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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:

    Hill climb Wednesdays tackles a new mtn this week, 6/7/06
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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
    And don't do the burrito jump... Francois

  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.
    Let the good times roll.
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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)
    Peaut butter Tuesday, if you kow what I mea!

  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.

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