the PG&E calls, the Sanborn Park calls, the Google Map directions, the trails-coordinator calls, the County Parks calls, the Google Maps, the Strava heatmaps, and from the photos - all of which we didn't know when we started.

    It's disappointing and demoralizing that, together, we ironed out the facts, and they were instantly obliterated just like the Ranch Lake Trail was obliterated by that mudslide.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    In regards to Strava; the Stravalabs heatmaps have a lag time built in---I suspect it's weeks or months. The way the data gets to heatmaps is that it must be a ride/run submitted as "public" at "regular" Strava.
    Thank you for those details as I don't do GPS tracking but I'm a scientist and engineer so I'm completely familiar with GPX or KML/KMZ tracks.

    What I think you're saying is that there are two Straval levels, regular and something better than regular, where someone who is in the lower level of regular can manually submit their tracks (probably via an app but I am just guessing that they use a specific Strava app because that's how I'd design it if I were Strava).

    Those manually submitted tracks which are marked as public (probably by the person submitting them) show up on a combined heat map at some point well past the date of the actual track.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    "Regular" Strava is a treasure trove of information also; there some activities are indeed real time depending on the app/device the user is using. When I use Strava I upload the activity later and will class it as either public or private depending. I mostly keep the data as odometers for my bikes.
    Thank you again where I certainly appreciate your help and I understand that neither you nor I have any obligation to help with finding out the facts here. But it's disconcerting (to say the least) that when we did find out the facts over the course of a dozen posts and something like a few dozen photos, all those facts were obliterated in an instant, just as the Ranch Lake Trail was obliterated in an instant.

    Sigh.

    Being a well-educated person (and not just some kid), I still feel there is a place on this forum for our well-researched facts, so I hope the moderators allow us to post the facts, which we have already confirmed but which many people who haven't done the research wouldn't know.

    I do not think it hurts the cycling community to know the facts.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCWages View Post
    If it appears you are pushing legal rights and being a nuisance to land owners then yes, the threads will get deleted. Your efforts are more likely to harm the biking community than to help it.
    This is a forum which you are entrusted to moderate as you see fit, so I will not argue with you other than I will state that I feel facts don't hurt the cycling community but help the cycling community make better decisions.

    To that end, I state the following facts which had something like a half dozen phone calls to government officials, perhaps a dozen posts and likely twice as many photos and PDFs backing them up, which I only summarize below for the trails in Los Gatos and Saratoga which this thread had been discussing before the posts were deleted.

    1. The John Nicholas trail from Lake Ranch to Black Road is open to cyclists, equestrians, and hikers; but it was closed to all earlier this week due to a washout in one of the canyon curves

    2. The new John Nicholas trail from Skyline to Lake Ranch is open to cyclists, equestrians, and hikers.

    3. The Ambrose/McGill to Bohlman route except perhaps at the very bottom where the road weaves in and out of park property, is almost completely off limits to the public, with multiple gates, one of which, about in the middle, is permanently locked.

    4. The McGill to PG&E cutoff is in private property at the top where McGill and the cutoff meet. At the bottom at the large transmission line pole, it's park property, which is clearly marked by the park as open only to hikers and not to dogs, horses, or cyclists.

    5. The PG&E service road within the park has three signs showing that the section of the service road that is on park property is only open to hikers but not to dogs, horses, or cyclists. The park property boundary is clearly marked at a padlocked gate, where one side says entering park boundary while the other side says leaving park boundary.

    Since this park boundary is so critical for our discussion, we should note that on the same poles that have the park signs, there are also "no trespassing" and "keep out" signs on the side looking toward the private property which Greg Bringelson (SCC Trails Coordinator) confirmed are not in error.

    6. The PG&E service road outside the park is signed by a few dozen signs saying "private property" and "keep out" and "no trespassing" for the entire length that it travels through exactly one dozen private property parcels.

    7. The Sherry's Way road (i.e., the pavement at the top) is completely in private property, with two gates, one of which is permanently locked, and multiple "private road", "no trespassing", "keep out", and "private property" signs at both ends of this paved road.

    8. The Lake Ranch Trail from Sanborn Road to Lake Ranch is currently obliterated about half way from the road and the lake; therefore it is closed to the public (but is normally open to cyclists and hikers but not equestrians).

    Those are the facts we painstakingly determined in the course of investigating many leads as described previously in this thread.

    Facts such as these should not hurt the cycling community; they should help cyclists be informed responsible members of the overall community.

  33. #33
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    I mistakenly thought I could pm you some information and have you be discrete and you are anything but. Understanding that talk of heat maps, illegal trail usage etc........never mind. I think you are well meaning but you just don't understand the culture.
    I'm the problem....

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbrdan View Post
    I mistakenly thought I could pm you some information and have you be discrete and you are anything but. Understanding that talk of heat maps, illegal trail usage etc........never mind. I think you are well meaning but you just don't understand the culture.
    My mistake.
    It seems that you must be right because even the moderator deleted all the research, photos, maps, PDFs, URLs, etc., that we had posted to help get the questions answered.

    As you inferred, I must not understand how things work here, as I was just trying to figure out the facts involved.

    I'll try to summarize the lost facts, in the hopes that they are useful to others who haven't done all the research we've done.
    Last edited by woodrock; 01-16-2017 at 12:40 PM.

  35. #35
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    Don't feel bad for me, my contributions were maybe a max of a half hour of Internet searching; the subject matter about this area has all been covered before. It helps that I grew up in the Los Gatos area so I have familiarity/connections from long ago.

    You may recall that I posted links, not actual maps or photos. We can have a fairly in-depth discussion about access matters but discretion is important when identifying route specifics.

    Yes we can share via PM and that should have been a signal that confidentiality is a must. Now you know.
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  36. #36
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    I'll add that using screen grabs from sources like Google Earth, Strava and etc is usually a violation of their copyright policies. The fine print usually has the specifics; sometimes they will grant permission but one needs to ask first. If a source provides embedable links then usually that's a go-ahead.

    Of course maps and documents like from park departments are in the public domain so they're usually fair game for redistribution.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    I'll add that using screen grabs from sources like Google Earth, Strava and etc is usually a violation of their copyright policies. The fine print usually has the specifics; sometimes they will grant permission but one needs to ask first. If a source provides embedable links then usually that's a go-ahead.

    Of course maps and documents like from park departments are in the public domain so they're usually fair game for redistribution.
    What is a "copyright policy"?

    If you are trying to explain why a use might be a violation of Copyright Law, a laudable goal by the way, you could be even more helpful and try to explain why such a use wouldnt be protected under the principles of "fair use".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quasi View Post
    What is a "copyright policy"?

    If you are trying to explain why a use might be a violation of Copyright Law, a laudable goal by the way, you could be even more helpful and try to explain why such a use wouldnt be protected under the principles of "fair use".
    Since you seem to be well-versed why not you do it?

    In the meanwhile folks can read what Google has to say about their "fair use" policy here google.com/permissions/geoguidelines
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    Don't feel bad for me, my contributions were maybe a max of a half hour of Internet searching
    I'm surprised you uncovered that much in so little time as I had spent hours, as I'm a scientist and engineer, so I document everything I do to the level that my words stand for facts, and not hearsay.

    Wasn't it you who spoke to Greg Bringelson (SCC Trails Program Coordinator) for example? He confirmed what the signs said all along, for example.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    the subject matter about this area has all been covered before.
    I'll search for those threads as this thread was about the affected Los Gatos Trails, but others could benefit from the information all of us unearthed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    It helps that I grew up in the Los Gatos area so I have familiarity/connections from long ago.
    I would love to know what the history of this area is, with respect to the trails before and after the park came into being, and the open space, and even those transmission lines which seem to date to around the sixties as far as I can tell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    You may recall that I posted links, not actual maps or photos.
    Well, I remember clicking on EVERYTHING that was suggested, as each piece of data solves the puzzle. I think it's pretty clear now what the factual status is, which is simply that, at the moment, there is only a single trail that is open to cyclists that touches Lake Ranch.

