Bike the Flow Trail


Jonah Guyer, Staff Writer

Mountain biking is a great sport and has lots to offer. You are getting good exercise on the climbs, you are out in nature, and (the best part) you get to have lots of fun going fast on the downhills! I have been mountain biking for a while and do it almost every day, whether it’s a super short ride before school or a long 5 hour adventure on the weekends. Biking really provides a good escape from the world and is a whole lot of fun!

Today I’ll be talking about “Flow trail.” This is literally a world-famous trail and it is right here in Santa Cruz! I would rate it as an intermediate trail, with some slightly more technical sections but more just fast and flowy with huge berms that are taller than you. To access this trail, you need to drive on Soquel San Jose road until you reach Highland Way. You’ll know that you are going the right way when you are following lots of cars with bikes on the back.
Once you reach the parking lot, which is more of a dirt turnout on the side of the road, you ride up the road until it turns into a dirt fire road. Keep on going up the fire road until you reach a big clearing with an overlook bench (you can’t miss it). There will be a big sign that says: “Welcome to the Soquel Demonstration Forest.”

Go on the trail right behind the sign that says Ridge Trail. This is the most technical part of this ride. Go on Ridge Trail until you reach the end. At the end, there will be a small sign that says “Flow Trail Segment 1.” (There are 6 Segments). That is the beginning of the Flow Trail. Once you reach the bottom, climb up the fire road until you reach the parking lot again. When riding the trail, it is soooooo smooth and fast.

There are some small- to medium-sized jumps but they are all optional. There are huge berms and the whole trail is 4+ miles of downhill. It has beautiful scenery with trees ranging from redwoods to oak to manzanita. I would recommend riding this trail in early- to mid-spring because in the fall and winter (and a little bit summer) the trail is pretty chewed up from overuse. At the end of winter is when they do trail maintenance. Overall, I would highly recommend this trail to all riders at an intermediate level or higher. Here is a map of the forest to help you find everything: