Forget Slickrock. Dump Durango. Some of the best mountain biking we’ve found is just two hours from Market Street in a rugged patchwork of woods called Boggs Mountain, in southern Lake County. Packed with ponderosa pine and black fir, the forest is gloriously empty even on weekends. And the bikers who are there are apt to be old-school locals riding fully rigid mountain bikes and sporting neon Oakley Blades. They’re ridin’ for the pure love of it. And oh, those trails: toothpick-tight singletrack rolling up and down through the forest. You’ll have your pick of the pack, so get a map at the kiosk located below the parking area near the fires station. (Our favorites were “John’s” and “Karen’s”—almost all the trails are on a first-name basis here—but we’re pretty sure you’ll find your own sweet sections.) The terrain never gets super-technical; it’s just swooping singletrack that one local described “like low-level flying through a forest.” Buckle up!
Directions to Boggs Mountain Demonstration Forest: Take Hwy. 101 North. In Santa Rosa, exit Hwy. 12 going east. Go about 4 miles. Turn left on Calistoga Rd. and take it about 7 miles until Petrified Forest Rd. Turn right and take it a few miles until you hit Hwy. 128, turn left and take it 1 mile. Turn right on Tubbs Lane, and then left on Hwy. 29. Take this all the way to Middletown. Once there, go north on Hwy. 175 toward Boggs Mountain. Just past Cobb, turn right where the sign says “CDF Fire Station” and park. Camping is available in the park. Dog-friendly!