Summary: There are some fun cross country single track trails here. Nothing really technical but getting your speed up on some of the the twisty singletracks is a blast. Starting at Creekside parking lot or Anza Drive makes for a fun loop. Get a trail map and try to work in 49 and 82 downhill and come back to the car on 41 Goat Trail. The last section of Goat Trail provides about 5 minutes of fun twisty high speed singletrack.
Recommended Route: Goat Trail loop including 49, 82, 41
Summary: So long as there isn't an event at the raceway, Laguna Seca campground is a convenient base. As of 2009-06, many of the double-track trails have deep sand beds, unpredictable erosion, and a lot of loose rock. An honest 52mm front tire helps a lot with the sand beds, and the erosion and loose rock make for exciting challenges. Also beware of the heat. The coastal influence can make this a great place to ride, but even when the fog is thick in the surrounding valleys, Laguna Seca can get into the low 30s with full-bore sun. Much of Laguna Seca is classic California: rolling golden hills with occasional oaks. There is plenty of scrub, particularly in the northern sector of the park.
Recommended Route: Laguna Seca Campground - hop the fence to Skyline - 44 - down 43 - Skyline - up/down Jack's Road - up/down 49 - Pilarcitos Canyon - up/down Jack's Road - 41 - 3 Sisters - down Oil Well - Toro Creek - up Guidotti - down Skyline - Laguna Seca Campground.
This trail tests a wide variety of skills. Skyline is 55km/h downhill (watch for sand pits), 44 & 43 are great singletrack, though the bottom of 44 will need repair soon. One loses an aggregate of 230m elevation up to this point. Jack's Road is a good climb (on asphalt), 49 is excellent uphill singletrack with a harrowing downhill near the end, Jack's Road is another good climb, 41 is good singletrack, 3 Sisters is rolling double-track, Oil Well is great fire-road downhill, Toro Creek is flat double-track that you can blast, and Guidotti is a merciless climb that will leave you feeling like you've accomplished something at the end of the ride. All told this is a roughly 22km ride.
Other recommended trails in the same area: singletrack:
recommend: 50. This is curvy and reasonably challenging, whether you go up or down.
avoid: 42, 60. 42 needs to be shut down: the erosion is now irrecoverable and has made it unrideable. 60 is deep sand that is unrideable in either direction.
recommend: Skyline, Oil Well, Guidotti, Toro Creek, Pilarcitos Canyon
approach with caution: Lookout Ridge. There is a lot of unpredictable erosion and marbles on this fire-road. The jumps are a siren call best avoided: what lies on the other side may or may not be rideable.
Summary: Fort Ord Public Lands has something for everyone. Good beginner and confidence building trails from the Gigling and 8th parking lot. There is on-going BLM land clearing at this time but there is access to the BLM trails from there.
Riding out of the Creekside Terrace Trailhead involves some climbing from the start but eventually opens up to some great singletrack, downhills and fantastic views of the area once on top of the ridges. The terrain varies from hardpack, sand and rocks. It really depends on what area you happen to be riding in. Most of the trails are numbered as well. Enjoy the ride.
Recommended Route: Take Hobo Trail up out of the Creekside Terrace parking lot and cross the paved road onto trail #33, right on trail #25 until it connects back to #33, continue on then go down #32 and then left at the bottom (Engineer Canyon Road, go up the road to #38 (Fern Gully) then #39 left on Manzanita Road to #78 then #75. Cross Jacks Road and go up and over #10 (Three Sisters Road) and then down #43 (Ewok Trail). Left on Skyline Road then left on trail #44 and at the bottom take trail #41 (Goat) out. You'll eventually reach Oil Well Road. From there you can either go out on trail #1 or get on trails #72 & 26 then go down trail #31 back to the parking lot. Nice fun quick loop.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Try trail #50 and #49. But you're gonna have to ride a ways and climb to get there. Lookout Ridge Road coming from Laguna Seca is a fun fast downhill. Blair Witch Trail in the trees is always fun. I ride Fort Ord often since it's so close and am still finding new trails (at least for me) out there or mixing up routes so it's different but it's always a good time.
Summary: I've ridden nearly every trail in Fort Ord but the trails that keep me going back are 42, 41, 03, 33, 50, 11, 42, 10, 30, well almost all of them. All trails range from beginner to advanced, hardest being down 34 (nearly impassible) to easy being any fireroad.
Recommended Route: My favorite ride starts at Creekside Terrace parking off reservation Road. Up paved road or trail 30, into trail 03 or 33 then across 36, right on paved road to 10, ride up steep hill then after cresent, ride about 100 yards and right on 42 which is an achieveable yet demanding series of drops, turns, ruts, sand, bush, and potential hospitalization; carry ID! From there, left on fireroad, up 43 to avoid a long ride up skyline fireroad, cross 10 go right to 41 (Goat trail), down Goat until after two miles it goes up to the right, then some fast exciting jumps and turns downhill to another fireroad (Oil something), go right to 02, left on 02, up 04 to the top (always stay right), then down 31 to the parking lot, a very fast tight turning single track. Full loop is about 11 miles or 1 hour - 1 1/2 hour.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Other good trails are 50 (my fastest time down is 5 minutes, top to bottom) And 75/05 are somewhat technical, down 49 from 11 is short, fast, and thrilling. The area around 91, 92, 93 can be fun in the cliffs. And going down 15 from the 19/21 intersection is a blast. Most of 22 is good, the end is an impressive vertical beach that lauched me several times over the bars; kinda fun though. Stay away from 38, imossible either way due to erosion. Last, down 11 from the 49 intersection is exciting, a free trill that will be etched in your memory forever.
Summary: There is a GREAT XC Race series out here the Central Coast Cross Country Series. The trails are awesome, all rollers without steep climbs. Extremely FAST single track, and not technical. Little spots for jumping, and great for all skill levels. But one word of advice:
IF YOU ARE SENSITIVE TO POISON OAK, WATCH YOUR BUTT! I got it pretty bad the first time out and had to go on Prednizone. The second time I took Tecnu and washed up after the race, and no problems.
Keep your arms/legs covered, and carry Tecnu wash by the gallon, and you'll be ok.