Just know about the possibility, and, perhaps, opt to drive there in a less valuable (or better insured) vehicle, if you have the choice. Even more relevant to riders interested in this particular route might be additional traversals of Flow Trail itself. Please contact us for more details about our VIP program. Mt. Soquel Demonstration Forest Flow Trail is a 14.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Soquel, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. With a descent of about 1250 feet and trail length of 3.75 miles, the Flow Trail snakes down the Santa Cruz Mountain crossing the old ‘Tractor’ trail several times. Santa Cruz & Monterey . So leave your retrieval car at the main lot marked above, then drive the truck/shuttle vehicle to the gate by the top of the Ridge trail. This ride might be my favorite one at Demo. This must be a case of too much popularity. This singletrack also features what must be the most deeply gouged trail segment I've ever seen anywhere (too much clay in the soil? And if riding hard is your thing, we’ve got some burly, aggressive hardtails with long travel forks and dropper posts ready as well. At the bottom of Flow, ride Hinhs Mill to Sulfur Springs, back up to ridge trail where you can drop into Braille. Flow Trail begins off Ridge Trail shortly after the junction with Braille, at a spot any regular riders of Demo will know as the location of a picnic table on the left. Flow trail. Buzzard Lagoon will keep climbing until its junction with Aptos Creek Road. Come prepare for anything, including changes in the weather. Then try a different trail to descend back to Hihn's Mill Road, or use your favorite one again. it rained the night before the ride so the trail was pretty muddy in spots...still a blast though The most dangerous ones of these are the ones you encounter on the descending side of a steep hump without having a chance to see them first. The trail is primarily used for mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Looking for other options, if your return trip will be taking you south on Route 17, you'll have one or two roadside choices like Casa del 17 (though this particular one will be on the opposite side of the road as you're heading south). Our Trail Guides know the Santa Cruz Mountains like the back of their hands. Thankfully, its slope gradually slackens not long after the first mile of the climb. The Soquel Demo Flow Trail opened on April 17, 2014 and for the first time, riders were able to experience the complete trail with its six segments of bermed glory. You start the ride by taking paved Highland Way heading east. This is the area made famous in mountain biking videos by locals Cam and Tyler McCaul, Greg Watts, Jamie Goldman and others. Nevertheless I'd be surprised if I learned that at least the singletrack trails at Demo Forest were not designed specifically for mountain biking. It is very smooth and doesn't require a full suspension bike. Before You Book Your Shuttle Make sure the adventure is suitable for the rider. Or you’re a local and your bike is currently on the disabled list? I haven't paid for a shuttle but the few times I've ridden Demo we self shuttled the first fire road climb. The flow wasn’t quite there yet as the two segments, segment Three and Five were disconnected from each other and were in the middle of a big hill. There aren't too many roads that lead to Demo Forest. Length 14.1 miElevation gain 2250 ftRoute type Loop Includes shuttle to Soquel Demonstration Forest. While there are a few sections in Demo that can take advantage of dual ply tires, the pedal back up favors a dual ring or solid fitness and strong lungs. RIde the Ridge Trail to access (now) 4 very good descents, including the Flow Trail. Photo by Hunter 411. At the bottom of Braille, ride Hinh's Mill all … Minimum 5 person group to run the shuttle. It alternates between moderate climbs and moderate descents until you reach the beginning of Ridge Trail, at the Santa Rosalia Overlook (or "Ocean View"), where you can see Monterey Bay over the trees in the distance. best trail for advanced riders: soquel demonstration forest All Santa Cruz mountain biking trails are multi-use but on the Soquel Demonstration Forest Flow Trail bikers dominate the landscape. Our shuttle will transport you to … Once you complete your descent on Flow Trail and emerge onto the fire road that is Hihn's Mill Road, the fun part of the ride is over. If loamy Redwood covered trails, emerald green forests and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean are your cup of dirt, our trail guides will show you the path. https://www.alltrails.com/parks/us/california/soquel-demonstration-state-forest Enjoy some epic shuttle oriented point to point enduro trails. This vast endeavor’s success is due to the generous support of our volunteers, sponsors, donors, and members. This will make you realize that it wasn't an arbitrary choice that one of the trails is named Sulphur Springs Road. Only Flow Trail might contest it for the number-one position, though the Flow Trail is technical in quite a different way. Perhaps the bigger factor contributing to the difficulty level, however, is an unfortunate one: the trail was plagued by many potholes at the time of my last ride here. All of our services are listed