“A mix of singletrack and fire road along a scenic ridge.”
— Johnny Yip
On the last stretch of the Ridge Trail
at Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve, the fire roads are off-limits. Stay on the singletrack (who wouldn't!) - there are signs that warn people of that.
Perfect outing on a nice clear day as the trail takes you from the redwoods down low to the ridge high up. The ride is steep at certain sections but you'll be rewarded with goregous view on either side of the ridge.
Need to Know
The trails are often shared with equestrain so be courteous and yield to them at all times.
From the marked parking area, take the Grizzly Flat trail on the south side of Skyline Blvd to a junction. Turn right at the junction for Ridge Trail
Stay on this trail until you reach a dirt parking lot with a shack - the continuation of this trail is behind the shack (there is a sign but it may be hard to spot). Ride the sweet singletrack until you hit a fire road and turn left to stay on Ridge Trail
. Turning right would take you back to Skyline Blvd.
At this point there are many fire road branches that will take you to Skyline, so try to keep left on junctions. Eventually you'll see a lake and cross a small bridge. About 100 yards from that bridge, take a sharp left turn to go uphill. It's ok not to make that left turn but you'll end up at the parking loop for Skyline Ridge OSP, and you'll have to find the path that takes you back to Ridge Trail
. This section is probably the steepest part of the ride (doesn't matter which direction), so push for it! The view will be rewarding.
Follow the trail until you cross a road to enter Russian Ridge OSP, at which point it's really straight forward. At the junction that marks for Hawk Trail to the left, take the faint trail to the RIGHT underneath some power lines. This nice singletrack wraps around the hill and will spit you out back onto some fire road. Don't go onto the fire road as it is private/off-limits. Instead, go across it and the trail continues on loose rocks. The trail winds around and crosses over the fire road again.
The end of the trail will put you at Rapley Ranch Road, at which point you can simply reverse your route or take Skyline Blvd back to your car.