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Five2Ride: 5 of the Best Mountain Bike Trails in California

The Forest of Nisene Marks & Soquel Demonstration Forest (Santa Cruz, CA)

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.

In this October 2016 review, reader larryhogueisson gets all misty-eyed and provides a great snapshot.

“Demo Forrest is absolutely the must-do area in Santa Cruz… Period! Tons of work by the guys from Ibis ensure these trails will be in great shape year-round. There are many different routes, so pick your poison. I am one who never minds the opportunity to mash some pedals in order to earn some DH fun. In Demo Forest there is definitely some work to be done in the earning department. It’s a slow steady climb to get to the Forest, but once you’re there, you’ll forget you just climbed to get there. Amazing flowing DH rides with GREAT natural terrain features, huge banking turns, and even a few spots to create some white-knuckled riding. A day of riding Sawpit, Braille, and Flow will give you PLENTY of fun and remind your legs why carbs are important when you pedal back to the car. You’ll take a puff or two with all the climbing, but EPIC flowing downhills make it every bit worth it.” -larryhogueisson

In addition to the new flow trail which tends to get all the love, the old school freeride-style descents still offer a challenge that harkens back to the renegade days of our sport. Whichever descent you choose, be prepared for a wild ride!

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