Top Ten California Mountain Bike Singletrack

Prairie Creek State Park: Far North
By Will Hagen

This wonderful 17-mile redwood ramble is about an hour north of Eureka on Route 101. Take the exit for Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. After four miles, turn left toward the signed parking area and ask at the tollbooth for a topo map. Most of the climbing here is reasonable, unlike large areas of the North Coast. While not totally singletrack, many of the trails are so narrow and overgrown they fit almost anybody's singletrack criteria. Ancient firestorm-ravaged redwoods enhance the otherworldly feeling.

My favorite loop (on the handout map) climbs up Look Prairie Trail, which soon narrows down among the tan oaks and madrone. At 3.5 miles, go left on Peavine Trail, which again narrows amid bracken ferns and pines. After a mile, turn left following the bike tracks and experience a fun singletrack roller coaster along the ridge. Peavine Road eventually descends to the road below.

Try to save a little energy for a trip through the famous Rockefeller Forest, which sports 40 of the tallest and largest redwoods in the world. Even in the frequent fog this is not to be missed!



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