    1. From Lake Ranch to Skyline is open (AFAIK).
    2. From Lake Ranch to Sanborn Road is definitely obliterated by a massive landslide (so it's closed)
    3. From Lake Ranch to Black Road has been washed out (I'm told) & is also closed.
    4. From Lake Ranch to PG&E Service Road to McGill Road to Bohlman Road is permanently closed to cyclists, dogs, and equestrians within the park and recently closed to the public outside the park
    5. From Lake Ranch to PG&E Service Road to Sherry's Way to Montevina Road is permanently closed to cyclists, dogs, and equestrians within the park and permanently closed to the public outside the park

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    We can have a fairly in-depth discussion about access matters but discretion is important when identifying route specifics.
    I think we had a decently in-depth discussion about access matters, so, I don't think there is any question whatsoever, at least not about any of the trails that touch Lake Ranch.

    There is currently only one viable option for the John Nicholas trail, which is the track from Skyline to Lake Ranch and back to Skyline. No other track is open to cyclists at the moment, although normally the track from Lake Ranch to Sanborn Road is open as is the track from Lake Ranch to Black Road.

    I suspect the Black Road access will be resolved quicker than will be the Sanborn Road access, simply due to the topography of the area (as I haven't seen the Black Road washout). Tomorrow I hope to ride there, so if I do, I'll snap some photos of the issue so that everyone can benefit from the effort.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    I'll add that using screen grabs from sources like Google Earth, Strava and etc is usually a violation of their copyright policies.
    If that's true, maybe that's why the mods removed all my screen grabs?
    Anyway, it doesn't really matter why the mods removed all that hard earned effort as it's gone, so we now have to start fresh to back up all that which we have found out over the past week.

    If screen grabs aren't allowed by the mods, I'm sure my own photos are allowed, so, here are some photos of interest to all with respect to the Los Gatos trails-access question.

    At the top of Bohlman Road and/or Montevina Road, the trails are marked available to cyclists, hikers, and equestrians, but not dogs.


    At the end of Sanborn Road at the Lake Ranch Trail trailhead, the signs show access to cyclists, hikers, equestrians, and dogs.


    At the junction of the John Nicholas Trail and the PG&E Service Road, the signs show access within the park to hikers, but not to cyclists, equestrians, or dogs.




    At the locked-gate junction of the Sanborn Park boundary with the PG&E Service Road, the signs show access within the park to hikers, but not to cyclists, equestrians, or dogs, and access denied to the public outside the park boundary.






    At the locked-gate junction of the PG&E Service Road and the Sherry's Way private road, the signs show access denied to the public.



    At the Sanborn Road entrance to Ambrose Road to McGill Road to Bohlman Road are signs that show no access to the public on the two dirt "roads" in the area.



    Near the junction of McGill Road and the PG&E Cutoff at the top near Bohlman Road, the signs show no access to cyclists or hikers without permission.



    Temporarily, the access from Lake Ranch to Black Road seems to be out "above the reservoir", apparently due to a washout in the earlier part of this week:


    Temporarily, the access from Lake Ranch to Sanborn Road seems to be out "below the reservoir", due to a huge landslide that occurred later in the week.

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    I am not now qualified, nor do I have time to research Intellectual Property law right now. I am an attorney, but in a very different area of law and I dont give advice in areas of law I am not familiar with. I know that such advice would be lacking. But I did learn enough in law school to know that a little knowledge can get you into a lot of trouble.

    It seems like half the people here in Silicon Valley think they are experts on all aspects of IP and it always rubs me the wrong way. After law school, before passing the bar, I worked at a patent firm just doing menial work. We made lots of copies (mountains of copies) which were used as exhibits attached to patent applications mailed to the PTO daily (this is before the internet). Some of these copies were from magazine articles or newspaper articles, or dissertations.... Anyway, you get my drift--this is a for-profit law firm using copyrighted materials without permission. And when I asked one of the many patent attorneys if this was allowed, he said it was under "fair use". There, you have all my experience with the concept of "fair use". Hope that helps, sorry I cant give you much more than an anecdote.
    "Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated" -- Mark Twain.

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    Mr. Woodrock. As has been previously mentioned, you've had a busy first week! I'm not sure what your goal is at this juncture, but you seem to be beating a dead horse to the point where dental records will be needed to identify it.

    How about a picture of your bike! I'm sure you could write some amazing ride reports if you focused more on pedaling and less on legality. You must ride the Gap and Stevens Canyon, right? Show us some new dirt!
    Last edited by dirtvert; 01-16-2017 at 10:37 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    Mr. Woodrock. As has been previously mentioned, you've had a busy first week! I'm not sure what your goal is at this juncture, but you seem to be beating a dead horse to the point where dental records will be needed to identify it.
    Given your completely off topic questions, I have to wonder how old you are because you seem to not recognize the simple fact that it's not my first week of riding, which you equate to my first week of simply being on this web site.

    That you don't appear to comprehend the difference is astounding, so you must realize that I ponder your off-topic personal questions with some wonderment.

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    How about a picture of your bike!
    I've already been asked where I vacation, and where I live, so, I guess I shouldn't be surprised to be asked by you for a photo of my bike. As I answered in one of the deleted articles, it's a Specialized Rock Hopper, which, just for you ... I stepped out of my comfort level of my own personal privacy ... to snap a photo of it hanging up in my garage next to my wife's ride.


    You should thank me, because, as a complementary added bonus, you now also have a photo of what my wife rides, although she rarely rides with me as I never follow a plan and therefore, I am strictly a solo rider.

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    I'm sure you could write some amazing ride reports if you focused more on pedaling and less on legality. You must ride the Gap and Stevens Canyon, right? Show us some new dirt!
    What I find perplexing, as both a degreed engineer and scientist, is that you don't attack my facts ... but you attempt to attack my personal integrity. I find your personal questions disturbing, but I will not fall to your level (mainly because you have more experience and will eventually drag me into the dirt along with you).

    I assume you're just a young kid, so my advice for you is to stick to the facts of what I say, and not to try to attack my character. My character is not the issue here.

    The issue is simply Los Gatos Rides.

  43. #43
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    Thanks for the picture--it's interesting! But I meant a picture of it in action (minus the bird nest). It does tell us a LOT about you...

    I'm really just trying to help you fit in here. Posting ride reports (with an emphasis on fun, action, etc.) is part of that. Most (all?) of us here already know what's legal and what's not. Happy trails.

    Also, thanks for the compliment about my age. You made me blush...

    I'm sure that anyone that rides in that area that had questions regarding legality has figured it out in the FOUR YEARS that have passed since this thread last saw action. But your rigorous CSI work is to be commended.



    VV I don't count fireroad pictures that illustrate your obsession with closed trails--ad nauseum--as a ride report, but to each their own.
    Last edited by dirtvert; 01-16-2017 at 05:35 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    Thanks for the picture--it's interesting! But I meant a picture of it in action.
    I can plainly infer from your implications that you continue to assail my character, instead of the facts of the trails, which was, and is, the topic in this thread.

    If you wish to open a separate thread purely to impugn my character, I can't stop you, but I will call you out for what you are attempting to do here, as your approach is patently childish and completely off topic to the question of "Los Gatos Trails".

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    I'm really just trying to help you fit in here.
    Um. Yeah. Right.
    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    Posting ride reports (with an emphasis on fun, action, etc.) is part of that.
    Surprisingly, you seem to have completely missed my rather detailed "ride reports" on a variety of Los Gatos Trails in the past week (e.g., Los Gatos Creek, St Joseph's, Lexington, Ambrose, McGill, PG&E, Bohlman, Montevina, El Sereno, Aquinas, Sheldon, Juan Bautista de Anza, Lake Ranch, etc.).

    In fact, it was the explicitness of those ride reports where I was told that they were, indeed, far too explicit, for the comfort level of the mods of this forum, so some were, en masse, simply deleted.

    Yet, the fact is that just one of my "ride reports" was the very first post on this forum to warn other cyclists about the landslide earlier this week that obliterated the Lake Ranch Trail.

    Surely you can't ask for more than a first-hand account of the very first person known to be at a trail obliteration (the boulders were still moving downhill!) where an unsuspecting cyclist could easily be killed, and more likely, completely stranded on the wrong side of the mountain, as it were.



