SDSF Flow Trail

Smooth banked turns wind around a burly redwood and lead into a fun wall ride on segment 5. Photo courtesy Bruce Dorman.


MBoSC has partnered with land manager California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) to build a four mile flow trail in Soquel Demonstration State Forest (SDSF). The objectives of this project are to promote mountain biking by creating a progressive trail that can be enjoyed by riders of all ages and ability level, and to increase the diversity of riding opportunities, demonstrate innovative and sustainable trail building design and techniques, and provide a model for other land managers for similar types of projects.

GET INVOLVED | As of June 1, 2014, 226 volunteers put in 2,400 hours to complete the first two trail segments—FOX-sponsored #3 and Epicenter Cycling-sponsored #5—featuring impeccably crafted berms, jumps, rollers, and other features. Coupled with the generous support of private donors and industry and community sponsors, the flow trail project is off to an excellent start. But with another three miles to complete, MBoSC is already hard at work raising the additional funding needed to complete the project, and organizing volunteer forces for this second season of trail building.

>>VOLUNTEER: Sign up for a Volunteer Trail Work Day and help shape this progressive trail. Check out the work schedule here. Digging not your thing? There are several ways you can help out without breaking a sweat. Check out our Help Wanted page for ways you can get involved. Learn more about the flow trail’s construction process.

>>SPONSOR: Promote your business while supporting a community driven project by pitching in to help MBoSC put on an A+ Volunteer Trail Work Day. Your sponsorship donation will provide hospitality for volunteers as well as cover MBoSC’s costs to plan and organize the event. Contact us for more information.

>>DONATE: Find out how you can help by donating equipment, raffle items and/or cash. Support those who support our trails—discover who the generous sponsors and donors of this endeavor are.

>>TAKE OUR SURVEY: Have you ridden the flow  yet? We want to know what you think. Your feedback will help us evaluate our work so far and plan the remaining segments. Chime in here.

PURPOSE BUILT | Built specifically for mountain bikes, a flow trail emphasizes speed and rhythm, featuring berms, rollers, jumps and other features that are designed in a way that uses the rider’s momentum to minimize pedaling and braking (think downhill pump track). From the young (or not so young) beginner, to the downhill pro, a flow trail delivers smiles for riders of all ages and skill level.

Learn more about flow trails.

LOCALE | The site of this highly anticipated trail is a 2,681 acre working forest established in 1990 and managed by CAL FIRE. Soquel Demonstration State Forest (SDSF, colloquially known as Demo) is a favorite destination for Bay Area and Santa Cruz County mountain bikers and contains trails for intermediate and advanced mountain bikers, with long climbs and challenging, technical descents. One of five forests in the state managed by CAL FIRE, this self-sustaining working forest employs sustainable timber harvest practices and is a community resource for education and public enjoyment of forestry, demonstrating the feasibility of public access in a working forest.

Learn more about this popular destination.

ALL ABILITIES | The flow trail’s design will allow for a wide range of skill levels, providing more opportunities for riders of all abilities to enjoy mountain biking at Demo. The rollers, tabletops and built features will be designed in a progressive manner, rollable by novices —or with ride-around options—but taking on a different characteristic when ridden with speed and style by intermediate to advanced riders.

Learn more about about the flow trail’s design.

BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY & BEYOND | The flow trail at SDSF is the first of its kind on public lands in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. This type of progressive trail is extremely popular with mountain bikers, and will attract riders from near and far. MBoSC believes that significant long-term benefits can be realized not only in the Santa Cruz mountains vicinity, but also on a statewide and regional scale by showcasing the benefits of modern trail construction techniques. The flow trail will demonstrate the viability of providing mountain biking trails that are intentionally built to be fun and safe while protecting natural and cultural resources.

Pitch in with us to build the flow trail at Soquel Demonstration State Forest!

Pitch in with us to build the flow trail at Soquel Demonstration State Forest!

Bell Helmets launched its popular trail building grant contest (Bell Built) in April 2014 and we were excited to have a project in the West Coast region running. Although we didn’t win the grant, we learned a great deal. Check out the incredible promo video for our project below and learn more about this opportunity here. 

Reminder: Next Volunteer Trail Work Day Saturday 12/20, presented by Adventure Sports Journal

December 15th, 2014

Volunteer Work Day #2 is scheduled for Saturday, December 20, with Adventure Sports Journal generously providing the day’s hospitality. We expect to resume work on the flow trail that day and would love another big turnout of help. Volunteer involvement … Continue reading

Stewards of Soquel Forest 12/6 work day recap; Adventure Sports Journal 12/20 work day announced

December 11th, 2014

Volunteer Trail Work Day Recap: 12/6, presented by the Stewards of Soquel Forest A dedicated 37 volunteers showed up at Soquel Demonstration State Forest (SDSF) on a rainy morning this past Saturday for the first trail work day of the 2014/15 season, … Continue reading

Reminder: THIS SATURDAY (December 6) Volunteer Work Day on the SDSF Flow Trail, sponsored by Stewards of Soquel Forest with Whole Foods Market

December 3rd, 2014

Our thirsty trails sure appreciate the tall drink of water from these recent storms! A sunny weekend is forecast and we’re looking forward to getting back out into the forest for our first volunteer trail work day of the season … Continue reading

First two completed segments of SDSF flow trail open to great fanfare!

June 5th, 2014

Excitement was at an all time high in Soquel Demonstration State Forest (SDSF) in the Santa Cruz mountains as at least 200 mountain biking enthusiasts and project supporters turned out for the Sunday, June 1 opening of flow trail segments … Continue reading