Moving to the Peninsula from Orange County. Feeling a little trail homesick!- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 30 of 30
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    18

    Moving to the Peninsula from Orange County. Feeling a little trail homesick!

    I live in Laguna Beach currently and basically learned to mountain bike in Aliso & Wood.

    Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park Mountain Bike Trail in Laguna Beach, California || SINGLETRACKS.COM

    It's extremely close, offers gorgeous views, and is very easy to navigate. It has parallel ridge and canyon fire roads with some interesting single tracks that connect the two as well as some that run parallel to the fire roads. Apparently it's relatively technical as well. My experience is limited to a few places in south OC so I don't have a ton of perspective on this.

    I visited the peninsula this weekend and went over to Passion Trail Bikes in Belmont to ask some employees what trails on the peninsula they'd recommend. Everybody seemed to love El Corte De Madera Creek Open Space. So I took a look there and also a few other Open Space areas off of Skyline blvd.

    I definitely didn't see all of Madera but here are my impressions:
    • It didn't seem as technical as many people made it out to be
    • It seemed to me that there were quite a few fireroads which you often times don't have a choice in taking to get to a particular junction unless you go far out of your way. Many of the areas I've become familiar with in Orange County seemed to offer a lot of parallel single track alternatives to fireroads
    • Lots of junctions and tall trees make navigation difficult
    • My general impression of the peninsula trails I saw is that many of the more fun and technical trails are in heavily wooded areas and offer fewer awesome views
    • There are A LOT more hikers than I'm used to and many of the trails that looked most interesting were for hiking only


    These are just first impressions and I don't even live there yet. My questions are:


    • Can anybody recommend any particular Madera loops that are more on the technical side and aren't fire road heavy?
    • Can anybody recommend some good fun-scenery compromise parks/loops on the peninsula?


    People seem to think Water Dog Lake Park in Belmot is really fun as well. It's super close to me. I didn't get a chance to visit. Based on elevation maps, it seems like I'd have to go elsewhere for an intense climb workout though.

    Water Dog Lake Park Mountain Bike Trail in Belmont, California || SINGLETRACKS.COM

    I know the bay area has some great riding and I plan to check out many places. However, I work very long hours and a diverse, close go to place to tackle most weekends so I can give myself some goals and measure progress would be awesome.

    I'm sure it'll be excellent once I'm acclimated. Thanks in advance for the info!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: zgroove's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    354
    In regard to El Corte De Madera AKA as Skeggs, do the outer loop which includes North Leaf and South Leaf, with some Blue Blossom downhill and take Steam Donkey up and then rest your legs going up Gordin Mill and Sierra Morena back to your car. If that loop is too short for you then do it twice.

    Other rides you may be interested in is The Demo in Santa Cruz, the trail to do there is Braille and the trails in Pacifica, CA like The Crack.

    I used to live in Southern California and I am very familiar with the trails you ride. Nor Cal has more trail options, better bike culture, and not so much of the over accessorized Mountain Bike Action wannabes. Less time in traffic and more time on the trails!

    Another option is Downieville, CA and the trails around the Sierras. A lot more elevation and less groomed than what you will find in NorCal or So-Cal.
    Going to be going to So-Cal in a month and probably going to make a pit stop at the regular spots: Rockit, Top of the World, Sycamore Canyon, Backbone trail, and Mt. Wilson downhill.

  3. #3
    190lbs of climber
    Reputation: Menso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,465
    I have ridden most of the trails up here and in Socal. On the differences in technical trails you describe, I would attribute mostly to geology. The hills here aren't very rocky, so they erode to ruts, which are easily scraped by the evil land management agencies. Trails like San Juan in socal, or pretty much anything in SLO don't have this issue because scraping the embedded bare rock that trails erode to is impractical, so the agencies have to live with it. There are a couple good tech places to ride, but by and large the trails up here are more flow and less gnar (bonus points for gnarcal words!).

    Some trails:
    Rocky Ridge and Stiles in Santa Teresa County Park. The park is on rocky serpentine hills, so they can't really scrape them away.

    Manzanita and Resolution Trails in El Corte de Madera have eroded sandstone. This is the tech trail people are referring to at ECdM.

    Pacifica- I've actually never been, but seen videos and it looks like Socal trails more than anything on the Peninsula. I think these are old eroding forgotten roads.