    I even fleshed out a thread by the venerable founder of this web site, fc himself, by standing at the head of the Los Gatos Creek to show exactly the moment when the overflow began earlier in the week because I was keeping tabs on the trail myself.




    In fact, I was keeping tabs on the trail myself, as you can see from this picture which I posted to that thread, showing the trail was still open above the reservoir, but the water was unusually close to flooding the trail.


    So, I guess in keeping with your apparent youthful lack of scope, you seem to have a complete and utter incomprehension of the detailed trip reports which I have been supplying in just the past week, so as to warn other cyclists of impending trail circumstances.

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    Most of us here already know what's legal and what's not. Happy trails.
    Your stated facts are completely at odds with the statements that were made in this thread about which rides on the Los Gatos Trails were legitimate.

    The question of legitimacy came up multiple times in this thread, long before I arrived, and some were answered correctly, while others were completely incorrect.

    Therefore, as seems to be continually the case with your errant posts above, the actual facts certainly trumpet your opinions so much that the actual facts belie virtually everything you say.
    Last edited by woodrock; 01-16-2017 at 02:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodrock View Post
    Given your completely off topic questions, I have to wonder how old you are because you seem to not recognize the simple fact that it's not my first week of riding, which you equate to my first week of simply being on this web site.

    That you don't appear to comprehend the difference is astounding, so you must realize that I ponder your off-topic personal questions with some wonderment.


    I've already been asked where I vacation, and where I live, so, I guess I shouldn't be surprised to be asked by you for a photo of my bike. As I answered in one of the deleted articles, it's a Specialized Rock Hopper, which, just for you ... I stepped out of my comfort level of my own personal privacy ... to snap a photo of it hanging up in my garage next to my wife's ride.


    This picture raises so many questions....
    I'm the problem....

  46. #46
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    I'm pretty sure woodrock's science/engineering specialty is time travel and he entered his time coordinates wrong last week.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    I'm pretty sure woodrock's science/engineering specialty is ...
    I'm not sure about that but nonetheless, I'm with you on the copyright posts above, where that person saying you violated "fair use" certainly interprets US copyright law differently than any other reasonable and intelligent person likely would.

    Fair use, IMHO, easily applies completely to the things we posted, most of which were from government agencies, and the rest of which were annotated screenshots where no attempt was made to pawn them off as our own work nor to participate in the same business as those companies nor to sell those images for profit, etc..

    But I'm not a lawyer so in looking up fair use of Google Maps screenshots for posting to this forum, I find these basics:


    This quick research shows that courts evaluate fair use claims on a case-by-case basis, so all we can summarize accurately is that the key factors for fair use are:
    1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
    2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
    3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
    4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.


    Since this isn't the first time the fair-use question has come up, Google has a landing page for non-commercial use of screenshots written by their lawyers in street-view language that even the poster who claimed it was copyright infringement can (probably) understand.


    Skimming that article, it seems pretty much Google has two requirements:
    1. Don't hide the fact it's from Google, and,
    2. Don't break the Google Maps/Earth TOS


    Interestingly, Google says that the fact it's from Google is already "baked in" (yup, their words) if it's a screenshot; so the first requirement is met automatically.

    In addition, you're allowed to alter the screenshots as long as they wouldn't look significantly different if the original map were to be viewed online and compared (almost certainly meaning you're trying to avoid the baked-in attribution magic).

    Skimming the second requirement, which is Google's terms-of-service, it's clear that Google explicitly allows screenshots, annotated or otherwise for "public display online".

    So anyone who thinks that either of our displays of Google Maps/Earth screenshots are a violation of fair use probably has almost no concept of copyright law since any intelligent and reasonable person can easily determine that posting a few annotated screenshots here would most likely be considered well within fair use when observed by any normally reasonable and intelligent person.

    Here is a more detailed analysis on this very topic, by a non-Google source:


    As for the Strava Labs Maps, they're provided under both Mapbox and OSM agreements apparently. where their lawyers haven't done as good a job as Google has in outlining their thoughts on fair use of screenshots:




    Skimming those articles, any reasonable and intelligent person should be able to easily verify that Strava explicitly prohibits certain uses, none of which seem to apply to posting an annotated screenshot of a strava labs heat map.

  48. #48
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    I'm glad you can tolerate the humor regarding your bikes; there's a certain honor in riding "old school" that's sniffed at by those that can not be seen on a bike that's more than a year old. I've got several older bikes hanging in my garage too, including 3 Schwinns and a couple of Rockhoppers. (And a Hardrock and a Stumpjumper and a...)

    Actually I think the quasi-lawyer complainer was saying that I wasn't accounting for fair use in my original post on the copyright topic. I was merely suggesting that the rules be read (which you just reported on rather thoroughly) and folks can proceed at their own comfort level.

    By "baked-in" I'm not sure if they're saying they have an encrypted watermark (which I doubt) or just that if you do a full-frame grab (or just save to jpeg) you'll have all the necessary attribution showing across the bottom.. And it's not just "Google", it's the trademarks of the imagery suppliers that also need to be showing.

    Which brings up another matter which is that the miserly width MTBR allows for images does not allow the attribution to be clearly read so now we're back to square one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    I'm glad you can tolerate the humor regarding your bikes;
    Is that what you got from that?
    I'm the problem....

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    I meant a picture of it in action (minus the bird nest).
    Whoosh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    I meant a picture of it in action (minus the bird nest).
    Whoosh.
    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    It does tell us a LOT about you...
    I posted that specific picture, directly in response to your off-topic personal question, for a reason.
    Quote Originally Posted by mtbrdan View Post
    This picture raises so many questions....
    Double whoosh!
    Quote Originally Posted by mtbrdan View Post
    Is that what you got from that?
    Triple whoosh!
    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    I'm glad you can tolerate the humor regarding your bikes; there's a certain honor in riding "old school" that's sniffed at by those that can not be seen on a bike that's more than a year old. I've got several older bikes hanging in my garage too, including 3 Schwinns and a couple of Rockhoppers. (And a Hardrock and a Stumpjumper and a...)
    What I like about you is that you're intelligent enough to understand exactly why I posted that specific photo in response for the uncalled-for completely off-topic personal question (which was not meant to "help me fit in" despite any false protestations by the inquirer to the contrary).

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    Actually I think the quasi-lawyer complainer was saying that I wasn't accounting for fair use in my original post on the copyright topic. I was merely suggesting that the rules be read (which you just reported on rather thoroughly) and folks can proceed at their own comfort level.
    Thank you for clarifying. This text-only medium is subject to misunderstanding, so, if I misunderstood the lawyer's response, I apologize. Nonetheless, your response and that of mine seem to be what a reasonable and intelligent person would conclude, so, I'll drop the matter unless someone reasonable and intelligent makes a reasonable argument that we violated copyright law.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    By "baked-in" I'm not sure if they're saying they have an encrypted watermark (which I doubt) or just that if you do a full-frame grab (or just save to jpeg) you'll have all the necessary attribution showing across the bottom.. And it's not just "Google", it's the trademarks of the imagery suppliers that also need to be showing.
    Obviously the Google lawyers wrote those words in layman's terms, so, if we put on our layman hat, it seems to me what they mean is that they do a bunch of things which make it easy for them to ascertain that the images are theirs. Notice they said you can't "significantly alter them" such that they don't look like they didn't come from Google, so, I suspect they have something like a score of "watermarking" techniques, from the fonts used, to the colors, to specific barely visible imperfections to whatever their (admittedly intelligent) engineers can come up with.

    Suffice to say that one interpretation is simply that a screenshot of a Google Map can be traced back to Google by a variety of means which they know, and therefore, they aren't worried that you specifically attribute the map to them.

    The simplest summary I can give you from skimming that article is that they know their maps when they see them, so they're not worried if you don't attribute the source explicitly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    Which brings up another matter which is that the miserly width MTBR allows for images does not allow the attribution to be clearly read so now we're back to square one.
    I think the attribution to Google & Strava (which uses OSM maps among others) is pretty clear from a simple screenshot (annotated or otherwise).

