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John Nicholas Trail

 22 votes

5.1 Miles 8.2 Kilometers


1,193' 364 m


-171' -52 m


2,914' 888 m


1,795' 547 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (10°)

All Clear

9 days agoUpdate

Fun new trail connecting Black Rd. to Skyline Trail - some great views and beautiful redwood forest.

Marco Soldano


Features: eMTB allowed
Dogs: Leashed


This trail starts from the gate on Black Road, where you can park or ride up from Lexington reservoir. The first 1.5mi of trail is fairly flat on a well maintained fireroad, meandering through the forest. At about 1.5mi you'll reach the Ranch Lake reservoir, where you may find some wildlife (deer, rabbits and skunks). After going around the reservoir, you'll see a steep fireroad on the right dropping down to Sanborn Rd.

Instead, you'll veer left and start climbing up to the new section of the trail along a small creek. The new trail is about 4' wide, with a few wooden bridges and benches under heavy tree cover. The climb is fairly gradual with only a couple of steeper sections. As you climb higher there will be a couple good vista points to enjoy.

After about 5 miles you'll reach Skyline trail. This trail has been only recently opened to bikes. Keep right on Skyline and you'll reach the parking lot on Skyline Blvd. From there you can ride back down the way you came, or, if you prefer, make a loop on the road by turning left on Skyline and another left on Black Road for a beautiful paved descent to your car. There are some sections without a dividing line - and some sneaky corners - so it can be wise to use a bit of caution.


Land Manager: Santa Clara County Parks

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   Clear Rating

4.6 from 22 votes

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Your Check-Ins


Dec 10, 2017
Yaron Zakai-Or
Dec 9, 2017
Dec 2, 2017
Oziel Hernández Salgado
Oct 13, 2017
Brian Lopiccolo
Only one on the trail!
Sep 20, 2017
Nate Kyle
fantastic ride 4mi
Sep 16, 2017
James Marinas
Sep 4, 2017
Shlomo Waser
Riding with Mere Mortals MTB meet-up 10.7mi — 2h 10m
Aug 20, 2017
Neil Wright
30mi — 3h 00m

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 22 votes


  4.6 from 22 votes
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in California


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21,223 Since Dec 16, 2014
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All Clear 9 days ago
Dry, Mostly Dry - I went today and is perfect
Update ConditionsHistory

Getting forecast...

This trail is awesome. The highlight for me is hitting the series of water bars in the middle of the descent, which make the downhills interesting and can provide some really fun air. Feel the G's! Oct 23, 2016
It's properly build trail and it drains water very well. It gets better with time as you get to know it more. there are tons of small natural features to play with. I wish we had more trails like this around here... Dec 29, 2016
Nick Oxsen
San Jose, CA
Nick Oxsen   San Jose, CA
This trail was purpose built with mountain bikes in mind. It's fairly smooth (though the recent rain as exposed more rocks) and flowy, providing a continuous descent all the way down to Lake Ranch. You have the choice of starting from the top at the Sunnyvale Mountain trailhead and doing the downhill first or start at Black rd trailhead and earn your downhill with a good climb. Apr 24, 2017

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