    Some other people can chime in, but you'll learn to love the swoopy forested goodness in places like UCSC and Soquel Demonstration Forest. Rocks are rare to non existent at these places since the hill are mainly soft marine sedimentary rock, so it's a different kind of fun. I admit that very very few trails up here are adrenaline inducing on their own, so you have to make your own by pushing the limits in the turns, which is easier to do up here since the penalty for failure is a bit more pleasant than crashing on rocks.
    ye' old trailblog: www.most-excellent-adventures.com THE BAY AREA... WHERE IF IT'S FUN, IT'S ILLEGAL

  4. #4
    190lbs of climber
    Reputation: Menso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,465
    Shoot me a PM when you are up here next and I might be able to lead a ride at ECdM. It's a short drive across the San Mateo Bridge for me and I need an excuse to do it more.
    ye' old trailblog: www.most-excellent-adventures.com THE BAY AREA... WHERE IF IT'S FUN, IT'S ILLEGAL

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    18
    zGroove, thanks for the recommendation! One of the shop employees also highly recommended Demo. When you say NorCal has better options, do you mean more variety? I personally don't care too much about the bike culture since I'm more of a loner these days, but maybe there's a reason for that! The guys at Passion trail were super cool and helpful though. I'm very lucky to live right near some awesome trails down here and I actually never thought OC traffic was too bad. It definitely seems like I need to drive 25+ minutes from downtown San Mateo to go riding. I keep reading about Downieville but it's definitely a bit of a hike away. I love Rock-It so much. The Manzanita was the only thing I saw that seemed to come close to satisfying that itch.

    Makes sense, Menso. So the difficulty comes more from your ability to push yourself rather than just getting through ridiculous rock gardens in one piece (something I happen to love!)? Pacifica looks really sweet! It's only 30 minutes away and right by the water as well.

    Pacifica Mountain Biking; Boyscout, Crack, Mile - YouTube

    I definitely appreciate the departure and variety but would be sad if I had to drive 3 hours to find anything similar to the stuff I sort of learned on. I hope it's not totally true. There were many times during my visit where I wondered if a full suspension bike was overkill. Your signature makes me sad.

    Anyone familiar with this?

    San Francisco Peaks - Bay Area Mountain Bike Rides

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    58
    The San Francisco Peaks ride really isn't worth your commute. If you live in SF (I do) then it's great to know about when you can't get out of the city, but I wouldn't call it a destination. There are some technical spots, mostly due to tight switchbacks and lack of traction climbs, but most of the trails are pretty short. Also, depending on the time of year, Sutro is full of poison oak. Also, it's true that nothing is signed (or if there is a sign, good luck finding a corresponding map), so it takes return trips to figure it all out.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: skyno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    1,926
    Quote Originally Posted by IronCOOKARU View Post
    I am - a bit of this ride is almost literally in my back yard - although steep with some amazing views, this is not very technical riding and much of it has a lot of hiker traffic & I believe some of it is of questionable legality - I doubt it would scratch your itch for OC style riding you're looking for. I've ridden your local trails a fair amount and they are fun, but overall I prefer the riding up here - as was mentioned, the geography and climate is totally different so totally different type of trails & riding.

    Plenty of rocks can be found at the following places, all with fun trails: Annadel, Skyline, Oat Hill, Rockville, Pacifica, and (somewhat less) Demo & Tamarancho. Unfortunately, those are all somewhat far from San Mateo except for Pacifica, which may be more gnar than you are looking for (i.e. bring your DH rig). As mentioned, the really fun stuff

    If you are moving to Mid-Pen and want to ride locally, you may just have to learn to love a different style of trail! Dirtvert (recent OC transplant and Norcal convert) will be chiming in soon to testify. Dirtvert in 3..2...1...

  8. #8
    Over it
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3,797
    0...You'll forget all about Aliso Woods (and pretty much everything else in Socal) in a couple of months--trust me!

    The guy at the end of this gets it:





    Shoot me a pm when you're free some weekend. Btw- I still think about Stairsteps, Telonix, Marie's, San Juan/Chiquito, etc. occasionally, but the trails/dirt/redwoods up here will make you forget them fast. And when you add in the proximity to Downieville, Tahoe, Mendo, and Oregon--there's no comparison.

    VV Sorry, I don't put out on the first post!
    Last edited by dirtvert; 01-07-2014 at 12:43 PM.
    Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice--pull down your pants and slide on the ice.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    18
    Hmm. I currently ride a 2011 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR. Would that be adequate for Pacifica?

