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Santa Cruz Loop

It was hot in the valley, so we headed over to the coast to do a Wilder ride and stay out of the heat. We took the opportunity to explore a new trail and visit the tourists, making this a fun and different ride in a familiar setting.

The whole ride was a bit different than ususal. We started with a climb up Engelsman Loop and Wild Boar. We headed up Fencepost, crossed over and rode up Mailboxes. This was probably the wrong thing and poor trail etiquette (all the other riders were coming down), but once committed we had to finish.

Once to the top, we rode the usual set of trails from the gate down to U-con, paralleling Chinquapin. There were lots of people on the trail (probably also trying to beat the heat) but most of them were taking breaks at various junctions so the trail was fast.

The new Emma McCrary trailhead is right at the bottom on U-con where the singletrack joins the fireroad. This new trail was very recently built and they did a great job. It is fast and flowy and goes through some very pretty forest. There are many banked turns and they did a great job on a few bridge that needed to be added. We all agreed this was so much fun that we would have to do it again soon.

This trail ends pretty much at River Street, so we rode through Santa Cruz out to the wharf. We took a detour through Neary Lagoon and then back to Pacific Avenue and down to the water. We took a very nice break at the end of the wharf enjoying the breeze, a small sailboat regatta and kids enjoying a bit of fishing. We rode to the far end of the Boardwalk and back and then rode to Lighthouse Point to watch the surfers and enjoy the views.

From there, it was a road ride along W. Cliff Drive back out to a bike path that runs along the side of Highway 1. It was a quick, fast ride back to Wilder to complete the loop.

This was a fun and different ride that we all enjoyed. The Emma McCrary trail was a lot of fun and will be visited again. This was great way to beat the heat.

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