This is an excellent casual ride or an introduction for beginners who are wanting to step up from fire roads and sample a bit of everything that the area has to offer. Some steady climbs, fun punchy descents, and great views all add up to make this a great ride.
Start by climbing up the Hickory Oaks Trail
. Keep right at the first intersection and then keep left on the Hickory Oaks Lookout Spur
for some breathtaking views out to the coast. From this high point, continue on the Hickory Oaks Trail
for a rolling descent down to the intersection to take a right on the Hickory Oaks Connector
At the next two intersections, keep straight to reach the Long Ridge Road
. A pleasant pedal along the ridgeline soon brings riders to a stone bench with another great view towards the sea. Make sure to head right on the Long Ridge Trail
singletrack as it heads into the trees (the adjacent Portola Heights Road is closed to visitors).
Here you'll find fast downhill singletrack and several switchbacks that can take you somewhat by surprise. At the bottom in a small clearing, stay left on the singletrack. If you're short on time, you could head right on the Long Ridge Trail Connector
for a fire road bail out.
Up next is a short, punchy climb followed by a fun, steep descent down to Peters Creek Trail
. Follow it south as it joins the fire road. At the pond, make the ascent up several switchbacks to reach the Long Ridge Road
intersection again. From there, retrace your steps on the Hickory Oaks Connector
and Hickory Oaks Trail
back to the parking area.