    I like it for the loops I do around here, but I wonder if I'll start to get bored with it if more of the challenge is derived from turning at higher speeds. I feel that it helps me climb and roll over stuff, but those big wheels definitely aren't as nimble.

    So... what made you forget about those SoCal trails, Dirtvert?

  10. #10
    rox
    rox is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    1,536
    dont forget the most important difference: the 15mph speed limit at el corte de madera

    (enforced by rangers with radar guns and ticket books)

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: zgroove's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    354
    Quote Originally Posted by IronCOOKARU View Post
    zGroove, thanks for the recommendation! One of the shop employees also highly recommended Demo. When you say NorCal has better options, do you mean more variety? I personally don't care too much about the bike culture since I'm more of a loner these days, but maybe there's a reason for that! The guys at Passion trail were super cool and helpful though. I'm very lucky to live right near some awesome trails down here and I actually never thought OC traffic was too bad. It definitely seems like I need to drive 25+ minutes from downtown San Mateo to go riding. I keep reading about Downieville but it's definitely a bit of a hike away. I love Rock-It so much. The Manzanita was the only thing I saw that seemed to come close to satisfying that itch.

    Makes sense, Menso. So the difficulty comes more from your ability to push yourself rather than just getting through ridiculous rock gardens in one piece (something I happen to love!)? Pacifica looks really sweet! It's only 30 minutes away and right by the water as well.

    Pacifica Mountain Biking; Boyscout, Crack, Mile - YouTube

    I definitely appreciate the departure and variety but would be sad if I had to drive 3 hours to find anything similar to the stuff I sort of learned on. I hope it's not totally true. There were many times during my visit where I wondered if a full suspension bike was overkill. Your signature makes me sad.

    Anyone familiar with this?

    San Francisco Peaks - Bay Area Mountain Bike Rides
    Your welcome man! Yeah OC traffic isn't that bad, but when your coming from Downtown LA, it can get real bad, real fast!

  12. #12
    Paper or plastic?
    Reputation: zorg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    9,631
    For rock gardens: Oat Hill, Rockville and just about anything in the Sierra

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  13. #13
    JHH
    JHH is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JHH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    366
    Tall trees rule! I would focus your attention on riding all the new trails you have on offer instead of limiting yourself to your perceptions.

    For killer coastal views like you have in Laguna, try Wilder State Park. It's not all that technical and rocky, more of fun CX ride through coastal mesa scrub, oak and redwoods, yes there are TALL TREES you can hug.

    Don't dis da Dog. If you live close you will learn to love Waterdog. It's close enough that you can hit it before or after work which is a gift I certainly take advantage of at least once a week. There are some little nuggets of fun in there and plenty of climbing.

    Overall with the other suggestions as well I think you'll stop thinking your missing out once you get out an ride up here. I know my transplanted freinds living in Laguna miss the riding up here a lot.
    Keep pedaling no matter what

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    4,483

    Moving to the Peninsula from Orange County. Feeling a little trail homesick!

    Don't worry about the trails ... the weather will become your real enemy if you're a SoCal native.

  15. #15
    Paper or plastic?
    Reputation: zorg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    9,631
    Quote Originally Posted by JHH View Post
    Tall trees rule! I would focus your attention on riding all the new trails you have on offer instead of limiting yourself to your perceptions.

    For killer coastal views like you have in Laguna, try Wilder State Park. It's not all that technical and rocky, more of fun CX ride through coastal mesa scrub, oak and redwoods, yes there are TALL TREES you can hug.

    Don't dis da Dog. If you live close you will learn to love Waterdog. It's close enough that you can hit it before or after work which is a gift I certainly take advantage of at least once a week. There are some little nuggets of fun in there and plenty of climbing.

    Overall with the other suggestions as well I think you'll stop thinking your missing out once you get out an ride up here. I know my transplanted freinds living in Laguna miss the riding up here a lot.
    Sweeney Ridge has great views (unless it's completely fogged in) if that's what the OP is after.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: TahoeBC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    6,101

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    Don't worry about the trails ... the weather will become your real enemy if you're a SoCal native.
    I'm actually a Philadelphia native and spent four years in school right off of Lake Erie. I don't think I'll mind the peninsula winters.

    Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I'm definitely excited for the new environment for sure. I was just hoping I didn't have to go too far to find some rock gardens and views more along the lines of what's around Laguna if I get the itch. Pacifica looks like it may be what i'm looking for!

