MTB Project Logo

John Nicholas Trail

Intermediate
 4.7 (86)

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


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

5.1

Miles

8.2

KM

Doubletrack

2,914' 888 m

High

1,795' 547 m

Low

1,193' 364 m

Up

171' 52 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

17%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Allowed

Features -none-

Description

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.

Contacts

Land Manager: Santa Clara County Parks

Shared By:

Marco Soldano

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 85 votes

#5

Overall
  4.7 from 85 votes
5 Star
68%
4 Star
29%
3 Star
2%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#3

in California

#5

Overall
1,450 Views Last Month
43,760 Since Dec 16, 2014
Intermediate

2%
0%
88%
4%
6%
0%

Photos

Nice tacky trail in the woods- John Nicholas Trail
Dec 16, 2014 near Monte S…, CA
The views from the John Nicholas Trail are fantastic.
Dec 18, 2016 near Monte S…, CA
Enjoy great views from by the bench under the big rock on John Nicholas Trail.
May 15, 2017 near Monte S…, CA
An interesting rock with a bench. About 4 miles into the trail from the Black Road entrance.
Aug 27, 2017 near Monte S…, CA
A wonderfully built switchback leading downhill on John Nicholas trail
Apr 24, 2017 near Monte S…, CA
Last wooden bridge before going up.
Apr 29, 2018 near Monte S…, CA

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 4 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Aug 12, 2020
Cristopher Atud
Very nice trail . Fun uphill and downhill. Limited parking if you start at Black rd. Trailhead. 11.3mi — 2h 00m
Aug 4, 2020
Arto K
Jul 31, 2020
Mihir S
Comfortable uphill climb with scenic views 11mi — 2h 00m
Jul 29, 2020
Shannon Brown
Jul 25, 2020
Gian Paolo Martire
Fun climb! 10mi
Jul 25, 2020
Brian Burriss
First ride on stumpy 9mi — 1h 37m
Jul 16, 2020
Hugh Gough
I'm fat 11.1mi — 2h 28m
Jun 9, 2020
Chris D