below. More importantly, why would you want to do so, when the trails at Demo Forest are so excellent? What's more notable about the trail is a short uphill scramble that looks like a dry rapids where you'll have to struggle over and around boulders (or simply walk, of course). From there your options are wide open – from fast and flowing singletrack to a long scenic cruise back to your car in Aptos through the beautiful redwoods, there are adventures for all skill levels. The Hightower has become the goto weapon of choice for riders looking to shred downhill and conquer steep, technical climbs. Shuttle Times: Shuttle service will begin at 8:30 AM and shuttles will run roughly every 30 minutes based on demand. This is an intermediate to advanced trail system with climbing and technical sections. For this reason, it's much more common for mountain bikers to extend their Demo Forest ride by doing additional loops here. They even have nice outdoor seating. Our shuttle will transport you to the summit of Nisene Marks Forest. Hough Trails in Quincy. Read More. And if you ask nicely our guides might even show you some super secret riding skills, too! This is the area made famous in mountain biking videos by locals Cam and Tyler McCaul, Greg Watts, Jamie Goldman and others. We know that work, kids, in-laws, a sick dog or a rough night at the pub doesn’t always allow you to make it to the shop on time. Riders can come down either side of trail 307 and catch a ride back on the shuttle waiting at the bottom. Completed in 2015 by our parent organization, the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, Mount Hough trail is 12 miles and 3,800 vertical feet of singletrack flow, speed, beauty and amazing dirt (especially after some rain). Ride the fire road up to top to Demo forest. All guided tours are arranged so you finish the ride back at your cars. So, you should be prepared to have to do something like that. 1730 Mission St, Santa Cruz 831.423.9000 - 8035 Soquel Dr, Aptos 831.662.8100. contact@epicentercycling.com Jonesing to ride but not sure where to start? From technical, highly advanced trails to smooth, beginner friendly terrain, we can tailor a ride perfectly suited to your adventurous spirit. Soquel Demonstration Forest is considered one of the premier mountain bike destinations in Northern California. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below. Neither I nor any of my immediate acquaintances had any negative first-hand experience there so far, though. And, certainly, make especially sure that you don't leave any visible belongings (valuable or not) in the parked vehicle. Time to saddle up! We provide you with tools for self support, water and a map for only $20 with a complementary shuttle to the mountain bike trails in Santa Cruz, and Monterey. Fret no more, we have a Santa Cruz Hightower in your size waiting for you to tame. It's easy to miss. We offer a special program for teams, companies or groups of people interested in the VIP treatment. We offer slack packing, cheap shuttles ($5 per person into Hamburg), trail reports, hospital runs, pizza deliveries, brewery tours, wine tastings, and pretty much anything else hikers can think to do in the area. There are no water or feed opportunities in Demo Forest, so please pack accordingly with adequate food and water supplies, as well as tools and a repair kit in case of mechanical issues. Smith welcomes riders at the 9:30am shuttle with a handshake and enthusiastic greeting before firing up the van and beginning the 40-minute drive to the Demo Forest. From the young (or not so young) beginner, to the downhill pro, a flow trail delivers smiles for riders of all ages and skill level. Review is for the FLOW TRAIL that is now complete: Amazing design and flow. Though rolling farmland to the Corralitos Market, the van turns onto Eureka Canyon Road and climbs deep into the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Singletracks database of trails and its beloved commenters use a lot of exclamation points when writing about the relatively new flow trail at Demo, and those “!”s aren’t in reference to the climb, though that does get a fair number of mentions. Take the shuttle up from Aptos ($25) or ride 15 miles up the fire road. This trail has more aggressive slopes and angles in some of the dips and rises it follows and features several steep ramps clearly meant for catching some serious air (though you can still simply roll over them, like I do). $25 per person when 3 – 12 riders are booked. Soquel Demonstration Forest is considered one of the premier mountain bike destinations in Northern California. We found the shuttle service a good way to explore the area and cover quite a bit of ground. Along the way, it keeps you working since its average attitude is uphill. This will be your uphill grind to return to the parking lot. We offer a full day of support, including shuttles, snacks, hydration, skills instruction and more. The flow trail at Soquel Demonstration State Forest (SDSF) opened in June of 2015. For just $25 a rider, Shuttle Smith Adventures offers bike shuttles daily to the top of Forest of Nisene Marks, where you can rail the challenging singletrack loops of Soquel Demonstration Forest. This is a tight singletrack and it allows you to put your line