Soquel Demonstration State Forest (SDSF)


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

The highly anticipated 4-mile flow trail is being constructed 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 will provide more opportunity for riders to enjoy mountain biking at SDSF. (It’s important to note that although the flow trail itself is beginner friendly, it does require fitness to get there.)

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, as well as an annual enduro race—the Santa Cruz Super Enduro—at this popular riding destination.

Pro rider Derek Yarra takes on the technical terrain of Demo's Santa Cruz Super Enduro course in 2012.

Pro rider Derek Yarra takes on the technical terrain of SDSF’s Santa Cruz Super Enduro course in 2012.

Four Mile Flow Trail at Demo