Soquel Demonstration State Forest (SDSF)


Demo boasts epic climbs and descents in the coastal redwoods forest. Photo: Bruce Dorman


The SDSF Flow Trail is located at Soquel Demonstration State Forest (SDSF, colloquially known as Demo), a 2,681 acre working forest established in 1990 and managed by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). SDSF 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.

SDSF is a favorite destination for intermediate and advanced mountain bikers near and far, and is best known for its long climbs and epic technical descents including Ridge, Sawpit and Braille. The less technical Corral Trail is a popular option for intermediate riders looking to get a taste of this much-hyped destination. Advanced riders often take on multiple loops, with 20 mile+ rides lasting 3-5 hours with up to 5,000 feet of elevation gain.

The last timber harvest converted the existing Tractor Trail back into an access road. CAL FIRE partnered with MBoSC to construct a new purpose-built mountain bike trail to replace the singletrack lost. Designed for all ability levels, the flow trail provides more opportunity for mountain biking at SDSF. It’s important to note that although the flow trail segments are novice-friendly, it does require fitness to get to and from the trail, and to ride all six segments together.

Riding SDSF trails for the first time? Carpool and park smart – don’t block the fire lane! Bring plenty of water, plus watch your speed and look out for other riders as the trails are extra busy. Familiarize yourself with SDSF rules and your riding route before your arrival. Download the SDSF brochure (which includes a detailed map) here.

SolidRedGlobeMBoSC appreciates CAL FIRE’s collaboration on trail projects and events, and applauds their objectives 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. Special thanks go out to Soquel Demonstration State Forest Manager Angela Bernheisel and former Assistant Forest Manager Ed Orre for their support of the club and the mountain biking community in general.

MBoSC hosts a monthly club ride at SDSF, and has presented the Santa Cruz Super Enduro for three years at this popular riding destination.

Four Mile Flow Trail at Demo


Impeccably crafted berm on the flow trail. Photo by Called to Creation.