selection skills to good use in at least a couple of short downhill technical stretches. I've even noticed one moderate, square-topped jump that actually seems to arrive within a banked curve. On my GPS track, the total length of the trail comes out to almost exactly three miles, which appears to be a significant underestimate arising from the shortcutting in the track data of many of the countless hairpin turns on this trail, because the formally quoted length of this trail is four miles. We are also a mobile bike mechanic service. That means appropriate clothing layers, as well as safety equipment, such as gloves and helmets. Read More. So, you’re visiting from out of town and your trusty whip is resting in the garage at home? The only alternative to the commonly used Highland Way is to take Eureka Canyon Road from the south. We will provide maps and suggestions for routes for riders who prefer to navigate their own course. You've been warned. Our shop on two-wheels is equipped with everything you need for a complete bike overhaul. If I had to make a comparison with the only other flow trail of this kind currently in existence in the Bay Area, this Flow Trail features a noticeably higher difficulty level and skill requirements than Endor Trail at Camp Tamarancho. And as always we provide bike rentals and guides with only the best local knowledge for those unfamiliar with the area who can show you all of the hidden treasures in our mountains. Soquel Demonstration Forest. It's not a particularly steep climb (around 8 or 9% grade, initially) but it might feel unwelcome near the end of your ride. And mountain bikers are the most commonly encountered users of the trails here. Ride Ridge trail to Flow. Whether you’re a local pro who just needs a lift to the top of the mountain, or visiting Santa Cruz/Monterey with the family and need some local knowledge, we have you covered. The trail is fast in some sections but with a continuous grade of probably 4-5% so nothing steep. 8:30 a.m. – Our First run will be a special run to the top of Spruce. The Soquel Demo Flow Trail opened on April 17, 2014 and for the first time, riders were able to experience the complete trail with its six segments of bermed glory. Aptos Location: Our shop is conveniently located at the entrance to one of the best parks in Santa Cruz - so you can head out from our Aptos shop right into Nisene Marks State Park or catch a ride up to the renowned single-track and flow trail at Soquel Demonstration State Forest with our shuttle service Epicenter Shuttle. Fitness requirements vary from moderate to advanced depending on your choice of trails and how long you plan to ride. The Soquel Demonstration State Forest is also known as “The Demo”, “Soquel Forest”, “The Forest”, and the “SDSF”. When it does, since the Eureka Canyon Road option is quite out-of-the-way for most folk going there from the Bay Area, many riders opt to park their cars on Highland Way, as far along it as they can go before the point where it's closed, and bike their way in from there. On June of 2014, the first two segments (of six) of the Demo Flow Trail opened to the public. Water bottles and snacks are highly recommended. Built specifically for mountain bikes, a flow trail emphasizes speed and rhythm, featuring berms, rollers, jumps and other features that are designed in a way that uses the rider’s momentum to minimize pedaling and braking (think downhill pump track). Soquel Demonstration State Forest is situated in the Santa Cruz Mountains along California's central coast. It couldn't hurt to research this in advance, either, by looking through recent postings on the MTBR forums. For the most part, it continues like an amusement park ride, and occasionally throws challenging technical sections at you. There were several that met that definition at the time of my ride. However, this is definitely a trail or all mountain shuttle. This seems to happen every other year. To me, the most characteristic feature of Ridge Trail are its many well-banked S-curves. Aptos Creek Road is a wide fire road that's exposed to the sky in a couple of sections. If you look for a place to grab a bite or a sip after your ride, the option that's closest at hand will be Summit Store, which many of you will have driven past on Summit Road on your way to the ride. © 2020 Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Shuttle. The trail descends at an average rate that's not very different from the stretch on Ridge Trail up to that point, which is evidence of how economically it loses elevation because the slopes that Flow Trail descends are much steeper than the grade on the spine of the ridge followed by Ridge Trail. So, make sure you keep an eye out for it. The problem is that much of Highland Way is situated on a steep slope that's prone to frequent slides that close the road. You continue on Buzzard Lagoon for a little more distance as it starts descending. Originally part of a Mexican land grant, the property was logged by several different owners prior to the State taking ownership in 1988. I suggest riding Highland Way to Buzzard Lagoon. ), just before it drops you onto Aptos Creek Road. It's that good. This is easily noticeable in some of the shots in the photo set. This is the newest trail at Demo. The Flow Trail of Demo