A hidden gem, that works in some steep climbs through meadows and groves of trees to earn a rewarding descent at the end.
There are plenty of hikers, runners, and equestrian riders throughout the entire area, but it's especially important to keep a lookout on Creekside and yield appropriately.
From the parking lot, follow the Big Leaf Connector
to the Big Leaf Trail
. There's minimal climbing at first as riders parallel Faught Road and enjoy views across the nearby vineyards. Once the trail turns east into the trees it's time to put in some work.
The steep climb is over pretty quickly, but you'll probably feel like taking a break before reaching the intersection with the South Ridge Trail
and Ridge Trail
in an open meadow. Turn left onto the Ridge Trail
and complete another climb to the start of the Canyon Trail
is great fun as the switchbacks follow the contours of the hills up and down and all around. There are some nice descents and some more punchy climbs along the way. At the next intersection, turn left to follow the Mark West Creek Trail
northwest to reach the Pond Trail
Follow it north around a tiny pond in a grassy open valley. Just watch for horses as many equestrian riders like to rest their steeds here. At the corner of the pond, cruise onto the Creekside Trail
for the highlight of this ride. Creekside is a great section of singletrack that follows an enclosed drainage. It has aspects of a pump track and is an exciting descent! Plus it's mostly shaded, so it makes for a nice cool-down.
At the bottom, Creekside Trail
feeds onto the North Ridge Trail
which will promptly take riders back to the parking lot.