Northern California Forum

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Flat Trails in SF Bay Area? (Read 626 times)

    I am looking for some nice flat trails in South Bay. All trails I know are hilly and I am noticing that when I run on flat roads my muscles get tired much easier than if I run on hilly trails. It makes sense, when I run up my 'down' muscles get a break and vice versa. On flats no muscles get breaks. Anyway, I would like do more running on flat dirt trails but I can't find any. Help, please. I would like to stay off asphalt as much as possible. Ewa
    I would rather wear out than rust out. - Helen Klein You create your own universe as you go along. - Winston Churchill


    Dog-Love

      I keep waiting to see if someone will post because I too would like to see some less hilly trail runs. I used to run the fire trail by the Lawrence Berkely Lab and there was this crazy hill ("the connecter") but once you got to the top (what a view) it was flat out for about 3 miles to Grizzly Peak Rd. So if you parked up top you could have a nice flat 5-6 miler out and back. I am not too familiar with South Bay but it seems to me there should be some great parks around San Jose with some trails...be safe!
      Run like you are on fire! 5K goal 24:00 or less (PR 24:34) 10K goal 50:00 or less (PR 52:45) HM goal 1:55:00 or less (PR 2:03:02) Marathon Goal...Less than my PR (PR 4:33:23)
        Since no one else has mentioned it - years ago we would run at Shoreline Park in Mountain View. At that time it had gravel/dirt type trails, I seem to remember, with many going out along the levees into the bay. Maybe take a look there?
        Next up: A 50k in ? Done: California-Oregon-Arizona-Nevada (x2)-Wisconsin-Wyoming-Utah-Michigan-Colorado
          I'm further north (of the south bay), but the few trails I've run are not flat. There are sections of the trail that parallels Canada Road (closest to Crystal Springs just south of 92) that are flat, but it has some hilly sections also. I've run the shoulders of both Sawyer Camp Trail and the Bay Trail which are mostly gravel (along side the asphalt bike path). Each are at opposite (east-west) ends of San Mateo - but pretty flat. Doubt this helps.

          ScriptCal

            Thanks all. I'll be checking out the trails you mentioned. For those who don't mind running on asphalt, there is Coyote Creek Trail from San Jose all the way to Morgan Hill. It is at least 15 miles long and flat but it is not dirt. Oh, and there are long stretches in full sun. Ewa
            I would rather wear out than rust out. - Helen Klein You create your own universe as you go along. - Winston Churchill
              Not very flat - but I'll mention it anyway in case you don't know about it - is the trail system at Quicksilver (County?) Park. Paved bikeways also extend from downtown SJ to Almaden Valley, I think. I used to live near McKean Road at the and of Almaden Expressway, and the paved paths loop up and down two creeks in that area.
              Next up: A 50k in ? Done: California-Oregon-Arizona-Nevada (x2)-Wisconsin-Wyoming-Utah-Michigan-Colorado
              Grzldvt


                Try the Stevens Creek Trail. I just changed jobs and it is right out the back door of my office. Mostly flat with some very gentle grades that are hardly noticeable.

                27 Big Surs working on number 28

                  Thanks for the tip. Do you mean the one in Mountain View or the loop around Stevens Creek Reservoir? I guess both look interesting but the one in Stevens Creek County Park does not look flat at all. BTW, noticed you are training for Big Sur. That is coming up soon, a month or so? Good luck. Ewa
                  I would rather wear out than rust out. - Helen Klein You create your own universe as you go along. - Winston Churchill
                  hup


                    Try the Stevens Creek Trail. I just changed jobs and it is right out the back door of my office. Mostly flat with some very gentle grades that are hardly noticeable.
                    Hey Steve - how is Big Sur training going? I just had my knee scoped. Hoping to get back soon. I was just a couple of weeks out from Napa when I had to shut it down. I went anyway to spectate and missed out on a 20+mph tailwind! Argh!! Ewa - I ran a bike path/ trail in Redwood City when I stayed there. It ran alongside the bay and was, of course, very flat. It was at Whipple and 101.
                    Grzldvt


                      hup, Yikes, I hope everything is OK. My Big Sur training is slightly beyond pathetic. No biggie, been there before, I won't break and land speed records, but will finish. Let me know when you are back in the game and we can setup something. I have some potential runners for the infamous October Yosemite run, so I might actually pull it off this year. Skibunny, the portion I run starts at Hamilton and 880 in Campbell. Take a look at that area. There is a parking lot in the back of 9100 Hamilton. You go across the creek from there and drop down onto the trail. I know there are plenty of other places to get on the trail. Follow it along 880 and you should see several places to park.