Forest is only the second flow trail built around the Bay Area and is quite a different beast from the typical mountain biking trails we're used to seeing. These potholes—a lot of times arriving in succession, like braking bumps—mean that you are riding on not only an ambitious flow trail, but also one with a pretty technical trail surface in a lot of spots. This spot also happens to be where you would be entering Demo Forest if you had taken Aptos Creek Road through The Forest of Nisene Marks all the way from the coast. We work by appointment. Soquel Demo Flow Trail - 29500 Highland Way, Santa Cruz, CA 95033 - Rated 5 based on 12 Reviews "One of the best rides around hands down. Mountain bike shuttle Catch a comfortable, scenic lift from our Aptos store to the top of the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, from which point you can take on the renowned singletrack loops at Soquel Demonstration State Forest before enjoying a beautiful descent through the redwoods back to the shop. $30 per person when only 2 riders are booked. Packages start at $700 for groups of 10. I suppose it might depend on which of the two is more crowded on that particular day. All Rights Reserved. Demo Flow Trail. After having descended to Hihn's Mill Road, one common route for getting back up to Ridge Trail to "do it all again" is up Sulphur Springs Trail. A typical ride at Demo Forest involves starting by tracing around the eastern edge of the park initially on pavement and continuing mostly on fire roads (Highland Way - Buzzard Lagoon Road - Aptos Creek Fire Road) to get to the singletrack Ridge Trail, descending from Ridge Trail down to Hihn's Mill Road via one of several options, and then climbing back up Hihn's Mill Road to return to your car. Tours. That should be expected for such a popular trail. In addition to trail knowledge, our expert guides can also assist with trailside essentials such as basic bike fit, suspension set up and any minor mechanical issues that might occur during your ride. Soquel Demonstration Forest // Santa Cruz, CA. Our guides carry all of the necessary tools to take care of potential repairs that might pop up during the ride, but you are free to bring any tools and spares you like. The only thing you won't find is waiter service. We also suggest you bring a spare inner tube in case of a flat. Included in the cost of our guided tours is pick up and shuttle to the beginning of your ride. The aim as well as the highlight of this ride is riding "Flow Trail". Demo Forest - Flow Trail (Santa Cruz) pretty fun ride down the flow trail. And the final half mile to the parking lot, as you go through the private property of a lumber company, is a very welcome gentle descent. We offer bike mechanic services and repairs throughout the Santa Cruz and Monterey area. At various times, I've read different people recommending parking on Highland Way instead of in the main parking lot, or vice versa, for better safety. Call us now to check availability and to reserve your bike today. It's not like you can count on your window being broken the very first time you go biking there. Flow Trail features ripping tight turns right out of the gate. Then again, it might. From challenging and chunky natural trails to the famous 4-mile, handrafted Flow Trail, you are treated to a full days worth of dirty fun. A prime example of a community coming together to make something great happen, the Demo Forest Flow Trail features four straight miles of high-speed pumps, rollers, jumps, and berms. When it comes to extending your ride outside Soquel Demonstration Forest, you won't find many options without getting into choices of questionable legitimacy. You decide where you want to go explore! The singletrack fun of the ride begins about a quarter mile after the start of that descent, when (what is almost but not exactly) Cusacks Trail starts off the right-hand side of Buzzard Lagoon Road with no sign or forewarning. In April I rode flow trails at Bend OR, Redding CA, Camp Tamarancho and then the Demo Forest. Demo Forest has been subject to intermittent bouts of burglary of parked vehicles. We previously wrote about Dave Smith’s new venture, Shuttle Smith Adventures, which takes mountain bikers up from Aptos (near Santa Cruz) to Soquel Demonstration Forest, from where they can do numerous loops and then ride back down a long flowing fire road to Aptos.. We got to visit with Dave in his van and did a little impromptu iPhone video. Ridge Trail down to Flow Trail is probably a rougher ride in itself. Head down the Ridge Trail from Aptos Creek Fire Road passing Corral, Sulphur Springs and Braille Trail until you arrive at Segment 1 of the Flow Trail. Dizzyingly fast descent on very well maintained berms. Weather conditions can range from wet and muddy to hot and dry. Fully Supported. This year we’ve added a few special shuttles. Since this ride was done only four months after the grand opening date mentioned by MBoSC (May 2015), it's quite worrisome to see that things can get into this shape in such a little time. The two are not "worlds apart", but the difference is clear. On average, it's a descent from Aptos Creek Road, but it does have a couple of short and steep climbing sections that might catch you by surprise on your first time here (though the worst