    However, I looked back at my previous post to which you're responding, where I realized one of the screenshots is hard to read due to the browser width at the time I took the screenshot.

    Mea culpa.

    As a matter of practice, I have been shrinking all my screenshots and photos to 800 pixels wide, which, for forum photos, seems appropriate. After reading your post, only belatedly do I recognize that the Strava fair-use screenshot above was too difficult to read.

    I could fix that, but I also provided the link so I won't.
    I hope you allow me to plead nolo contendere on that faux pas.

    But, let's get back on topic for the Los Gatos Trails questions which surfaced in this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Portola Vince View Post
    It could easily connect with Sanborn County Park but it doesn't anymore that I know of. Years ago I was able to ride up Black Rd. and connect to El Sereno. Now there are houses and private property where that fire road used to be.
    That early poster seems to have the best handle on the history of the trails that the original poster seems to have noted about the Los Gatos Trails from the Soda Springs side of Sierra Azul. If he is still around, it would be useful to ask him a few questions about the local trail history, since Sanborn only recently purchased their land and even PG&E only dates to somewhere around the sixties, AFAICT.

    Quote Originally Posted by terravelo View Post
    It's been a long time but I used to ride in the LG/Saratoga area quite often. I've ridden from downtown LG up to Overlook Rd. and a resident got a bit upset about our group of 3 riding on a private road. Does anybody know if Mid-Pen has gotten public access to El Sereno? It may have have been legal all along, and we just encountered a resident that tried to run us off. We were at the gate when the person encountered us, so it was a matter of riding less than 10 feet to enter the preserve. The person also said for us to come in via Montevina next time. I don't recall if I rode up Overlook Rd again after that.
    One item of confusion whenever someone mentions "Overlook" is that there is an Overlook Drive and an Overlook Road, and, as I recall from riding in that area, there is even an Overlook Trail.

    So I would suggest that, in this thread specifically about Los Gatos Trails visible from the Sierra Azul, that we all try to explicitly note which particular "overlook" we are explaining.

    I plan on a ride next week in that area so I'll see if I can snap a photo of all three "overlook entities" to help clarify this Los Gatos Trails issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by stef View Post
    The elSerino maps seems to indicate that there is only 6 miles of trail in that park...
    I guess to make it worth while (20-30 miles ride) I gotta do most of my riding in the Sierra Azul park... but does it connect to some other parks\open space preserves on the saragota side???
    I think we still need to flesh out the answer to this question, for the trails that I haven't recently been on, so that we can help everyone find all the legitimate El Sereno trails.

    For example, when I was recently riding up the Aquinas Trail from the open space trailhead at the Sheldon Cul-de-sac, to the east about half way to the trailhead at Bohlman I saw a spur down a steep rather wide trail that is marked closed. Next time I do the Aquinas Trail, I should ride there to see what I can provide by way of a short trip report so as to save others the effort of what's there, as I haven't been down that spur yet myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quasi View Post
    If you go to the top of El Sereno and go right (left if you are coming up from Montevina Road) it becomes Bohlman (sp?) Road in Saratoga, this road goes down and connects to Hwy 9. From there you can go lots of places, but you will be on roads for a while..
    As far as I know, this is one of the rare posters in this thread who is completely correct in what he says is a legitimate ride. Once you're on the Aquinas trail, you have only three options that I know of, which are Montevina Rd. to Lexington Res., or Bohlman Rd. to Highway 9, or back the way you came from Sheldon Rd. to the towns of Los Gatos and Saratoga. Fact is, from the connector trail between the Montevina and Bohlman trailheads, there is no direct publicly accessible connection to Lake Ranch, Black Rd., or Sanborn Rd.

    Quote Originally Posted by terravelo View Post
    I heard a rumor years ago that Mid-Pen was working on getting access to El Sereno via Overlook Rd.
    I'd like to ride up there again on a cyclo-x bike someday.
    This is perhaps the best question so far unfleshed out.

    Looking at Google Maps just now, I see an Overlook Road connection to the Overlook Trail which connects to the Loma Vista Trail which seems to be that connector I saw when I was on the Aquinas Trail.

    I have never been on that stretch of Los Gatos/Saratoga trails.
    Can someone flesh out the current status of that particular trail for us all?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quasi View Post
    I dont know about midpen, but I believe that road may say "private" on it but it is open to bicyclists. If it was really private, an owner of the road could have called the police and then you could have been arrested and charged with trespass. I doubt that could happen, I guess a stop in at the LG police station and filing a complaint about the citizen would solve things. Get the person's name and tell them you are going to report their behavior to the police.
    If the cops are involved, I'm pretty sure the cops would know whether the road is private or not.

    The county assessor's maps don't necessarily show whether a road on a private property is private or not, but the GIS maps for Santa Clara County, as someone earlier noted (probably in the posts deleted by the moderator) definitely show whether the road is private or not.

    So it's not like figuring out whether a road is private is at all a difficult thing for us to look up after the fact.

    Quote Originally Posted by gregk2001 View Post
    We lived just above Lexington reservoir on a private road a short while back. We were at the end of the road adjoining over a thousand acres of redwood forest. One of the documents we had to sign was giving right of way for the piece of road we owned to people wanting to get to the forest.
    I won't profess to be a lawyer like some people in this thread claimed, so I looked up just now what a Right of Way (ROW) means, where I found the most common question seems to be:

    Skimming a variety of articles, looking up whether there is an easement gets complicated quickly (e.g., easement in gross versus easement appurtenant), so I'll just summarize from my skimming that a ROW is simply one type of an easement specifically for "travel" purposes.

    It turns out, from my quick read of the myriad articles that popped up in my search, that only some easements will be matters of public record. Others easements could be private agreements between individuals or groups.

    If that poster is still around, does he know if he easement was recorded with the deed (in which case, it's a public record) or if it was a private agreement?

    Quote Originally Posted by gregk2001 View Post
    Maybe there are similar provisions for Overlook and Sheldon?
    I don't know about what you call "Overlook" (because that word could mean three different entities) but for the Sheldon Road trailhead which connects to the Aquinas Trail trailhead, there is a sign at the bottom which explains that there is an agreement for cyclists to use the otherwise private road.

    I spoke while I was there to a few residents about that, and they were universally unhappy with the lack of enforcement by the Open Space regarding that agreement, but it was mostly around parking issues that they seemed to be upset.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trackho View Post
    Sheldon and overlook(single lane) are both in fact private roads. Sheldon residents have a license agreement with mid Penn so cyclists/hikers can use Sheldon to access the Monte Senero trail head during the hours the trail is open (1/2 hr before and after sunrise/sunset). This is all clearly marked by a sign at the base of Sheldon.
    This poster has the scoop correct, as far as I can tell. My phone was dead so I didn't snap pictures of the signs but I will when I go back there next so that the facts are clear to all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trackho View Post
    I ride up there quite often, and have a buddy that lives there. I have never been hassled, in fact, residents have always been cool, but have heard of after hours night riders being hassled and ticketed for trespassing.
    The residents I spoke to were mostly upset with the cagers parking at the culdesac, mostly because they use that culdesac to make a sharp right turn that serves the houses of the people I spoke to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trackho View Post
    , I would be really pissed if the license agreement was revoked and I couldn't ride up there, so I try to be considerate.
    This seems like very wise advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by CheapWhine View Post
    I think the original poster was talking about the ES02 entrance at the end of Sheldon Road (bottom of Aquinas trail). There is access via Sheldon Road but no parking.It is best to start and end in downtown Los Gatos if you have to drive here.
    This is wise advice, with the addition that you can also start on the Los Gatos Creek Trail in Los Gatos or on Highway 9 in Saratoga to get the the Sheldon Rd. trailhead for the Aquinas Trail in the Open Space.

