MTB Project Logo

John Nicholas Trail

Intermediate
 4.6 (132)

Fun new trail connecting Black Rd. to Skyline Trail - some great views and beautiful redwood forest.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

5.1

Miles

8.2

KM

Doubletrack

2,912' 888 m

High

1,798' 548 m

Low

1,146' 349 m

Up

127' 39 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

19%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Not Allowed

Description

This trail starts from the gate on Black Road, where you can park or ride up from Lexington reservoir. The first 1.5mi of trail is fairly flat on a well maintained fireroad, meandering through the forest. At about 1.5mi you'll reach the Ranch Lake reservoir, where you may find some wildlife (deer, rabbits and skunks). After going around the reservoir, you'll see a steep fireroad on the right dropping down to Sanborn Rd.

Instead, you'll veer left and start climbing up to the new section of the trail along a small creek. The new trail is about 4' wide, with a few wooden bridges and benches under heavy tree cover. The climb is fairly gradual with only a couple of steeper sections. As you climb higher there will be a couple good vista points to enjoy.

After about 5 miles you'll reach Skyline trail. This trail has been only recently opened to bikes. Keep right on Skyline and you'll reach the parking lot on Skyline Blvd. From there you can ride back down the way you came, or, if you prefer, make a loop on the road by turning left on Skyline and another left on Black Road for a beautiful paved descent to your car. There are some sections without a dividing line - and some sneaky corners - so it can be wise to use a bit of caution.

Contacts

Land Manager: Santa Clara County Parks

Shared By:

Marco Soldano with improvements by T P

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 132 votes

#7

Overall
  4.6 from 132 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
29%
3 Star
2%
2 Star
1%
1 Star
1%
Trail Rankings

#3

in California

#7

Overall
447 Views Last Month
57,547 Since Dec 16, 2014
Intermediate

2%
4%
81%
9%
4%
0%

Photos

Nice tacky trail in the woods- John Nicholas Trail
Dec 16, 2014 near Monte S…, CA
The views from the John Nicholas Trail are fantastic.
Dec 18, 2016 near Monte S…, CA
Enjoy great views from by the bench under the big rock on John Nicholas Trail.
May 15, 2017 near Monte S…, CA
Last wooden bridge before going up.
Apr 29, 2018 near Monte S…, CA
An interesting rock with a bench. About 4 miles into the trail from the Black Road entrance.
Aug 27, 2017 near Monte S…, CA
A wonderfully built switchback leading downhill on John Nicholas trail
Apr 24, 2017 near Monte S…, CA

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 11 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

May 22, 2022
Arwin Siador
9.6mi — 1h 36m
Apr 10, 2022
Lucus Liu
Jan 16, 2022
Andy Shih
There and back. singletrack but watch out for hikers/bikers going the other direction. Top is full of steep hairpin turns and lower is more fun/flowy 12mi — 3h 00m
Oct 3, 2021
Jeff N
Sep 9, 2021
E G
Jul 18, 2021
Brent Ross
May 3, 2021
Goh S
Apr 10, 2021
Sergey Rotbart