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Thursday, January 3, 2019
My wife and I started this ride at the northern most entrance at the corner of San Bruno Avenue West and Skyline Blvd. We parked at a dirt church parking lot across from the trail head that a sign said was open to the public. TrailLinks indicates there is parking at the San Andrea Trail parking lot about a ½ mile down the trail along Skyline Blvd. It not really a parking lot but more of a wide spot on the road. I actually didn’t recognize it on the first pass as there was only one car parked there.
Heading south from the trail head (you begin on the two lane paved San Andreas Trail) you begin a rolling incline as you ride along next to Skyline Road. After about 3 miles you will top out as you head toward the San Andreas Lake and begin a long 400 foot drop over the next mile or two to the San Andreas Dam. Pedaling is optional and by this time you have passed at least one bathroom…expect to see more.
By the time you reach the dam, you will be on the Sawyer Camp Recreational Trail. The view from the dam was spectacular, particularly as it is quite green this time of year. There are plenty of tree covered sections to make you really feel you are outdoors. A pretty nice feeling for being in the “city”. There are also several historic sites marked along the trail.
After crossing the dam your drop further down into the creek. The trees provide quite a bit of shading which would be good in the summer months but got quite chilly for our ride. There are picnic tables and of course, another bathroom.
You will eventually end up along the shore of the Lower Crystal Springs Reservoir. Again, spectacular views and a ton of friendly deer. We also began to encounter more and more hikers as this section is easily accessible from the entrance at the Sawyer Camp trail head next to the Crystal Springs Road and is pretty flat all the way to the bottom of the San Andreas Dam. Not too much of a problem for our week day winter ride, but I expect this would get very crowded on weekends and summer.
We made our turnaround at the Sawyer Camp Trailhead (10 miles from our start) but not before making a side trip about a mile and a half north UP Hwy 35 to the Crystal Springs Golf course for lunch. The menu was typical bar food. The cheeseburger was huge and tasty. I would suggest splitting one as it came with a very large order of fries (my wife got onion rings). It was a small restaurant/bar overlooking the driving range.
My wife and I have Specialized Como electric bikes so the pedal assisted ride back up the trail was not difficult. But the incline was not that steep and was steady over a couple miles. Good gearing and little patience should not dampen your ride.
Total round trip (including the 1-1/2 mile one way side trip for lunch) was 22 miles.
This was our first ride of 2019 on a route we had never been before and we have lived in the Bay Area for 30 years. A hearty thanks to TrailLink for highlighting this on their web page!
Do yourself a favor and skip the first half of this trail if you’re on a board. It’s pretty lame to begin with and the roads that you have to travel along are terrible. Part of the first half is also gravel and you’ll have to walk. But the second half is pretty awesome...especially the last 1/4. Go off the trail a bit and explore the back roads..there are some fun hills.
After reading about the Arroyo Mocho Trail, I headed out to reconnoiter my future commute route to work (Livermore) from San Ramon. The first 4-5 miles of this trail is hazardous for those with novice or beginner level riding skills. Those first few miles are mostly loose gravel with some gaping cracks in the paved sections. After that, the trail turns to a smoother, paved trail. Mountain, Gravel, Cyclocross or otherwise 'wide tires' are recommended for those with less experience riding in loose terrain.
The start of the trail by the fish viewing area is a FIRE TRAIL. The second half, after crossing the road, is paved asphalt. Unfortunately I showed up with my road bike and not my mountain bike, so my ride was a short one.
A friend and I rode this trail as part of a two-day bike ride in East Bay – riding the Iron Horse Trail and the Contra Costa Canal Trails. On the first day – we road mostly the Iron Horse and then rode the Eastern Section of the Canal Trail to the end and back. This section of the Canal trail started out a bit rough but only for a small portion – maybe 100 yards – then the surface was smooth and it was a great ride along the canal through nice neighborhoods. We spent the night near the intersection of the Iron Horse and the Canal Trail and rode the Western Section the next day before heading back down the Iron Horse Trail. The western section of the trail was great as well – nice surface – easy to follow with a minimum of street crossings. Both of these trails have a lot of street crossings, but almost all of the crossings give a preference to the trail. We only had to wait at a few. Definitely a nice place to ride!
