Articles

User Rating:  / 0
PoorBest 

Fremont Older

Fremont Older is a smaller open space close to town. It is a great place for a quick ride before or after work. We also frequently ride through Fremont Older to get to Montebello Road or the Stevens Canyon Trail. Fremont Older is located at the end of Prospect Road. To get to the OSP from the junction of Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road (called De Anza in Cupertino and San Jose) and Prospect, head west toward the hills. At the first stop sign turn left to stay on Prospect Road. Follow this past the Saratoga Country Club. Follow the sign to the left just past this. The small parking lot is at the end of the road. There is another entrance to the park off of Stevens Canyon Road, but I don't usually go there.

 

Park: Fremont Older OSP
Date: Multiple
Distance: 6.6 to 13.5
Ride Time: Various
Total Ascent: 1,400 to 2,200 feet
Maps: Detailed official trail map
Overall Rating: 6

 

As can be seen in the map, there are quite a few trails available. Starting from the Prospect parking lot, you start climbing up the first hill right away on the Cora Older Trail. This can be discouraging for beginners because while it is not extremely steep, it is continuous for about a mile. This is definitely a good warm-up. This can be a bit of a challenge for beginners, but keep at it.

The usual ride starts with a visit to Hunters' Point to get a good view of the whole Bay Area. Riding up the hill at every opportunity will get you to the top quickly. This starts out as a trail and turns into open fire road. The summit is a good point to catch your breadth after the initial climb. If you are staying in the park, it is a good time to explore Seven Springs Trail which starts just below Hunters' Point. This winds its way to the bottom of a canyon and then back out to the trail going up to Hunters' Point. This trail can be ridden in either direction for a different experience.

Next, take the easy and open Hayfield Trail, which is really a fire road. Just before it turns uphill, you have a choice. If you are riding through the park or need a quick conditioning ride, continue up the hill to Coyote Ridge Trail. Turning right starts out flat and turns into a nice downhill ride to the base of the dam at Stevens Creek Reservoir. You can ride up Stevens Canyon Road to Montebello or the Stevens Canyon Trail from this point. For conditioning, turn around and ride back up to the top of Hayfield. You can stop at Masie's Peak for a nice view of the Bay Area.

Instead of riding up the steeper part of Hayfield, you can also duck onto the singletrack of the Toyon Trail just to the left of the tight turn. This is a nice ride along the hillside. Continue along Toyon until you get to the Coyote Ridge junction. Turn right here to head up the trail. At the top, bear right for a final push to the top of Maisie's Peak and another nice view of the Bay Area. From here, go down the back side of the hill on the Fern Trail, taking the Vista Loop Trail to get back to the Toyon/Coyote Ridge junction. This is a nice ride, but can have deep, sticky mud in the winter that should be avoided (it can be so thick that your wheels won't turn).

From this junction, bear right to visit the part of the Toyon Trail you have not traversed. Once you pass the flat section, there are some short and steep downhills which are suddenly followed by a steep climb. Affectionately but unofficially known as Cardiac Hill, this is a good test of your aerobic capacity. If you survive, continue back along the Toyon or Bay View Trails to the junction with Hayfield that you previously rode.

There are a few other trails to consider:

  • Ranch Road: Cuts through the center of Seven Springs. Uphill the whole way. Steep at the top.
  • Woodhills Loop: Alternate way to or from Hunters Point. Replaces old steep trail.
  • Regnart: Down to Regnart Road and back up. Nothing special.
  • Unnamed trail to the FO06 gate. The trail continues down to Stevens Creek Park.
  • An old section of the road to the picnic area by Stevens Creek goes through a gate then takes you to either Stevens Creek Road or to the base of the dam. Explore a bit.
  • Rainbow Knoll: Pretty much dead ends.

This ride is fun and close to home or work, so it is a good spot for an after-work ride. In addition to the warning about discouraging beginners here, much of this ride can be very hot during the day in summer due to lack of tree coverage in many sections. It can also get very dusty toward the end of summer. You also need to be aware of lots of hikers, other bikers, and occasional horses here. There is a large stable nearby (Garrod Farms), so you should expect horses and politely give them the right-of-way. By the way, there is a ranger station here. As a result, it is not advisable to ride here at night...it is a pretty expensive ticket.

joomla template 1.6
template joomla