Previous "Featured Areas"

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"Featured areas" are mountain biking areas or trails that I have ridden and particularly enjoyed, and that have additional information available on the WWW. Each month I choose a new area to list near the start of the main mountain biking page.

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San Francisco Bay Area

  • Water Dog Lake Park, Belmont, California, U.S.A. A surprising number of singletrack trails, packed into a relatively small urban park on the San Francisco Peninsula.
  • El Corte de Madera Open Space Preserve (Woodside, California, U.S.A.). This beautiful and rugged park contains the most technical singletrack on the San Francisco peninsula. (However, it has recently undergone significant changes. Here’s why.)
  • The Long Ridge & Saratoga Gap Open Space Preserves (Santa Clara County, California, U.S.A.). Some pretty singletrack, conveniently located in the hills behind Silicon Valley.
  • Fremont Older Open Space Preserve, Cupertino, California, U.S.A. Ok, so it’s not exactly Moab, and it sometimes has lots of horse traffic, and it tends to get ’dumbed down’ by the local open space district, but it’s perhaps the most convenient after-work place to ride for Silicon Valley workers.
  • Wilder Ranch State Park (Santa Cruz, California, U.S.A.). This park, although relatively small, captures much of the wide variety of California’s natural beauty, including open grassland, stands of native redwoods and madrones (& exotic eucalyptus), and rugged coastline.
  • The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park (Aptos, California, U.S.A.). This park consists mostly of a long fireroad that climbs 2300 feet through a scenic redwood forest. The surrounding trees, and the slope of the hill, keeps the road fairly well drained, even in the midst of California’s wet season.
  • Henry W. Coe State Park, near Morgan Hill, California, U.S.A. Bigger than several East Coast states. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but at more than 80,000 acres, this place is huge (& rugged too). Bikers can (& have) become lost for days in this park.
  • Soquel Demonstration State Forest, Soquel, California, U.S.A. Some nice technical singletrack, in a very bike-friendly park.

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Elsewhere in northern California

  • Boggs Mountain State Forest, Lake County, California, U.S.A. The best singletrack in the ’greater Bay Area’, yet far enough away from civilization to be uncrowded.
  • "Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride" (South Lake Tahoe, California, U.S.A.). A beautiful piece of alpine singletrack in the Sierra Nevada mountains. This ride is both physically and technically challenging, and is generally considered to be one of Lake Tahoe’s classic rides.
  • The Sequoia National Forest (near Kings Canyon National Park, central California, U.S.A.). Beautiful alpine riding in the southern Sierra.
  • Downieville, California, U.S.A. As featured in "Bike" magazine, July 1996. This small town, in a remote region of the Sierra Nevada mountains, hosts some of the best singletrack descents that I have ever ridden.
  • Fort Ord Public Lands, Monterey County, California, U.S.A. A side effect of the end of the Cold War: An army base closes and gets converted to public parkland, including some nice singletrack!
  • The "Coyote Point Trail" at New Hogan Reservoir, east of Stockton, California, U.S.A. A very short trail, but very rocky and surprisingly technically challenging - a fun anerobic ’skills’-type ride.

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The United States, outside California

  • The Colorado Trail (Dry Creek Fork Loop), near Durango, Colorado, U.S.A. A beautiful forested singletrack trail with some nice views. Colorado at its finest.
  • The Slickrock Trail (Moab, Utah, U.S.A.). Arguably the world’s most famous mountain bike ride, and certainly one of the most unique.
  • The Phoenix Mountain Preserve Trail (trail #100), Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A. A moderate, but very scenic, 11-mile (each way) ride through the hills of northern Phoenix. A great place to visit during the winter.
  • The McDowell Mountain Park, near Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A. A mostly smooth ’roller coaster’ ride through the Arizona desert. Zoom Zoom!
  • The Hermosa Creek Trail, Durango, Colorado, U.S.A. More than 20 miles of beautiful forest singletrack beside an alpine stream - almost all of it downhill!
  • The Porcupine Rim Trail, Moab, Utah, U.S.A. Could this be the world’s best ride?
  • South Mountain Park, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A. There’s spectacular desert riding here, with rocky, technical climbs and descents. This park kicked my butt when I rode it in mid-winter. I couldn’t imagine riding here during the summer.

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Outside the United States

  • Falun, Sweden. Visiting Scandinavia during the summer? Here’s one nice place to go riding.

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Last modified date: 2015.03.05
©1995-2015 Ross Finlayson