A friend and I rode this trail as part of a two-day bike ride in East Bay – riding the Iron Horse Trail and the Contra Costa Canal Trails. This trail gets 4.5 stars – there are some sections that area not all that great, but for the most part of the 24.5 miles we rode (both ways) are fabulous! We started in Dublin and rode to the end. The trail from Dublin through Danville and Alamo was really excellent, going through nice neighborhoods, has a GREAT, smooth surface and was sheltered for the most part so wind was not a great factor either way. The Walnut Creek section was a bit sketchy with some not so nice, unattractive sections with chain-link fences and rough surface. Odd – because one of the sections was used by High School students in large groups going home – it is absolutely used as a transportation route – not just a multi-use trail for recreation. We would have thought it would be better maintained. Past that and into Concord it was nice again except that there is an unmarked break in the trail at Monument Boulevard. We simply crossed a road and ended up on the wrong trail without noticing and there are no markings at all to say turn left here and go a few feet to the Iron Horse Trail so we found ourselves dumped onto a street unexpectedly. This was the Monument Corridor Trail in Concord. When you cross Monument Boulevard, you need to pay attention. It was a bit confusing and difficult to get back to the trail we wanted. But we did and coming back figured out what the problem was. The rest of the trail was ok but a bit choppy (i.e., bumps, cracks) around the airport. There are a couple of underpasses – but you notice right away if you miss them and can see where the trail is – like at Concord Avenue. The end of the trail is through an open field on the side of an airport and can get quite windy – but it isn’t long and is just part of the experience. Overall – a GREAT ride!
I tried this with my young kids in 2016. We started in Discovery park on the Jedediah Smith (American River Bike trail) , biked down to old Sac on the Sacramento River Bike Trail where we had some ice cream cones, and on the way back to Discovery park we decided to take this trail to 12th street, take the 12th street bridge (N Sacramento FWY) over to Northgate blvd and get back on to the Jedediah Smith trail.
The trail itself is in good condition and connects up to several other glorious area trails. It's paved the whole way with a few dirt spurs that go down to the river's edge and fairly open.
I don't know where the photo that's featured for this trail was taken as I didn't see anything remotely similar on our route. There were a lot of homeless folks camped out along the route, and very few of the regular bikers and hikers that you normally see on the other trails. Getting off on 12th street was hair raising with little kids in tow, and there isn't a connector to put you back on the American River bike trail on the other side of the bridge, so if you don't know where you're going you might get lost and end up in a homeless camp.
If you're with a few buddies and it's still broad daylight, then it might be worth doing. Unfortunately, the trail gets very little traffic right now (so the police rarely patrol it) and it really doesn't go anywhere. If they ever build the trail out to the University it will might probably become a great trail. As of spring 2018 it's really not worth riding this trail even if you live here.
This is a great trail that is a smooth ride with many benches and stopping points along the way, even a few restrooms as well. People are decently considerate on the trail but you will have the occasional "tour de Sacramento" guy going way too fast.
Also if you are a mountain biker steer clear, the Park Rangers do not mess around here and you don't want to be caught off the paved trail, there are many off road paths along the route but strictly no bikes on that part.
BE CAREFUL on the part of the trail that connects Antioch to Oakley. There are guys riding motorbikes on the trail sometime. They usually stick to the hills but will come down to the trail. There are some incredibly blind turns and these guys are driving really fast. They WILL hurt someone or themselves one day.
I don't really enjoy this trail. I only use it for my convenience. In fact, I use this trail to get to the Marsh Creek Trail, which is awesome!
Nice flat trail that is perfect for older dogs. Lots of garbage cans available along the way for dog poop.
If you are looking for a smooth ride without a lot of traffic, this is your trail. The first half near lake Natoma has been freshly repaved and is billiard table smooth. The two street crossings have signals but other than those, it's a great path for fast riding.
I ride form the North end of the trail. Most riders do not go south of CA16, Jackson Rd. The channel is cut to a very flat slope, and the train follows that slope almost all the way to CA16.
There are sections below grade where the sun and wind do not go in late afternoon. If you are looking for a place to practice your speed riding this is one of the best. It is a great tie-in with CA16 which has wide bike lanes for all but a short section at Rancho Murieta to CA49.
Ride 10.5 miles from Nimbus Fish Hatchery to Ca 16. Take Ca16 East to Plymouth for an extra 25 miles
Back to the South end of Folsom South Canal. At times there is water in a ditch you can ride through just South of Ca16, You need to lime over or under the gate at Sloughhouse Rd. There is more water to cycle through where the canal goes under Dear Creek, but when you get to where the channel goes under the Consumes River, you may have to swim. The river is about 120 feet wide, and the canal is underground for approximately 700 feet. There are about 450 feet of field between the river and the next section of the channel.
You should be able to go East on Ca16 for 4.5 miles, turn South on Dillard Rd for 3.8 miles and pick up the canal again but you cannot quite get to Twin Cities Rd.
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