Los Gatos, California, home to the pristine Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve, welcomes cyclists with its myriad of trails. Among these, the Woods Trail stands out as a challenging, yet rewarding adventure, forming an integral part of the broader Bay Area Ridge Trail network.
Initiating at an elevation of approximately 1,400ft, the trail offers gentle inclines and declines for the first 3 miles. It's only upon reaching the Barlow Road turnoff does the true challenge commence. The path spirals upwards towards Mt. El Sombroso, peaking at an impressive 3,000ft. Along this climb, expect a mix of steep gradients, interspersed with generous viewpoints offering panoramic sights of southern San Jose.At this juncture, the Woods Trail offers connectivity to both the Kennedy Trail (proceeding straight) and the Limekiln Trail (diverging left).
Should Lexington be the chosen endpoint, it's advisable to have another mode of transportation stationed, given the extensive journey back. The reservoir sits at about 800ft, implying a considerable uphill return.
It's crucial to maintain decorum on these trails. Rangers are known to patrol the area regularly, handing out citations for speeds exceeding the 15mph limit. Further, considering the trail's popularity among hikers and equestrians, a considerate approach ensures safety for all.
To dive into this adventure, head south on Hicks Road from Camden Avenue in south San Jose. Cover approximately 6 miles in the direction of Alamaden Quicksilver County Park. The starting point awaits at the juncture of Hicks Road and Mt. Umunhum Road in Los Gatos, CA.
The journey through Woods to Kennedy and Limekiln up to Lexington is undeniably exhilarating. However, be prepared for some demanding sections,