    I'll probably be at Water Dog more than any other park just because of the proximity and my busy schedule. I definitely am excited to get more acquainted with Skegg's as well.

  18. #18
    Snowjnky McDreamy
    Reputation: snowjnky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,538
    When I visit my family in Newport beach I will ride Aliso & Wood. I like that area because its easy too loop and get in multiple decent/ I do feel like I am in a live Mountain Bike Action Magazine article though.

    Demo will not have the level of snarly rock but overall it is a far superior park to mountain bike, minus the views. You get tech just not in the Socal way.

    WaterDog reminds me the most of Socal riding in the south bay area sorta rocky in places, jammed packed into residential and lot of single track in a small area; though I just rode Fairfax recently and was reminded of the San Gaberials/Mt. Wilson.

    Santa Teresa in South San Jose in home to, IMO, the best legal single track within 100 miles. Rocky Ridge in rockier than anything at Aliso & Wood, even Rockit, and it fun to climb also. It does lack and steep chutes, dropoffs or really big hits BUT if you charge that trail at mach speed it is about as tech as I want.

    Skeggs is fun just not too tech in the grand scheme, but if you want to ride awesome trials and get your ass into shape skeggs will do that.

    Pacifica- Most gnar, steep ass climbs, tech as hell, and if you have the right guide there is some DOPE ASS descents.Listen to Beaver. (that's what he said). views are second to none. My complaints with Ptown is that its far to get to IMO, everyone has more stones than me that ride with regularity, and I still find crack more scary than fun, BUT That backside (that's what he said) is REDIC.

    in norcal this is land-o-stava , radar guns and longer parking lot sessions than rides. WE DON'T GEOLADDER
    Brother Seamus?
    Like an Irish monk?
    Comic relief in a discussion does no harm..
    CS Lewis
    Quadzilla

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    4,483

    Moving to the Peninsula from Orange County. Feeling a little trail homesick!

    Quote Originally Posted by IronCOOKARU View Post
    I'm actually a Philadelphia native and spent four years in school right off of Lake Erie. I don't think I'll mind the peninsula winters.
    I was actually talking about the summers. You should see the mud at ECDM. It'll seem fine to a non native, I'd guess.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    I was actually talking about the summers. You should see the mud at ECDM. It'll seem fine to a non native, I'd guess.
    Ah yeah. I only know riding dry ass SoCal sand which can be fun outside of steep climbs.

    Quote Originally Posted by snowjnky View Post
    When I visit my family in Newport beach I will ride Aliso & Wood. I like that area because its easy too loop and get in multiple decent/ I do feel like I am in a live Mountain Bike Action Magazine article though.

    Demo will not have the level of snarly rock but overall it is a far superior park to mountain bike, minus the views. You get tech just not in the Socal way.

    WaterDog reminds me the most of Socal riding in the south bay area sorta rocky in places, jammed packed into residential and lot of single track in a small area; though I just rode Fairfax recently and was reminded of the San Gaberials/Mt. Wilson.

    Santa Teresa in South San Jose in home to, IMO, the best legal single track within 100 miles. Rocky Ridge in rockier than anything at Aliso & Wood, even Rockit, and it fun to climb also. It does lack and steep chutes, dropoffs or really big hits BUT if you charge that trail at mach speed it is about as tech as I want.

    Skeggs is fun just not too tech in the grand scheme, but if you want to ride awesome trials and get your ass into shape skeggs will do that.

    Pacifica- Most gnar, steep ass climbs, tech as hell, and if you have the right guide there is some DOPE ASS descents.Listen to Beaver. (that's what he said). views are second to none. My complaints with Ptown is that its far to get to IMO, everyone has more stones than me that ride with regularity, and I still find crack more scary than fun, BUT That backside (that's what he said) is REDIC.

    in norcal this is land-o-stava , radar guns and longer parking lot sessions than rides. WE DON'T GEOLADDER
    Yeah, I love Aliso and Wood because it's so accessible and easy to loop and navigate and get a really varied experience without having to commit to a long climb or fire road if you don't want to.

    I guess I don't understand the Mountain Bike Action Magazine comments. I'm barely familiar with the magazine. Are you referring to the type of crowd the area attracts? Image conscious totally X-TREME MTB riders, bro? Or does that mean the trails themselves feel contrived?

