OTE Ratings: O6/T3/E4
Distance: ~15 miles
Time: ~2 hours
USGS 7.5' topo: Hayward, CA (lake area); Las Trampas Ridge, CA (northern finger)
Ross Finlayson notes: IMHO, the 'trails' beside the lake are rather lame, so for quickest access to the bext riding, you may wish instead to park at the campground parking lot (N 37° 44' 28", W 122° 05' 35"), or at the Grass Valley Staging Area (N 37° 45' 16", W 122° 07' 02")
NOTE: Bells are now required on bikes at this park.
Longer details: Ride through the parking lot towards the lake, and take the (paved) East Shore, trail to the right. As you meander around the lake on the East Shore trail, the lake is on your left.
Climb Macgregor George trail. Go down & up the "Ten Hills" (aka "Ten Sisters") Trail, where "momentum is your friend". Go out and turn left to descend Redwood Road, and turn left into the Willow Park Golf Course (you could stop here for refills). Take the major climb up Brandon trail, along the East Bay Skyline National Recreation Trail (a part of the [not yet complete] Bay Area Ridge Trail). There are some great views around the bay from the top.
Cross a parking lot (off Redwood Road, I think) to stay on Brandon trail, and follow a swooping series of downhills past a shooting range (you'll hear it but not see it). A few more twisty descents and relatively short climbs (past an alternate park entrance at Skyline Drive at Grass Valley Road) bring the Lake back into view.
A short, steep downhill onto GoldenRod trail takes you to the paved West Shore Trail (a heavily multi-use trail, requiring judicious reduction in speed -- there is a 15-mph limit here). Several trails go off up the hill to the right, and you want to stay left, next to the lake. Ride down to and across the dam (just about the lake's westernmost point), and continue along the south side of the lake, to return to the marina and the end of the ride.
©1995-2007 Doug Landauer
©1995-2007 Ross Finlayson