“Most of the singletrack trails at Wilder Ranch combined in a single ride.
— Bob Gardner
With the Cowboy Loop
at the south end and the Enchanted Loop
at the north end interconnected with other fun trails, this ride makes use of some of the best trails available in Wilder Ranch Park.
From the paid parking lot, follow the paved path to the cultural preserve (walk bikes through) then head through the Hwy 1 underpass to the trailhead near the rodeo arena. Just past the arena and across the bridge before the Engleman's Loop
fork, the Cowboy Loop
begins on the right.
For a clockwise direction, take the branch to the left as it follows Wilder Creek to the north. The trail starts out flat and tree-shaded but there's a short, very steep section as the trail climbs out of the creek gully. At the top, the trail passes through open pasture as it descends towards the ocean then crossing lower Wilder Creek before returning to Engleman's Loop
Take the left fork of Engleman's Loop
, which rises steeply at first and then climbs steadily at 4-5%. After about a mile, a rerouted section is reached running along oak woodland with a short steep section before reaching a rest bench at the junction with the Wild Boar Trail (shown as lower section of the Old Cabin
Turn left (west) to follow Wild Boar which shortly joins the Old Cabin
Trail. Old Cabin
drops down into Peasley Gulch one of the second growth redwood groves in the area. The trail is technical in spots with some short, challenging climbs coming out of the gully to join Eucalyptus Loop
Turning left (south) on Eucalyptus Loop
, the first section is doubletrack but quickly turns to singletrack as it enters another redwood grove. This lower part of the loop is similar to the Old Cabin
Trail with technical sections around the creek crossings.
Lower Eucalyptus Loop
joins several trails near a corral with the Enchanted Loop
branching off to the left (west). Take the loop in either direction but going clockwise, there's about a half mile of doubletrack before the singletrack section forks to the right then descends steeply into the Baldwin Creek canyon. The trail turns and follows the creek back up to the junction with Eucalyptus Loop
The return ride starts by backtracking a short distance to the Twin Oaks
trail heading east over mostly flat pasture but watch for steep drops as it enters the woods. Turn right at the junction with Wilder Ridge Loop
with a short climb to the viewpoint.
Continue west about a half mile and take the Zane Grey Cutoff on the left which descends steeply to lower Wilder Ridge Loop
. Take another left and continue to the junction with the ranch road that returns to the trailhead.
History & Background
A working dairy farm since the 1850's, an old farm house and dairy complex make up the cultural preserve area of the park.