of these has been bypassed by an easier segment since I originally wrote this paragraph). Contact us and we can discuss which size and style of bike best suits your needs. Point your bike downhill and begin ripping the berms, whoops, and pumps galore the next 3 1/2 miles. Beyond that, it will have to be some place in Scotts Valley or Santa Cruz that's most handy for those heading south, and downtown Los Gatos for those heading north. We have small, medium and large sizes to cover most body types. Over 530 unique volunteers contributed 6,300 hours over two years to build this epic four mile trail. LIFE ISN’T AROUND THE CORNER, IT IS THE CORNER. It's the version that takes Braille Trail to descend from Ridge Trail to complete the loop, which is one of the most advanced and technical trails here. Cusacks Trail takes you from Buzzard Lagoon Road to Aptos Creek Road. Along the way, you pass by the junction with Corral Trail (an option for a shorter loop), past a helicopter landing area at the junction with Sulphur Springs Trail, and the junction with Braille Trail. It's entirely possible that the trail will have seen plenty of maintenance by the time you read this and these potholes may be all gone, but it's also very possible that they will have come back since the last round of repairs anyway. ~ built with ♡ by big deep digital. In the Hamburg, PA area: Rainbow Alpaca Shuttle Service 484.560.7813. Call us today and we will show up at your door ready to get you rolling again. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. Great skill building area. One other peculiar thing to note about Demo Forest is that, if you're lucky, you might rarely notice a faint smell of sulphur while riding in the area. You turn onto the Buzzard Lagoon dirt road at the intersection of Highland Way, Buzzard Lagoon, and Eureka Canyon Road. The complete length of this trail was open to the public in early 2015, though a sign at its beginning declared it as being "open but still under development" at the time of this particular ride in September 2015. We have three pick up points in Santa Cruz (depending on the route) where you can safely park your car for the day. With a descent of about 1250 feet and trail length of 3.75 miles, the Flow Trail snakes down the Santa Cruz Mountain crossing the old 'Tractor' trail several times. Its official status is different from most other mountain biking locations: Instead of being an open space preserve, or a national, state, county, or city park, Demo Forest is a state forest. For just $25 a rider, Shuttle Smith Adventures offers bike shuttles daily to the top of Forest of Nisene Marks, where you can rail the challenging singletrack loops of Soquel Demonstration Forest. From challenging and chunky natural trails to the famous 4-mile, handrafted Flow Trail, you are treated to a full days worth of dirty fun. This flow trail is in a league of its own and as somebody … Soquel Demonstration Forest is a location that probably ranks in the top three of the favorites of most mountain bikers around the Bay Area. For further information about the trail and about ways of contributing to its development and maintenance, the MBoSC website is the resource you should consult. Discover New Trails. Courtesy shuttle with purchase of a tour, guided or self guided, on one-way rides, so you can cover the whole park from top to bottom in one run. Riders planning to ride the trails at Soquel Demonstration State Forest (Demo) should be fit and possess solid bike handling skills. Simply take Tractor Trail back up and repeat the playful descent as many times as you feel like, before pedaling back up to the parking lot. For further information about the trail and about ways of contributing to its development and maintenance, the MBoSC website is the resource you should consult. Located in Nisene Marks State Park , the mountain biking review site Singletracks rated this dirt-packed rollercoaster the #1 flow trail in the U.S. It is located in the Summit area of the Santa Cruz Mountains off of Highland Way and next to The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. We have been sharing the hidden treasures buried within the Santa Cruz Mountains and beyond for 10 years. Ridge Trail is a deliciously technical singletrack trail. Shuttle providers on the Appalachian Trail; If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. Demo Flow. While this is technically "merely a supermarket", it has something to satisfy every taste, including packaged or freshly made deli sandwiches, hot entrees, good cheese and bread, wine and beer, surprisingly decent sushi, an impressive variety of pastries, not to mention the sort of packaged food and bottled drinks that you'd find at any good market. The Flow Trail of Demo Forest is only the second flow trail built around the Bay Area and is quite a different beast from the typical mountain biking trails we're used to seeing. I believe the consensus as of this writing is that the problem still exists. 'S much more common for mountain biking and is accessible year-round onto Aptos Creek Road point trails! Is accessible year-round will run roughly every 30 minutes based on demand 's Mill,. Importantly, why would you want to do so, make sure you keep an eye for... 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