    What makes Demo superior to you? What makes it techy? I'm super excited to check out Water Dog for sure because it too is very accessible. It's nice to know that it's got some gnarl too! For me, Pacifica is still closer than Santa Teresa. I appreciate the innuendo, by the way!

    The radar gun business is a bit of a bummer for sure. I wasn't aware that some parks enforced speed limits so strictly. I can definitely see how the hiker voices might drown out bikers up there. I don't use stava or Geoladder believe it or not. I don't use anything!

  21. #21
    Paper or plastic?
    Reputation: zorg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    9,631
    Quote Originally Posted by IronCOOKARU View Post
    [...] I don't use stava or Geoladder believe it or not. I don't use anything!
    Blasphemy, you don't belong here!!
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by zorg View Post
    Blasphemy, you don't belong here!!
    I use MapMyRide occasionally :-P

  23. #23
    Snowjnky McDreamy
    Reputation: snowjnky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,538
    Quote Originally Posted by IronCOOKARU View Post
    Ah yeah. I only know riding dry ass SoCal sand which can be fun outside of steep climbs.



    Yeah, I love Aliso and Wood because it's so accessible and easy to loop and navigate and get a really varied experience without having to commit to a long climb or fire road if you don't want to.

    I guess I don't understand the Mountain Bike Action Magazine comments. I'm barely familiar with the magazine. Are you referring to the type of crowd the area attracts? Image conscious totally X-TREME MTB riders, bro? Or does that mean the trails themselves feel contrived?

    What makes Demo superior to you? What makes it techy? I'm super excited to check out Water Dog for sure because it too is very accessible. It's nice to know that it's got some gnarl too! For me, Pacifica is still closer than Santa Teresa. I appreciate the innuendo, by the way!

    The radar gun business is a bit of a bummer for sure. I wasn't aware that some parks enforced speed limits so strictly. I can definitely see how the hiker voices might drown out bikers up there. I don't use stava or Geoladder believe it or not. I don't use anything!
    MBA comment has to do with the "dude from Balboa in the G class with the 2015 S works Enduro on back, full pads, enduro style helmet that matches his shorts, shirts gloves backpack and brake lever Jagawire going there to take pictures on his one lap of Rockit. But for realz every time I have went I have hooked up with REALLY NICE PEEPS to show me around.
    Demo has rock gardens, steep stuff, stunts, fast flow and danger.

    you will be disapointed if you drive just for Santa Teresa, but if you happen to fit it in sometime you won't be disappointed.


    If you love Mountain Biking you have to ride Demo. Really its the cream of the crop around here. try to go when there is gonna be hero dirt,, then you will know why.
    Brother Seamus?
    Like an Irish monk?
    Comic relief in a discussion does no harm..
    CS Lewis
    Quadzilla

  24. #24
    member member
    Reputation: twowheelmotion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    1,147
    [QUOTE=snowjnky;10927069]MBA comment has to do with the "dude from Balboa in the G class with the 2015 S works Enduro on back, full TROY LEE DESIGNS, pads, enduro style helmet that matches his shorts, shirts gloves backpack and brake lever Jagawire going there to take pictures on his one lap of Rockit.

    "It's going down in the Whole Foods parking lot"

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jmallory's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,042
    Appreciate the fact that you have Santa Cruz so close now! We drive 3 hours from SLO to get those canopy, flowy, fast jump trails that we don't have.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation: primordial's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    124
    Due to long drive, I've not yet ridden Annadel (but plan to!), can you guys tell me and our SoCal transplant --

    In terms of overall rockiness, and in terms of true rock gardens in general, how does Annadel compare to the Manzanita.and Resulution trails at ECDM/Skeggs specifically? Those two trails have some rockiness where beginners WILL HIKE their bikes, but still those trails are 90% smooth forest trails. Does A typical loop at Annadel have that sort of ratio of true rock gardens -- as compared to just the Manz. and Res. trails at Skeggs? -- or does a typical Annadel ride have twice that ratio of rock gardens to smooth trail? 5x the ratio? 10x?

    Or is Annadel more like a long sustained Rocky Ridge/Stiles at Santa Teresa, where rockiness is very pronounced in a fairly large % of the total trail? (ie: where realistically a beginner would be very stressed a fair amount of the time).

    Just want to get a feel for it... and this seems like a relevant sub-question in this thread.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation: skyno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    1,926
    Annadel is a fairly large park with a lot of different types of trails, so it depends on the route, but it used to be a rock quarry so I would guess that on the whole it is about 41 times more rocky than Skeggs and on many of the trails a beginner would be stressed and not on their bike

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    4,483

    Moving to the Peninsula from Orange County. Feeling a little trail homesick!