    Quote Originally Posted by CheapWhine View Post
    There is also an Overlook Trail in El Sereno which may be causing some confusion. There is an entrance to Overlook Trail (ES06) farther up Overlook Road and, once again, no parking. The other end of the trail (ES05) is at the top of Canon Dr. There is a small parking lot there and this is where the parking permit is required. There is a non-county sign on the road that says no bicycles on Canon Drive, but I don't know if it is legal as it is not official and there must be some way for my "vehicle" to access the parking lot even if I don't park.
    I agree that when someone says "overlook", they can mean at least three entities:
    • Overlook Road
    • Overlook Drive
    • Overlook Trail


    So what I'll do to flesh out these Los Gatos/Saratoga Trails is snap some representative photos next time I'm in the area to help clear up the confusion for those who are confused.

    Quote Originally Posted by CheapWhine View Post
    I find that my knobby tires sometimes make some noise on the pavement and it can be hard to hear whatever it is that people might be trying to say. I am pretty sure they would be wishing me well and the return of a wave and a smile would be in order.
    I tried a variation of that, but I think it's best to just know what the facts are instead of guessing wrong and hoping not to get caught.

  52. #52
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    You're the best. Please continue.
    I'm the problem....

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    Are we being Tomcatted?

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    I'm not sure how this works.

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    Woodrock. Curiosity is killing me for I need to know why the rear hub in your posted bike picture is packed with hay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    Are we being Tomcatted?

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
    I don't think so though it is possible, his jokes go over our heads ( whoosh ) and he is going to extreme links to figure out the fine details of a few trail junctions that somehow I managed to understand after a couple rides and a little poking around online. He reads like an engineer that doesn't interact with us lower humans too often.
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  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    woodrock. Curiosity is killing me for i need to know why the rear hub in your posted bike picture is packed with hay.

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    its a joke! Get it? Whoosh!
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    I just can't get past the birds nest / bush .
    This photo documents illegal activities.
    - collecting plants is prohibited
    Section 702.1 Plants. No person shall possess, damage, injure, take, place, plant, collect, or remove any plant, fungi, tree, or portion thereof, whether living or dead, including, but not limited to flowers, lichens, mosses, mushrooms, bushes, trees, tree limbs, tree branches, vines, grass, cones, seeds, and deadwood located on District Lands.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    Are we being Tomcatted?

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
    This is soooo funny; I was thinking of mentioning the same but you beat me to it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbrdan View Post
    You're the best. Please continue.
    Thank you for that obsequious complement, where I will continue, as you disingenuously requested, to outline the factual status of the trails in Los Gatos that are visible from Sierra Azul, as per the original topic of this thread.

    To that end, I note this mtbr forum thread has information that seems to date to the time that the Sheldon Road agreements went into place (but which uses the overused and therefore confusing overlook designation):


    This thread also has a great description of the status of those trails which are visible from Sierra Azul, but looking southwest, instead of looking north, which this thread is mostly concerned with.

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. montevina View Post
    I just can't get past the birds nest / bush .
    That's exactly why it's there!

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. montevina View Post
    This photo documents illegal activities.
    That was hilarious, and I do very much appreciate the intelligence that you showed by instantly understanding.

    In that mtbr forum thread cited above, they talk about the status of Canon Road, so I'll check that one out with GIS after my customary ride at dawn tomorrow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodrock View Post
    Thank you for that obsequious complement, where I will continue, as you disingenuously requested,
    Nothing disingenuous about it my man. I am sure you will get to the bottom of this eventually.
    I'm the problem....

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    While we await woodrock's morning ride report I'll suggest a study of El Sereno Preserve; it shows the checkerboard of properties that make up El Sereno Preserve.

    None of the trails have double-ended access to public roads, most are accessed from the ends of private roads on which public access has been selectively granted. Aquinas and Loma Vista trails both cross significant portions of private property; on the ground it seems like just long stretches of fire road but the reality is that they are often only a public easement on private land. Hence restrictions "no this" and "no that".

    MidPen has been great at buying up landlocked mountain properties, not so good at securing public access to same. Since their main mission seems to be "preservation" it probably doesn't matter that broad-spectrum public access might never happen.

    Will the attention this thread (and others like it) draws to the public access issue help or hinder the cause?
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodrock View Post
    Whoosh.
    Are the vintage bar ends and v-brakes also part of the joke?

    If so, I guess that's a triple whoosh. Well played!



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    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    While we await woodrock's morning ride report I
    Moe Ped, not only are you pretty much the only one here who seems to know what he's talking about, you're also pretty much the only other one adding value to the thread topic.

    In fact, you seem to be the only one capable of handing the details that are required to accurately assess the legal situation (that fake lawyer notwithstanding).

    So, I must say that I appreciate that you are pretty much the only one here who seems to be worth listening to, since almost everything you said was dead on accurate (as my research today clarified).

    Fundamentally, as you astutely noted, the legalities are fuzzy, based on what I uncovered today, in that a strict interpretation of the signage would preclude any public use of the entirety of the Overlook Trail, and one trailhead on the Loma Vista Trail.

    Since I'm trying to help others flesh out the intricacies of the legalities of the three trails in question, and since I think in landmarks, and not in GPS coordinates (or even in maps), the photos below are of relevant landmarks to better illustrate the current situation.

    As I am wont to do, I left at daybreak today simply to explore the area in order to get a feel for what it is that you are talking about, where it seems that much of what you said is true (but not all of what you said was true, at least not from a strict interpretation of the diverse set of signage I encountered today).

    My first goal was to get a good handle on the Overlook Road (in Los Gatos)

    Versus the Overlook Drive, in Saratoga:

    Versus the Overlook Trail, which connects between Overlook Road (in Los Gatos) and Overlook Drive (in Saratoga).

    And to distinguish them from the multiple unnamed trails in between:

    And then I had to contend with the myriad blocked roads leading up to each of those trails.

    Rest assured, there are plenty of these blocked roads, surrounding these trails.

    In fact, it seemed that almost every turn was blocked by a sign saying it was private.

    And then it was blocked in the next turn after that!

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    'll suggest a study of El Sereno Preserve; it shows the checkerboard of properties that make up El Sereno Preserve.
    Thanks for that map which is much better than a similar-looking patchwork quilt map posted on the bulletin board at the MSO5 gate at the Overlook Drive side of the Overlook Trail.

    The map posted at the MS05 parking lot whited-out the private property quilting:

    Whereas the better map you referenced shows all the area in between with contour lines:

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    None of the trails have double-ended access to public roads,
    After spending a few hours this morning trying to get a feel for the area, I must agree with your simple assessment, in that none of the three trails in question have double-ended public access.

    Worse, of the three trails in question, each has different “apparent” private-property restrictions at their respective trailheads!
    1. Loma Vista Trail has a private road at only one end (Overlook Road)
    2. Aquinas Trail has a private road (with known access rights) at only one end (Sheldon Road)
    3. Overlook Trail has a private road at both ends (Overlook Drive & Overlook Road)

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    most are accessed from the ends of private roads on which public access has been selectively granted.
    This “selectively granted” option is not apparent at two of the three trails above.

    It is only apparently at the Aquinas Trail where the intersection of Sheldon Road and Overlook Road shows that “selective grant”.


    The rest of the connections show no selective granting in the signage.

    Although, just as they did at the bottom of the PG&E trail at Lake Ranch, vandals have attempted to change the meaning of the signs somewhat:

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    Aquinas and Loma Vista trails both cross significant portions of private property;
    This is true that Aquinas Trail and Loma Vista Trail cross large tracts of private property, but the huge difference between them is that the Sheldon Road trailhead ES02 for the Aquinas Trail is clearly signed for public use.

