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Find the top rated atv trails in Santa Cruz, whether you're looking for an easy short atv trail or a long atv trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a atv trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
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.
There is a very short section of bike path from Castroville going to the first highway at which point one is on country roads with heavy trucks and speeding vehicles until one gets to the edge of the city of Marina. From there one crosses multiple intersections until out of the city.
Lots of pedestrians and small children loosely supervised if at all so need to be cautious where sight distances are reduced. Worst once on gets into the city of Monterey. It is not difficult to continue to Pebble Beach and with all the ultra rich having multiple home in this community, road traffic is largely non existant if not on the marked 17-mile drive section.
Getting to Castroville safely requires the use of a personal car. Caltrans periodically sets up construction on Highway 1 from north of Moss Landing and through to Castroville. Often there is only a single lane for bicyclists and cars and heavy trucks with trailers to use and the odds of being hit and killed is very very high as this is the busiest two lane highway in the United States. The section of Hwy 1 through Moss Landing has been very dangerous thanks to the state road work for the past 45 years and nothing has changed and it is as dangerous now as ever.
Gravel to start at the south trailhead, then asphalt. Pretty exposed to a major street in the beginning, then a sound barrier goes up. North end is closed off. Couple of bridges over where the creek would be.
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