“A fun ride appropriate for a beginner but with enough challenge to keep any rider interested.
— Kevin Fox
To park at the east end of the ride you must pay the $10 entrance fee to Lake Cachuma County Park. The gate on the west end parking is locked at dusk.
Although short, and with no major climbs, the Sweetwater trail packs a good workout and a lot of fun into 2.5 miles.
From the Bradbury Dam Overlook parking area, head SE past the bathrooms to find the start of the trail. After a short flat warm up, the trail drops down it's first steep rocky pitch. From here there's lots of up and down, some steep and a little loose, some smooth and fast, for the remainder of the ride. The trail holds your attention with quick turns and easy to avoid obstacles. There are a few spur trails that head towards the lake at different times but for the most part the main trail is easy to follow. Once you see the picnic tables on the left, and a paved path, your journey is over.
Most people will park at the dam parking area and ride this as an out and back. There are other short spur trails in Lake Cachuma County Park that are fun to check out. You can also use the Sweetwater Trail to hook into, or add a little extra, to some of the rides on the South side of hwy 154.
This ride provides fun and challenge in both directions. Most people feel westbound is a little more difficult. Novice riders should expect to push their bikes up some of the short steeper sections