    At least during park hours, Sheldon Road, off of Overlook Road, is signed for public use:

    While the trailhead for the Loma Vista Trail is signed Private Property so it too is off limits to the public.
    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    on the ground it seems like just long stretches of fire road but the reality is that they are often only a public easement on private land. Hence restrictions "no this" and "no that".
    I don’t think that assessment is completely correct for some of the three trails in question, but it is correct for others.
    1. The Aquinas trail seems to have public access granted at both ends (Sheldon Road & Montevina Road/Bohlman Road)

    2. The Overlook Trail seems to explicitly NOT grant access at both ends (Overlook Road & Overlook Drive)
    This is the Overlook Road end:

    And this is the Overlook Drive end:

    3. The Loma Vista Trail explicitly does not grant access at the one end off of Overlook Road.
    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    MidPen has been great at buying up landlocked mountain properties, not so good at securing public access to same. Since their main mission seems to be "preservation" it probably doesn't matter that broad-spectrum public access might never happen.
    After spending almost the entire morning in the area, exploring all the private and public roads and trails, I must concur with you that two of the three trails that we are discussing do NOT seem to have explicit access granted to them at both ends.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    Will the attention this thread (and others like it) draws to the public access issue help or hinder the cause?
    It's easy to summarize what I found out today, just from reading the signs, which is that the only trail of the three I'm discussing in this post that is unhindered (according to a strict interpretation of the signs), is the Aquinas Trail, whose related trailhead is at the top of Sheldon Road (off of Overlook Road in Los Gatos).

    However, I must tentatively say that something is awry, because a strict interpretation of the signs would mean that the Overlook Trail is completely inaccessible to the public, which is a troubling interpretation.

  64. #64
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    Glad you were able to get out. I'm sure this is valuable information to someone and you have certainly gone to great lengths to document every sign in that small area. I can only assume this sort of scavenger hunt helps you to enjoy the outdoor experience. Where to next?
    I'm the problem....

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    Are the vintage bar ends and v-brakes also part of the joke?
    What is your assessment of the legal intricacies that Moe Ped and I are trying to flesh out?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbrdan View Post
    Glad you were able to get out. I'm sure this is valuable information to someone and you have certainly gone to great lengths to document every sign in that small area. I can only assume this sort of scavenger hunt helps you to enjoy the outdoor experience. Where to next?
    I realize from everything that you write that you're probably just a kid, so, I would just advise you that this is an adult conversation, which has no small amount of detail involved.

    If you're not just a young kid, then you should be able to add on-topic adult value; so, to that end, I simply ask what is your assessment of the rather stunning legal situation that the prior post outlined in brief?

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodrock View Post
    I realize you're either just a kid or that your mentality is of one; so, I would just advise you that proving time and time again your utter inability to comprehend the topic, admittedly more complex than you seem to be able to grasp, is just cluttering up what is otherwise an adult topic consistently out of the realm of your comprehension.
    I am an admittedly childish grandfather. Happy trails my man.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbrdan View Post
    I am an admittedly childish grandfather. Happy trails my man.
    If you are actually an adult, then my advice is for you to start acting like one.

    Instead of contributing negative value in every post, try to add value.

    I realize it's not easy to add value - that's the difference between an adult and a child - but if you really are an adult - then you should be able to contribute on-topic value to the topic of Los Gatos Trails.

    What is your assessment of the legalities that Moe Ped and I are discussing?

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodrock View Post
    I realize it's not easy to add value - that's the difference between an adult and a child - but if you really are an adult - then you should be able to contribute on-topic value to the topic of Los Gatos Trails.

    What is your assessment of the legalities that Moe Ped and I are discussing?
    I did try to add to your personal quest by privately showing you how to find the trail off of Mcgill road down to the lake and to help you understand the culture of this online forum in regards the discussion of illegal trails. WHOOSH....

    My assessment, very detailed and well documented. A+.
    I'm the problem....

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbrdan View Post
    I did try to add to your personal quest by privately showing you how to find the trail off of Mcgill road down to the lake and to help you understand the culture of this online forum in regards the discussion of illegal trails. WHOOSH....

    My assessment, very detailed and well documented. A+.
    I guess I should have expected it from you, where, yet again, you completely misunderstood the simple question.

    Since you can't even comprehend the obvious, and since the question requires an adult measure of detail, I will refrain from cluttering up this thread for others by further responding to your child-like drivel.

    As I head out for my morning ride, I'm not sure where I'll go as there are so many places to explore, but by the time I return, I hope to have some specific detailed answers from the likes of the OSP and SCC.

    The key question yesterday's trek outlined was what to make of the fact that a strict interpretation of the signs on the roadway at both ends of the 1.2 mile long Overlook Trail.


    Since legal matters are at stake, all the data needs to be taken into account (which may be far too much detail for many to comprehend); but, with that caveat in place, I will note (as Moe Ped can understand), that a strict interpretation of the visual cues in the area is confusing at that Los Gatos side of the Overlook Trail for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that truly private roads are not signed by the town or county but by residents themselves.

    1. There seem to be two "offshoots" of what seems to be called "Overlook Road" in Los Gatos, one of which leads to the Loma Vista Trail trailhead while the other skirts the Overlook Trail trailhead.

    2. While Overlook Road seems to be marked private with no hint of permission-based access to the public, the spur of Overlook Road that passes by the Overlook Trail trailhead seems to have 'official" no-parking signs, which we can presume are put up by the county.

    3. On the Saratoga side of the mile-long Overlook Trail, Overlook Drive is just as clearly marked off limits to the public (specifically including cyclists), so one would wonder how the public is supposed to access Overlook Trail.

    4. At least the parking situation on the Saratoga side makes sense, where it's clear that the OSP put in the "parking lot".


    5. In general, the public is not allowed on private property, so, if these are private roads, then the fact there is no parking and no public access and no cycling is a fait accompli simply by virtue of the signs at the beginning and ends of the roads declaring that they are private property.

    6. At the exit of both ends of the Overlook Trail, signs clearly mark the outlet as private property no trespassing (this picture below is of the Saratoga side of the Overlook Trail for example).


    So, the adult question here is what to make of the clearly inconsistent visual cues at both ends of that public-use Overlook Trail?

    I realize a "correct" answer will take:
    a. Intelligence (not just child-like guesses)
    c. Ability to grasp detail (some of which is subtle)
    d. Knowledge of common law

    So I hope that Moe Ped and I can come up with the "correct" tenable answer to these questions so that future readers of this thread will garner the value that we are attempting to impart to flesh out the thread topic of access to Los Gatos Trails.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbrdan View Post
    I am an admittedly childish grandfather. Happy trails my man.
    a cool one at that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCWages View Post
    a cool one at that.
    Try to stay on topic, woodrock will deal the hammer blows to any and all offenders.
    I'm the problem....

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    For my morning interweb exercise I thought I'd look up and see what MidPen currently has "on the books" in regards to El Sereno; they're planning to open more trails to dog walking and have gone to some lengths to accomplish this. This is the first time I've seen a graphic showing the effect of the easement-only areas of El Sereno and the effect the particular property owner has on access. In this case it's San Jose Water Co:



    SJWCo doesn't seem to mind bikes but is not cool with dogs (think dog poop in SJ drinking water!)

    For those that care this is from el-sereno-dog-access

    Tomorrow's installment will look at access issues at Mount Umunhum and how they might relate to El Sereno.
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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    they're planning to open more trails to dog walking and have gone to some lengths to accomplish this. This is the first time I've seen a graphic showing the effect of the easement-only areas of El Sereno and the effect the particular property owner has on access. In this case it's San Jose Water Co:
    .
    Thank you for fleshing that information about the private property owners on the Aquinas Trail.

    I have been to some of the mid pen meetings about the dogs (they're really just interested in the $17 per hundred thousand "additional taxes" on Santa Clara County homeowners that they wanted, but they patently dangled the "dog access" as bait for that "tax/fee" vote, which they won).

    Nobody I know has any faith in OSP whatsoever after talking to them personally only to find out that their main goal is to build an empire by buying land, and not letting people use it, but they did finally schedule the Bohlman/Montevina/Sheldon/Aquinas dog measure to a vote.

    It took them over three years, but, as an aside, they finally voted for dogs on the Aquinas Trail in the last meeting about 2 months ago (when they were actually mostly concerned with the highway 17 underpaass/overpass for animal crossings at Lexington). None of the Sheldon Road residents objected, nor did the Bohlman Road residents, nor the Montevina Road residents, as I recall, which was interesting because that was expected to be a hurdle, but the vote, when it finally came, went off without a hitch.

    In fact, the dog vote was unanimous for the Aquinas Trail, where OSP knows all about the SJWC property so I thank you for adding that value.

