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 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.

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.

GET INVOLVED | As of June 1, 2014, 226 volunteers (led by trail construction manager Drew Perkins and over 40 volunteer crew leaders trained by MBoSC) 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 next construction season (winter 2015), MBoSC is already hard at work raising the additional funding needed to complete the project, and organizing volunteer forces for when construction resumes.

Learn more about the flow trail’s construction process.

Add your name to the volunteer roster to be apprised of flow trail news. Stay tuned for the Winter 2014/15 Volunteer Trail Work schedule and sign up for a work day.

Learn more about the generous supporters of this endeavor and how you can help by sponsoring or making a private donation.

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.

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. 


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

Club Ride at Soquel Demonstration State Forest (SDSF) with San Jose Mountain Biking — Sunday June 1

May 25th, 2014

This ride leaves at 9:15am from the SDSF parking lot. We’ll do a warm-up ride on Corral, then head down Hihns and up Tractor to the opening ceremony for flow trail segments 3 & 5 (see poster below). Please carpool … Continue reading

Demo Flow Trail Update: FOX and Epicenter-adopted segments to open June 1!

May 19th, 2014

We’ve been given the green light to open both completed trail sections—FOX-adopted segment 3 and Epicenter Cycling-adopted segment 5! You are cordially invited to join MBoSC, CAL FIRE, FOX and Epicenter Cycling on Sunday, June 1 at 11am at the … Continue reading

Demo Flow Trail Update: Segments 3 & 5 to open June 1!

May 8th, 2014

The flow trail goodness is never ending — read on for all our happy news! Recap: Santa Cruz Bicycles May 3 Dig Day Saturday’s volunteer workday in Soquel State Demonstration Forest brought almost 40 willing and able bodies out to … Continue reading