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Soquel Demonstration Forest

Average Rating:    (4.49 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 106

fireroad climbs and long singletrack descents
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Latitude
37.0816297150086
Longitude
-121.85055613517761
Trail Directions
from San Jose, 17 southExit Summit Road, lefttake highland way all the way to the landslide
Trail Length
16 miles
Trail Level
Intermediate
Trail Type
Singletrack & Fire Roads
City/County
Santa Cruz
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (106 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
August 19, 2014

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

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Reviewed by: KCinSC ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
To like riding here is to like getting a good workout on; no matter how you cut it, you'll be getting one. This is some of the best, most technical riding in Santa Cruz. Bring your well-fed, well-hydrated, and well-rested self when you come here as you will need all your energy. Between the two ways in, I prefer starting east on Buzzard Lagoon to Ormsby fire road; this feels like a more gradual ascent to me. The hardest part is likely the pesky gnats, flies, and bees that, on warm days, will test your poise and concentration. To continue climbing and ignore them is a master lesson in meditation. Option 2 for starting west on Hihn Mill Road to Sulphur springs always makes me feel more tired by the time I reach the top of Suffer. Of all the trails here, I think Sawpit is the most technical because it has a varied, persistent quality to it - lots of good rock gardens, drops, tight turns, roots, steep sections. Braille is a DH trail for sure, with features and jumps everywhere (with go-arounds, lucky for me), but is a really fun downhill in and of itself. It can go by a bit fast, though, so some people lap it by climbing back up Sulphur. Tractor to the new flow trail (segments 3,5 for now) is a great spot to let it fly, watching for some threatening waterbars in places (there are even signs to warn you). Flow Trail is like a giddy childhood roller coaster ride - pure fun and easy to lap. The trail can look like it's not that "technical", but don't underestimate the torque you can get coming out of those turns! That's the real essence of the trail. It's easy to lap segments 3 and 5; it's only about a 10 min. climb from bottom of 3 back up to the top of 3, and only about 5 min climb from bottom of 5 to top of 5.
When it's time to go home, just set a mental timer of about 30 minutes dedicated to a gradual climb on Hihn Mill fire road back to the car. This is good quality thinking time, planning for dinner time; just don't think about how long the climb feels if you are tired and hungry!

Recommended Route:
Buzzard Lagoon to Ridge; choose from Sawpit (longer route), Tractor to Flow (option to lap 3,5); Braille (can lap by climbing back up Sulphur)

Other recommended trails in the same area:
UCSC



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Review Date
July 20, 2014

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a month

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Reviewed by: Stefidancs ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
Awesome Trail, The bees freaked me out first, but they're not dangerous at all. Needs good equipment and good skills, but there are nice trails for beginners also. One bad thing: my husband had an accident around Flow trail and lost his Cell Phone (Black OPPO).

Other recommended trails in the same area:
BRAILLE



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Review Date
May 4, 2014

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: dirtyBob ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Awesome. Been hearing the hype for years and finally got out there and rode Braille twice today. Great mix of choices as for as elements go virtually all the way down the trail. You can choose to chill and just enjoy good semi technical single track, get a little crazy on the stuff that looks doable for your level, or go bananas and hit everything... Which could put you 6 or more feet in the air on certain spots. The choices are what makes this place perfect. I'm 42 and I was free to say, "hell yes I'm hitting that!" Or, "no thank you... I love my kid, wife, and health."

Have plans to go back next weekend and I live almost two hours away... Braille again, and then maybe try sawpit for the first time

Recommended Route:
Others already stated it.



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Review Date
March 26, 2013

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: BrownDrPrz ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
I rode Demo Forest for the first time today and it was a fun ride.