    Since yesterday, I have been working with the SCC (main 408-808-7900, tax 408-299-5500, maps 408-299-7550, planning 408-299-5700, roads and airports 408-573-2400 west yard 408-366-3100) and with OSP (650-691-1200) and the county parks (408-355-2200) on finding out how on earth anyone can "legally" access the OSP "Overlook Trail" but it's hard to get a knowledgeable person in the government simply by calling the main numbers.

    Meanwhile, this morning I explored the following access routes from Lake Ranch:
    1. From Lake Ranch to Sanborn Road
    2. From Lake Ranch to Black Road
    3. From Lake Ranch to the edge of the park at the PG&E Service Road

    From the standpoint of radiating out from Lake Ranch, here's what the other side of that landslide on the trail from Lake Ranch to Sanborn Road looks like:


    The county parks guy I spoke to at that spot this morning said that this is their first chance all week to even get to look at it, where they were both surprised (as I was) that the tree standing up moved to the center of the now-obliterated trail!


    From the standpoint of Lake Ranch to Black Road, here's the quagmire:


    After the quagmire comes the canyon washout:


    And after that come a few fallen trees:


    The way up to the PG&E service road border with the park is clear though:


    But I didn't go any further in that direction so I can't say what the condition of the service road is since it's off limits to the public and my plan today was to stay completely within the park proper.
    Last edited by woodrock; 01-18-2017 at 03:56 PM.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    Tomorrow's installment will look at access issues at Mount Umunhum and how they might relate to El Sereno.
    Self-quoting; how sad is that!

    The point I'd like to make is that MidPen will (most likely) open the summit of Mount Umunhum later this year, it's taken them 30 years and Mt Um is of much more public interest than a connector trail between El Sereno and Sanborn.

    The funny thing about Mt Um is that a few years back the GM was saying MidPen would never resort to using eminent domain to secure access.

    Guess what? They're resorting to eminent domain to get the project completed:

    "The Public Resources Code allows the District to exercise the power of eminent domain to
    acquire property for public parks, public trails, natural areas, and ecological and open space
    preserves (Public Resources Code sections 5540, 5541 and 5542). The proposed acquisitions are
    consistent with that authority. Acquisition of the property rights will allow for public access and
    District patrol to one of the great mountain tops in the Bay Area."


    That's from here: http://www.openspace.org/sites/defau...9_R-15-167.pdf

    Some more fun stuff is here: http://www.openspace.org/sites/defau...9_R-15-168.pdf

    I've had the opportunity to meet the landowner of the parcel in dispute; on the once-a-year day he would close Woods Trail to maintain his property rights. The rangers had the trail blocked off at the parking lot and they explained the matter of the trail closure to me. I asked them "what if" the landowner gave me permission and they said if the land owner said OK then I could go on through. (I was on my MTB)

    The land owner was parked a few hundred feet further down the trail and after a short discussion was more than happy to give me permission to continue my ride; he said that doing so helped further establish his property rights.

    If MidPen cared to do so, they could get the Aquinas Trail punched through (eminent domain etc) "tomorrow"; but the wants of a few thousand bikers (based on Strava) mean nothing to them.
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  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    The funny thing about Mt Um is that a few years back the GM was saying MidPen would never resort to using eminent domain to secure access.

    Guess what? They're resorting to eminent domain to get the project completed...
    Very good information, and thanks for the links.

    IMO, MidPen tried very hard with good faith negotiations over many years. But some of the owners just don't want to compromise, and really just want to block everyone's access on existing roads and trails so they can have the mountain to themselves, including what they don't own.

    And the Woods Trail property boundaries and rights are a complex issue. So it's cleaner legally for MidPen to just buy it off, even if it needs eminent domain and some money.

    So in this case, MidPen was really left with no choice if we are to continue having trails and access to areas they already own. I think MidPen is morally on the right side of this battle, in spite of their general strong reluctance to go this way.

    Similar issues have occurred in CA when land owners blocked the public beach, and other situations. The court often sides with giving an easement for such access.
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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry View Post
    MidPen tried very hard with good faith negotiations over many years. But some of the owners just don't want to compromise, and really just want to block everyone's access on existing roads and trails so they can have the mountain to themselves, including what they don't own.
    This is the exact same situation with El Sereno/Sanborn; so MidPen/SCCParks should get on with it. (eminent domain or at least the threat of)
    Content here does not officially represent the CA DPR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    This is the exact same situation with El Sereno/Sanborn; so MidPen/SCCParks should get on with it. (eminent domain or at least the threat of)
    But as you point out, Mt Umunhum and Woods Trail are the current priority. Hopefully the use of eminent domain there will provide those El Sereno/Sanborn owners with sufficient threat in that MidPen WILL use that power if made necessary.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    Self-quoting; how sad is that!
    Everything you post is good as long as you're adding more Los Gatos Trails value to the discussion (which you were).

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    Guess what? They're resorting to eminent domain to get the project completed:
    I thought they said they'd never use the taxpayer's money to take land from people?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    MidPen would never resort to using eminent domain to secure access.
    In general, it's not a good idea to use taxpayer's money to take from people what they don't want to give away.

    It is even worse when it's private to private though...

    The recent commercial private-to-private property abuse of eminent domain is what caused a bunch of states to enact laws to prevent further abuse.



    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    Thanks for that document, which seems to say that the land owners are Michael and Leonard Rossetta.

    Specifically, OSP is paying over half a million dollars for just two things:
    1. Easement: 60-foot wide 43Ksqft for public access (and drainage)
    2. "Fee interest": 19 acres to resolve a boundary dispute

    I thank you for that document because it provides a history. The park "thought" they had an easement, and they did have an easement, but that easement wasn't for the public (it was mostly for government personnel). They also thought they owned some of the land but a survey showed that they didn't.

    Another detail that popped up from reading that document was this concept of "fee interest" (which seems to be called "fee simple interest" in the documents I found on the web).

    Before reading that document, I had no prior idea what a "fee interest" entails.

    Googling, I find it's more complicated than I would have wanted it to be, where I can only find articles about "fee simple interest", which seems to be an almost ownership, but not quite complete ownership (but more complex than that).
    Fee (Not So) Simple: Property Rights & Market Value | Articles - Smith Gendler Shiell Sheff Ford & Maher

    Interestingly, the original easement only allowed government workers the right to the land, much as the easements are for PG&E that we discussed earlier in this thread which only provide PG&E the rights to access the land.

    Based on my conversations last week with the OSP, it's also likely similar to the easements that OSP has which allows "them" access to the Overlook Trail, but not to the public (certainly on the one end in Los Gatos at least).

    Point is, an easement that doesn't allow public access is no good to us, and that document shows that clearly. Easements cost money. The OSP is paying, in effect, about a half of a million dollars for the right of all of us to access that land (total costs are far greater because of the lawyers, and improvements since the land is being taken 'as is' where it requires much improvement to be safe to the public).

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    Thank you again for that factual find.

    I appreciate that you don't resort to heresay, as many here do (especially as does that ersatz lawyer who posted prior).

    I find it interesting that the documents you unearthed say that the land owners can't videotape the cyclists within that easement! They can't install any signs. No fences or gates either. No parking for the public either.

    So, if we see signs, gates, fences, or cameras on any trail that we're not sure of, then it's probably not a public easement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    I've had the opportunity to meet the landowner of the parcel in dispute; on the once-a-year day he would close Woods Trail to maintain his property rights. The rangers had the trail blocked off at the parking lot and they explained the matter of the trail closure to me. I asked them "what if" the landowner gave me permission and they said if the land owner said OK then I could go on through. (I was on my MTB)
    I think it's interesting that you met the owner and that those property owners had to physically block the road for one day out of a year, which doesn't seem to make any sense to me. Maybe the ersatz lawyer on this forum can help us better understand that requirement?

    What does a physical blockage look like?
    Is it just signs and cones?
    Or a person guarding the road?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    The land owner was parked a few hundred feet further down the trail and after a short discussion was more than happy to give me permission to continue my ride; he said that doing so helped further establish his property rights.
    Reading up on this "selective permission" it does seem that if they give permission to an individual, then they aren't liable for "prescriptive easements" since anyone can ask for that permission.