    North bay is much more rocky than the peninsula overall.

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation: RooHarris's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    1,209

    A liitle further north...

    Quote Originally Posted by IronCOOKARU View Post
    I live in Laguna Beach currently and basically learned to mountain bike in Aliso & Wood.

    Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park Mountain Bike Trail in Laguna Beach, California || SINGLETRACKS.COM

    It's extremely close, offers gorgeous views, and is very easy to navigate. It has parallel ridge and canyon fire roads with some interesting single tracks that connect the two as well as some that run parallel to the fire roads. Apparently it's relatively technical as well. My experience is limited to a few places in south OC so I don't have a ton of perspective on this.

    I visited the peninsula this weekend and went over to Passion Trail Bikes in Belmont to ask some employees what trails on the peninsula they'd recommend. Everybody seemed to love El Corte De Madera Creek Open Space. So I took a look there and also a few other Open Space areas off of Skyline blvd.

    I definitely didn't see all of Madera but here are my impressions:
    • It didn't seem as technical as many people made it out to be
    • It seemed to me that there were quite a few fireroads which you often times don't have a choice in taking to get to a particular junction unless you go far out of your way. Many of the areas I've become familiar with in Orange County seemed to offer a lot of parallel single track alternatives to fireroads
    • Lots of junctions and tall trees make navigation difficult
    • My general impression of the peninsula trails I saw is that many of the more fun and technical trails are in heavily wooded areas and offer fewer awesome views
    • There are A LOT more hikers than I'm used to and many of the trails that looked most interesting were for hiking only


    These are just first impressions and I don't even live there yet. My questions are:


    • Can anybody recommend any particular Madera loops that are more on the technical side and aren't fire road heavy?
    • Can anybody recommend some good fun-scenery compromise parks/loops on the peninsula?


    People seem to think Water Dog Lake Park in Belmot is really fun as well. It's super close to me. I didn't get a chance to visit. Based on elevation maps, it seems like I'd have to go elsewhere for an intense climb workout though.

    Water Dog Lake Park Mountain Bike Trail in Belmont, California || SINGLETRACKS.COM

    I know the bay area has some great riding and I plan to check out many places. However, I work very long hours and a diverse, close go to place to tackle most weekends so I can give myself some goals and measure progress would be awesome.

    I'm sure it'll be excellent once I'm acclimated. Thanks in advance for the info!
    Welcome to some of the best diverse riding in the country. One area to ride north of the SF bay area is Mendocino/Fort Bragg. The Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) is the largest state forest in California at 49,000 acres. State Parks is getting on board too with opening up more riding to visitors and locals.

    We are 3 hours north off Hwy 1 and afford riders great single track which is about to be discovered big time. There is more than 200 miles of diverse riding on single and double track through tall redwoods with virtually no rocks. All year round riding (winter months bring fenders) can be had. Roots can be challenging though. We don't want to make it too easy. Although, we would like to discourage gravity riders from coming here, because to go downhill you have to earn it by doing lots of climbing. Average rides are about 4 hours with 15 to 22 miles each and 3,000' of elevation gain. There are some shorter rides for those just getting into the MTB scene. (Third round of guidebooks will be available again this winter. Mountain biking Guide service available through Mendocino Bike Sprite - Home)

    There are a number of riders on this blog that have enjoyed our trails and hospitality. Great pizza at Piaci with a beer selection to get a hard on over.

    So, if you are looking for diversity, fun, good food and our hospitality the Mendo/FTB area should be a periodic destination treat.

    Just a thought...

    Moving to the Peninsula from Orange County. Feeling a little trail homesick!-climb-ohno-sent.jpg

Similar Threads

  1. Ss Orange County
    By NicFitzzz in forum California - Socal
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 07-27-2013, 03:14 PM
  2. New in South orange county
    By MtnMauler in forum California - Socal
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-07-2012, 07:26 PM
  3. New to Orange County
    By surferbum99 in forum California - Socal
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 08-22-2012, 05:27 PM
  4. Moving to Orange County
    By blumena84 in forum Beer Forum
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 05-15-2012, 11:01 AM
  5. Visiting Orange county
    By Bonn in forum California - Socal
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 01-01-2011, 10:30 AM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.