Crafting a progressive new trail in the Santa Cruz mountains
Words by Matt De Young • Photos by Bogdan Marian

In a redwood forest high in the mountains above Santa Cruz the hum of heavy equipment and the clanking of hand tools are punctuated by the occasional shhhhralp of knobby tires pushed to the limits of traction. These sounds are the manifestation of an unprecedented partnership between mountain bikers and a land manager in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, a historic hotbed of conflict surrounding mountain bike access.

Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBoSC), a non-profit advocacy group, and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) have partnered to build a new “flow trail,” a progressive trail designed specifically for mountain bike use, in Soquel Demonstration State Forest, colloquially known as Demo, one of five forests in the state managed by CAL FIRE. In addition …