Flat Frog to Middle Ridge (Henry W. Coe State Park)
ElevationAscent: 2,226' 679 m
Descent: -2,226' -679 m
High: 2,853' 870 m
Low: 1,236' 377 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 105% (46°)
Current trail conditions
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“Scenic singletrack, steep and exposed at times.”— Josh Dulberger
The ride back up gains a couple thousand feet in short order on a fire road back to the car, but it's worth it.
A few spots may be dry and eroded, but not much to matter. The mosquitos are brutal, so keep moving.
Take the road to Manzanita Point, which is on your left as you enter the Ranch, across from the first parking area. The road quickly hits a gate, turning to dirt on the other side.
In about a mile, pass the intersection with Hobbs Road, staying right. In another .2 miles you'll reach the intersection with Flat Frog (well marked) on the left. Flat Frog is a pleasant, moderate singletrack, which serves as a good warm up for Middle Ridge. The marked "obstacles" are minor and a sandbag, given the unmarked, far more severe terrain to come.
After about 2.5 miles, Flat Frog dumps you near the top of Hobbs Road. Head right, across a small stream, then climb Hobbs for about 2 miles to pick up Middle Ridge.
Middle Ridge will be on your right. It is nearly 4 miles of rolling, smooth, exposed, and at times steep singletrack. There are few obstacles, some erosion, and wonderful scenery. The steep sections descend a multitude of switchbacks, cliff sides, and dry trail, making some sections walk-a-bike for less experienced riders. It is still doable and can be pleasant, but use good judgment.
Middle Ridge crosses the Coyote Creek just before joining Poverty Flat Road. Turn right, and this fire road is an imposing grade for about 2 miles of the 3.3 mile return to the parking lot. It is a fitness test and grueling at that. Poverty will take you back to Manzanita Road, past the Flat Frog junction, past the Hobbs Road junction, and back to the parking lot.
As an alternative, you can reduce the grade and add some mileage by heading left on Poverty for a short ways to Cougar Trail. Take this to the right, then hang right when it meets China Hole. China Hole lets out at the bottom of Manzanita Road. Take Manzanita to the right and it will return you to the parking lot. This adds about 2 miles and requires more daylight as it is singletrack in the woods - the trail thins out and may require some walking/bushwalking for a section.
Bring your deet, the mosquitoes are vicious.
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Need to Know, Features, History & Background
Land Manager: California State Parks - Henry W. Coe State Park