We parked at the parking lot on Highland way and took the rolling Hihn's Mill Road (fire road which is slightly down hill most of the way in this direction especially later on) for 2.3 miles until we hit Sulphur Springs Road. Turned up Sulpher Springs road (fire road) for a 1.5 mile climb just past the helipad where Sulphur Springs Road meets up with Ridge Trail. This 1.5 mile trek was significant but not unbearable and was the steepest uphill of the day. It was never steep enough where I had to get off and walk the bike which has happened to me at places like Sierra Azul on Limekiln trail to Priest Rock Trail, or Upper Stevens Creek County Park (connects to Saratoga Gap) on Table Mountain trail to Charcoal Road, but it was challenging. If I did two laps, meaning I would have to go up Sulphur Springs Road again, that would be pretty tough after already logging around eight miles depending on which trail you take down but probably doable. I stayed on Ridge Trail all the way to Sawpit Trail which meets up with Hihn's Mill Road which takes you back to either Sulphur Springs Road to get back to the Ridge trail or as we did just stay on it back to the parking lot. Hihn's Mill Road from Sawpit to Sulphur Springs Road was more difficult than from Sulphur Springs Road back to the parking lot. The 4.1 miles from the bottom of Sawpit, back to the parking lot is primarily uphill but it is pretty gradual. Took us 40 min.

Ridge Trail to Sawpit Trail is a nice Singleback with quite a bit of jumps and other obstacles you can try. You can tell people spent a lot of time setting up all the different obstacles (jumps, drops, log obstacles, and even a seesaw) and the couple that I went on were a lot of fun. Though you have to know your limits here otherwise you might end up going over the handlebars and into a tree (only happened to me once). Other than that I thought the Ridge trail and especially Sawpit trail were a little bumpy compared to Saratoga Gap, Monte Bello, and Russian Ridge. Not great for bombing down, but fun to do little jumps here and there. Be aware Sawpit has a couple steep and rocky areas so use caution. When I go back I will try another trail, probably Tractor Trail because I was told it is smoother with more rolling features.

Recommended Route:
Hihn's Mill Road > Sulphur Springs > Ridge Trail > Braille (never ridden), Tractor (never ridden but was recommended by a guy up there), or Sawpit (rode, was a little too rocky, bumpy and step for my taste)

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Saratoga Gap > Long RIdge Road > Peters Creek Trail and back



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Review Date
April 28, 2012

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: KK1L ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Liking "Demo" is a testament to human nature to forget pain and remember pleasure! Long fire road climb in. Long fire road climb out. Lot's of great fun in between. I rode Ridge to Sawpit for the first time today on a demo Stumpy EVO. Only ever having riden a hard tail before this bike was awesome....but this is not a bike review. Today was a gorgeous Saturday and there were lots of cars in the lot and along the road, but the trails were not crowded. I met great folks along the way and all were friendly. I ended up totally blowing out my front tire while ripping down Saw Pit at a pretty good pace. Not a thorn. Not a pinch. But TOTALLY un patchable. The crew riding behind me saved my bacon giving me a tube and inflating the tire! MANY MANY THANKS! Cali Demo riders are the best. The rental came with a bike and helmet. I did not have room in my 1 week business trip luggage for tools, tube, etc.

Recommended Route:
I rode "early" in my season (from Vermont and heck folks woke up to snow on the ground the other day!) and could not hack two loop. It would have been great to make the same Ridge to Sawpit run and then climb up Sulphur Springs and ride Braille (Tractor is closed). I did the loop in just under 2.5hrs back to the car.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
I rode Rocky Ridge and Stile Ranch at Santa Teresa County Part. It is the only other I have ridden in the area. The sunset was great from the top of Rocky Ridge. The ride back in that light is a challenge though. That evening I rode Stile Ranch on the way back...no roots or serious drops like Demo, but it is a rock garden to be sure...with switch backs. Rather fun. Despite the poor legs from Demo I did visit the park on the way to return the bike to ride Stile Ranch in full light. After waiting for a group of nearly 30 hikers spread out over 20 minutes or so I did get to ride it at a good clip in full light. Oh...only one spot of shade!



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Reviews 1 - 5 (106 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

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