An off-the-beaten-path, novice-friendly mountain bike ride in remote redwoods … are you ready to roll? Old Haul Road is a wide-open fire road with just enough ups and downs to keep things interesting. Set wayyyy back in the Santa Cruz Mountains, in a natural basin of mixed evergreens, first-and second-growth redwoods, and plenty of ferns, Old Haul Road used to be the route of a narrow-gauge railroad line that hauled redwood logs from what is now Pescadero Creek County Park to mills in today’s Portola Redwoods State Park. The logging is long gone, but the smooth dirt fire road is perfect, especially for beginners. All in, it’s a quick 11-mile (round-trip) spin. The first 5.5 miles you’ll pedal through a forest of second-growth redwoods paralleling Pescadero Creek (home to coho salmon and steelhead trout). The sign for Portola Redwoods State Park marks your turnaround, or you can continue into the park for a half-mile for some old-growth redwood viewing. Haul of a good ride.
From Hwy. 1 in Half Moon Bay, drive 15 miles south to Pescadero Rd. and turn left, passing through the town of Pescadero. Continue about 10 miles on Pescadero Rd. A quarter-mile past the entrance to Memorial Park turn right on Wurr Rd. Drive 0.25 mile to the trailhead for Hoffman Creek. Old Haul Rd. begins here. No dogs.