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We have only gotten to Annadel State Park in Santa Rosa once (so far), but this is a very fun ride. Unlike many of the places we ride, Annadel is not fairly characterized by long, sustained steep climbs and fast, flowy singletrack descents. Although it has a bit of both, it is better characterized by the technical challenges presented by the large and small rocks embedded in and scattered on the trails. Pretty much all of the trails have rocks to one degree or another, reflecting its heritage as the site of several cobblestone quarries that produced the cobblestones used to rebuild San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake. These rocks present many different, yet pretty enjoyable, changes from our usual forest routes.

Park: Annadel
Date: September 12, 2010
Distance: About 23.0
Ride Time: 2:43
Total Ascent: 2,615 feet
Map: Detailed Annadel trail map
Overall Rating: 8

Since we have been there only once, I have not had a chance to explore all of the trails or different combinations of trails. We selected a route recommended by another rider on the internet that turned out to be pretty good. We started in Spring Lake County Park and headed up Canyon, a nice initial warmup before starting to climb. We continue climbing up Marsh and onto Ridge, which turned out to be a pretty fun trail. We used the other end of Marsh to connect to the top of Lawndale. This was a fast, flowy trail through the forest and one of the best trails in the park. We shot down as fast as the conditions and our lack of Annadel experience would allow. I was disappointed to hit the large parking area at the bottom, hoping that the trail would go further.

We headed up Lawndale Road and Shultz Road to Shultz Trail, a rocky singletrack climb that wasn't particularly steep but the combination of large and small rocks made the climb quite a bit more challenging. We used Pig Flat to connect back to Marsh. This time we passed by the Lawndale turn and continued on Marsh past the Two Quarry junction down to Buick Meadow. This took us to the another fine downhill run on South Burma, Richardson and North Burma. Unlike Lawndale, these trails were very rocky but this added to both the fun and the challenge. The grade on these trails was not too steep, making it easier to maintain the proper speed to navigate these trails quickly and safely. We headed up Live Oak which started with a pretty tough but thankfully short climb up a rocky trail before turning into a more moderate trail. We used Rough Go to connect to the top of Spring Creek at Lake Ilsanjo, a pretty lake. We headed down Spring Creek, another rocky descent, back to Canyon and the parking lot.

There seem to be several places nearby to eat, but we ended up at Superburger on Fourth Street. This tiny, oddly shaped restaurant on the corner is unchanged in many ways from when it opened in 1952. We sat at the counter and ordered burgers, fries and drinks. The burgers were very good and very filling, the waitress was cute, the cook was serene (according to Anna), and we all really liked the original worn original styling. This place is worth checking out after the ride.

We had a great time at Annadel and everyone was glad that we made the effort to drive two hours each direction. The trails were fun and presented new challenges to keep our mountain biking passions high. It is worth checking out!

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