                      27 Big Surs working on number 28

                        grzldveet, that's not Stevens Creek. It's Los Gatos Creek trail and is a good candidate for the OP, though it does have a very few ups and downs especially if you run it all the way to Los Gatos and maybe to Lexington(!) from Hamilton/880. The OP asked for dirt and that's not a dirt trail. A very flat dirt trail is, as someone already posted, Shoreline park. The things I don't like about Shoreline is that it smells pretty rank sometimes and it is always windy. You can put in maybe 16 miles there of completely flat dirt if you start from the entrance off shoreline and run north. There's another flat trail in the far South Bay by Santa Teresa Road. You climb about 30 feet up to the foothills above the last street of houses and then the trail runs along the mountains for about 5 or 6 miles. It's really an access road for the Santa Clara Water District but it attracts a lot of hikers, runners and bikers because the views of the valley are really good for such a flat trail. You can access it by taking Snell Road off of Blossom Hill till it dead ends to the South against the mountains. One last very flat trail, though it's asphalt, is the Coyote Creek bikepath trail. Access at Hellyer Park in S San Jose and run as far as you want south then return. Not a lot of people on that trail once you pass Metcalf road so maybe take a running partner with you. It's one of my favorites because it is a little solitary and it's really beautiful this time of year. MTA: I see you already know about Coyote Creek! After many years of running in the South Bay I've settled on Los Gatos Creek from Hamilton/880 up to Lexington Reservoir as my 'hilly' long run route and I use Coyote Creek trail from Hellyer down south as my 'flat' long run route. I used to run Shoreline as a 'flat' route but can't get enough miles in for a long run and the smell is just brutal sometimes.
                        Grzldvt


                          You are right is is the Los Gatos Creek Trail. However, how do you know about the "Ditch" along from Snell to Almaden? That is my route? I run everyday from Cottle along Curie, pop up at Snell and cruise along it. If you run it, we may have seen each other. You can also go past the gate that ends on Coleman, pop over the weird fence and get into Lake Almaden park by running along Coleman into the park and run along the Los Alamitos trail

                          27 Big Surs working on number 28

                            Yesterday I discovered Stanford U campus has a lot of dirt paths to run on, maybe not for really long runs and not really in my area but flat and nice.
                            I would rather wear out than rust out. - Helen Klein You create your own universe as you go along. - Winston Churchill
                              You are right is is the Los Gatos Creek Trail. However, how do you know about the "Ditch" along from Snell to Almaden? That is my route? I run everyday from Cottle along Curie, pop up at Snell and cruise along it. If you run it, we may have seen each other. You can also go past the gate that ends on Coleman, pop over the weird fence and get into Lake Almaden park by running along Coleman into the park and run along the Los Alamitos trail
                              That area is my old stomping grounds. For years I lived off of Cottle and Cohasset (the IBM Ghetto). My long run used to be the ditch to Almaden Park (via the apartments) then around the mountains via Los Alamitos then the IBM property trail through the orchard up and over Styles trail and another single track trail through ST park that I can't remember the name of, down Bernal to Santa Teresa and down Santa Teresa back to my house. I think it was about 18 miles give or take and its a great tour of the South Bay Almaden Valley area through some nice backwoods trails. 5 years ago we moved to West San Jose so I don't run there very much anymore. Last time I did that run was about 4 weeks ago with my wife trailing along on the bike. I still mountain bike at ST park usually once a week.
                                then the IBM property trail through the orchard up and over Styles trail
                                I used to live within a 1/4 mile of this trail, and I ran this lots back then. Very nice this time of year!
                                Next up: A 50k in ? Done: California-Oregon-Arizona-Nevada (x2)-Wisconsin-Wyoming-Utah-Michigan-Colorado
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