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Great ride for those that can make it - particularly nice in summer.


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Map Key

20.2

Miles

32.4

KM

0%

Singletrack

2,943' 897 m

High

506' 154 m

Low

3,431' 1,046 m

Up

3,431' 1,046 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

21%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Not Allowed

E-bikes are not allowed on the Woods Trail.

Overview

This route combines many of the trails in Quicksilver; Mine Hill Trail, Yellow Kid Trail, Wood Road Trail, and the majority of the Woods Trail - I highly recommend ending at Mt. El Sombroso rather than going to the end of Woods Trail!

The roads are wide and in mostly great condition.

Need to Know

There are restrooms available at the start of the trek and at about the halfway point where you cross Hicks and head towards the Woods Trail.

Description

The path up Mine Hill Trail is a good warm-up for what is coming. If you can't handle Mine Hill Trail easily all the way to English Camp, then you really shouldn't continue with the rest. After English Camp, you'll have an easy slope up Yellow Kid Trail with only a 50-yard ~15º climb at the end before starting down Wood Road Trail. After the first downhill bit and flat of Wood Road Trail, you'll need to climb a bit (this might be the steepest bit so far), but don't worry you have a long meandering downhill after this.

When you get to the parking lot at the end of Wood Road Trail just head on through, cross Hicks and continue on Woods Trail at the far side of the parking lot.

This is where the e-bike restriction starts (I can't tell you why they restrict e-bikes, it is really too bad since it is a great trail and perfect range).

The beginning of Woods Trail is mostly flat or downhill for the next mile or so and then starts to rise. The trail is on the east side of Mt. Umunhum and is mostly in the shade the whole afternoon which makes for a great ride in the summer, a cold one in the winter.

There are a few downhill slopes as you continue on Woods Trail and then it starts to really climb after Rincon Creek. As you leave the protection of Umunhum and start seeing more sun, be prepared for a steeper climb. It will start slow with a 5-8% grade at around eight miles in. You'll also see a lot more loose rocks and gravel at this point.

Shortly after this point, it gets really steep for about a mile ranging from 8-21% grade. I didn't make it up without walking. I might have been able to manage it if I had made a better line; however, the rocks made traction very difficult.

After a mile of that technical bit, the final mile is a nice 4-8% grade and offers some amazing views. It is worth planning to stop at the top of Mt. El Sombroso.

The way down was a lot of fun. It is a long downward trek so be sure to take a break if needed - or if your brakes need it. Be careful rounding a few of the turns down below because even in summer they can be muddy and easy to slip on even at slower speeds (I got caught myself on what I thought was a safe speed).

I took breaks and was not trying to make any records and finished the whole trip in just over 2 hours.

History & Background

This passes English Camp which is close to the top of the main Quicksilver park. This was originally a settlement established by Cornish miners in the 1860's. It was a town for the miners and their families, numbering about 1,000. The site included a schoolhouse, company store, mining office, Methodist church, community halls, and family cabins. As mining declined in the 1900's, the town was abandoned, and the buildings fell into disrepair. Many were later torn down by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The town was later occupied by the Civilian Conservation Corps firefighters in the 1930's. They were housed in barracks that the Army Corps of Engineers had built for a vocational school. The camp was called Camp Mt. Madonna, after its original location near Gilroy. A few ghostly buildings in various stages of decay remain in English Camp, as well as a memorial to the CCC.

The second section of the ride is in the shadow of Umunhum, a former Air Force base.

Contacts

Land Manager: Santa Clara County Parks

Shared By:

David Silva

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 3 votes

#3677

Overall
  3.0 from 3 votes
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3 Star
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2 Star
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1 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#480

in California

#3,677

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1,284 Since Jan 2, 2021
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Photos

This trail is a better option for people (e.g. kids) who don't like as much climb from the lower park entrances, but still want to see the mining ruins.  There are still hills, but not as much of a grind.
Jan 5, 2021 near Almaden…, CA
Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve. with permission from Alexander Avtanski
Jun 27, 2016 near Lexingt…, CA
The view of the Randol Trail from the picnic table at Cape Horn Pass.
Apr 7, 2014 near Seven T…, CA
Climbing up Mine Hill Trail below Cape Horn Pass.  Most of the trail is shaded.
Apr 7, 2014 near Seven T…, CA
Right off the Castillero Trail.
Sep 6, 2016 near Lexingt…, CA

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Bad / Closed 37 days ago
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May 22, 2021
Sergiy Cherepov
Loose gravel and over 20% grade. Hiked bike up a lot. Going down is slow too - it's easy to slip on a loose gravel. 19.9mi — 3h 22m
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