    It seems if he charged you a nominal fee (say, ten bucks or so), then his rights would have been even further asserted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    If MidPen cared to do so, they could get the Aquinas Trail punched through (eminent domain etc) "tomorrow"; but the wants of a few thousand bikers (based on Strava) mean nothing to them.
    How many people do you think use that Woods Trail?
    I'll bet you MORE people use the Aquinas Trail than the Woods Trail.

    Personally, I didn't even know the Woods Trail existed, so I'm going to have to go up to that area some time in the future to check it out.

    Thanks for opening up the range for the topic of available Los Gatos Trails to those on Mount Umunhum & Soda Creek.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry View Post
    And the Woods Trail property boundaries and rights are a complex issue. So it's cleaner legally for MidPen to just buy it off, even if it needs eminent domain and some money.
    Your read of the documents is different than mine, in that I think they didn't "buy" the 19-acre property outright, but "joined" in the ownership, of sorts.

    And they bought the rights to add the public to the existing easement for the 120 government employees. In doing so, they prevented the owners from blocking, signing, fencing, or even videotaping the land under that easement.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry View Post
    Similar issues have occurred in CA when land owners blocked the public beach, and other situations. The court often sides with giving an easement for such access.
    I think closer to Los Gatos is a similar example, where, as far as I can tell with my preliminary talks with the OSP real-estate personnel.

    I first contacted the OSP "Foothill Ranger Station" at 650-691-2165 who put me in contact with the "South Area Outpost" at 650-691-2167. Bouncing from ranger to ranger, they are able to pretty accurately state that the entirety of Overlook Road in Los Gatos to the beginning of the "Overlook Trail" is completely off limits to the public.

    The details make it more complex than that, so I'm asking them to show me the actual agreements, so take anything I say at this time with a grain of salt.

    I realize details confuse some of the people on this thread, but the reality is always in the details.

    Given that caveat, this "seems" to be the consensus within that ranger station:
    1. The section of paved road from Overlook Road to Sheldon Road to the OSP cul-de-sac at the Aquinas Trail trailhead has a public-use agreement with the land owners.
    2. This means we are able to legally ride from Los Gatos or Saratoga to the Aquinas Trail trailhead on Sheldon Road as long as we use the Overlook Road paved portion that leads up to Sheldon Road.
    3. In fact, the OSP says they are literally part of the Overlook Road & Sheldon Road homeowners association maintenance agreement so they apparently share in the costs to safely maintain both Overlook Road up to Sheldon Road, and the section of Sheldon Road to the Aquinas Trail trailhead for public use.
    4. However, the paved Overlook Road from Sheldon Road to both the Loma Vista trailhead and to the Overlook Trail trailhead is completely off limits to the public
    5. The OSP has an easement for them to both trailheads but not to the public.
    6. Specifically, the OSP has an easement on both the private property at the end of Overlook Road and through the SJWC private property which the Loma Vista Trail traverses.
    7. But that easement on any parts of Overlook Road after Sheldon Road and the private property on Overlook Road does not extend to the public.
    8. Likewise, the other arm of Overlook Road from Sheldon Road to the beginning of the Overlook Trail has no public access whatsoever.
    9. Again, the OSP has procured access for themselves on that section of Overlook Road that accesses the Overlook Trail, but they never procured access for the public.
    10. That makes the Overlook Trail a "dead-ended trail".
    11. By dead ended, they mean you can only legally enter at the Overlook Drive side (in Saratoga) and exit back out that Overlook Drive side of the trail (which explains the signs at the Overlook Road side of the trail saying to not go past the end of the Overlook Trail).
    12. It's important to note the legalities of the Los Gatos Overlook Road side of the Overlook Trail are definitely different than the legalities of the Saratoga Overlook Drive side of the OSP Overlook Trail.
    13. On the Saratoga Overlook Drive side of the Overlook Trail, apparently only members of the public with OSP PARKING PERMITS are allowed access to Overlook Drive
    14. Specifically, no cyclists or pedestrians are allowed on Overlook Drive under any circumstances (even with a parking permit).
    15. No cars are allowed on Overlook Drive without an OSP parking permit.


    This summary above explains "most" of the signs I saw when I was in the area, but it doesn't explain all of the signs, so there is (much) more work to be done to clearly ascertain what the legal situation is in that Aquinas Trail, Loma Vista Trail, and Overlook Trail area.

    I am still waiting for the documentation confirming everything said above, but I heard it from multiple rangers so take it for what it's worth, given I only speak facts and I tell you where I get my facts from.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    This is the exact same situation with El Sereno/Sanborn; so MidPen/SCCParks should get on with it. (eminent domain or at least the threat of)
    I went on a few treks in the El Sereno/Sanborn area in the past few days, where I knocked on a few doors (as I did in the Overlook Trails area) to speak with the residents to find out more facts about the area.

    There is a very nice little old lady named "Ann" at the very top of Bohlman, for example, who told me she welcomes the cyclists (and she leaves water for them, were it was only stolen once in all the years she has been leaving the red thermos jug and paper cups held down by a rock).

    She told me that she and her husband owned that land since before Mid Pen existed. She has lived there since the 70s she told me, and she LOVES that bikers and hikers can use her land.

    She didn't know anything about easements, but she told me that I was as welcome as anyone to use the dirt road of a couple of tenths of a mile that connects the paved part of Bohlman Road to the actual gate at the beginning of the Montevina Connector Trail.


    Here are some of the signs on both ends (and in the middle) of that Montevina Connector Trail.



  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry View Post
    But as you point out, Mt Umunhum and Woods Trail are the current priority. Hopefully the use of eminent domain there will provide those El Sereno/Sanborn owners with sufficient threat in that MidPen WILL use that power if made necessary.
    I was looking to see what signs there were of access rights in the area from Lake Ranch in OSP property to the top of Bohlman Road (still in OSP property) where there are no official signs whatsoever on the myriad trails in the area.


    What I did see were locks on the OSP gates at both Bohlman and at Montevina, where some of them had names such as "Permit" on the side.


    One of them was the ubiquitous PG&E lock that is on almost every locked age in the El Sereno/Sanborn Park area:


    In addition, I was surprised to see a "Calfire" lock.


    I don't know this for a fact, but I would guess that's because the route was very clearly marked as a "Evacuation Route" (with the blue signs at both ends).

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    Just to warn others, some of the many trails that I followed last week were partially blocked by recent landslides.

    As usual, one one side of the landslides was a cliff, and the other was a steep drop:

    Landslides notwithstanding, all the trails were passable, albeit a bit soggy.

    The views of the adjoining ridges were stupendous however!

    Oddly, there was even this marker pegged into the ground.

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    that marker is an "air cross". it lets you tie an aerial photo of an area to other forms of information (parcel maps, right-of-way lines, etc). there should be a monument or other marker in the center of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dth656 View Post
    that marker is an "air cross". it lets you tie an aerial photo of an area to other forms of information (parcel maps, right-of-way lines, etc). there should be a monument or other marker in the center of it.
    Thanks for explaining what that blue and white crossed flag was. It has been there a while but I never bothered to take pictures of it before. I'll look for a marker in the center the next time I'm there.

    Every day I leave the house without much of an agenda, so, I go wherever the turns take me. So I'm not sure when I'll be back in that area, but just for fun, here is a shot of where the Los Gatos Creek Trail becomes a diving board, around Lark Avenue, in Los Gatos proper.

  85. #85
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    MTBRMan- stop polluting this post!

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbrdan View Post
    I am an admittedly childish grandfather. Happy trails my man.

    MTBRMan- stop polluting this post! Go troll the 4th grader facebook page.



    WoodRock - THANK you for all this useful information, ignor mtrman, don't reply to any of his childish post - he is a loser behind the keyboard.........

  86. #86
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    woodrock : Thank you for all the info., sometimes you have to explore to find facts.....

    Great job!!!!!

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    JCWages GET A LIFE! your big thrill - - - antaganizing nobodies on a public forum - - -- woooopie.

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    Closed for further review. Too many complaints to let it go.

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