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Islay Creek Trail / Montana de Oro State Park Professional Review and Guide
"This eight-mile loop is a relatively short but demanding ride. The first three miles on Islay Creek road climb gently and steadily over several short, easy hills. Beginners should turn around here for a pleasant out-and-back trip, for after this the narrow, singletrack East Boundary Trail climbs very steeply. It is rocky and sandy in places and at times more closely resembles a ditch than a trail. On the singletrack Ridge Trail you will encounter many ups and downs of varying technical and physical difficulty. Ridge Trail includes a variety of trail conditions. Expect rocky and sandy portions as well as some fine riding surfaces. There is some deep sand on the descent to paved Pecho Valley Road. The views on this ride are outstanding."
--David Story, Laurie & Chris Leman, Mountain Bike! Southern California (Menasha Ridge Press).
I was very disappointed. I love technical climbs, but this one is not fun. It is basically a deep rut filled with sand. The trail is in atrocious shape. It is highly eroded in spots, while in other spots it is badly overgrown with weeds. The downhill is not enjoyable due to the loose dirt, ruts, and berms. Manzanita Trail turns into boring doubletrack. The entrance to Bloody Nose Trail is not well marked, and this trail guide doesn't explain how to get to it. Save your time and go to Cerro Cabrillo.
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