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Explore the best rated trails in Santa Cruz, CA. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Alameda Creek Regional Trail and Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area Trails. With more than 57 trails covering 575 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
I've mostly ridden the section between Hellyer Park and the Coyote Creek visitor center / Malaguerra Ave (great free parking). A superb ride with far less traffic than the Los Gatos trail. A couple of weeks ago I parked at the Tully Rd lot and took it south. I was a little creeped out about leaving my truck there and the number of homeless encampments from Tully south about a mile. I won't do that again. Another good parking place is the free dirt lot "Coyote Creek Trail Parking at Metcalf" on google maps.
Riders and walkers be on ALERT!!!! Encountered two rattlesnakes on the trail but love all 44 miles of the trail. Great trail to disconnect from the urban concrete streets of San Jose. Oh yeah, nature at its BEST!!
We didn't like the thought of leaving our car at the Castroville end loaded with stuff for a weekend trip, so we drove a short ways to Marina State Beach and started there. It's a short ride on not-too-busy streets to meet up with the trail just north of the Fort Ord section.
Loved the wide, uncrowded Fort Ord area and enjoyed the ocean views in the Sand City area, though some of that sand on the trail was pretty thick. The trail gets fairly crowded as you get into Monterey so we only took it as far as the wharf, about 10 miles from Marina Beach.
A beautiful ride, on our list of places to go again.
Cool sights in wildlife. People here are snotty techies¿. No one says hello back. But ride is nice out to the bay
Good for walking & jogging but too busy for bicycles, skateboards, scooters. The street along side has a lot of traffic without a bike path so not very biker friendly. It's popular with pedestrians & dogs strolling along probably because there's an entrance to a dog friendly beach along the route. A lot of the route is along the top of a bluff with beach below so it gets very windy and can be cold if not sunny. Beaches are narrow & rocky and more for surfing. The path is nicely paved making it easy to walk.
This is a fantastic, scenic trail that is very protected for bikes. Can't wait to ride it again.
Being on this trail is a lovely escape from the city streetscape. In the works now is County action to close the cement plant at the end of the RR spur this trail adjoins. When that happens, there is a County adopted plan for the trail to extend all the way from Los Gatos to Rancho San Antonio Open Space!
This trail is a good length for a stroll. It is hilly and scenic. It is in a valley. The trail is asphalt with cracks sealed with tar. Except for the east end, which is concrete and very wide. I don’t recommend it for skating because it is rough and short. Also the hill at the west end near the bathrooms/parking is very steep.
I started on the north side, this is a nice walk with small children. After crossing the first road to the south there is a park on the right, pretty good for children.
In July, 2021, trail was extended south 1/3 mile to Linda Vista Park in Cupertino.
This path is very family/kid friendly (flat, playground...bonus playground a mile out...donkeys you can pet, but there are no public restrooms nearby! Would be a four star rating if there was a bathroom.
I have ridden this trail many times and would recommend it to just about any level of rider. From Castroville to Carmel, it just keeps getting better. I would recommend to return from Carmel by going over the hill into Monterey on any number of routes. Veterans Memorial Park at the top of the hill gives riders the opportunity to ride into Historic Monterey. Also, there's great restaurants and brew pubs to be found. The Monterey-Salinas Transit hub is there for those that want to take mass transit rather than continue pedaling.
A alternative route going "over the hill" to Monterey would be going up (north) from Carmel Village, to Highway 1 then making a left turn to continue north for less than a mile, then exiting Highway 1 at Aguajito Road. Continue past Aguajito back toward a bridge crossing of Highway 1 and you'll see a bike trail just before you cross the bridge. Take that trail downhill to enter Monterey from the east.
I just noticed another post lamenting that the rider had to drive to the start in Castroville. No, it's not necessary to drive to the start as Monterey-Salinas Transit has excellent routes and will take your bikes onboard if the racks are already taken. Also, same reviewer criticized a area that's not on the trail at all when mentioning Highway 1 north of Moss Landing and the road construction there. That construction was for PG&E gas lines and was completed as of 9/23/21. The road shoulder of Highway 1 is returned, and it's not necessary to "share the lane" with motor vehicles along that section any longer.
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