About 60 miles north of San Francisco and just outside of Santa Rosa lies one of the most popular mountain bike destinations in the North Bay. Annadel State Park, encompassing some 5,000 acres of redwoods, oaks, manzanita and scrub brush, has terrain and scenery to both inspire and to challenge. While the elevations don’t match those of the higher coastal mountains and the trails aren’t particularly steep, the numerous rocky sections make the going quite rough in many places. Tricky climbs and bone-jarring descents offer the main challenges in Annadel. The rewards are the diverse scenery and the stunning views. This ride offers a fairly complete tour of the park and includes loops around both Lake Ilsanjo and Ledson Marsh.
"Obsidian trails through forests and meadows, to a lake" Read more
"If hikes were marketed like new cars, I’d say that this Annadel loop has the most meadow views per mile. This hike climbs through a forest, loops around a meadow, and skirts the shore of Lake Ilsanjo, then returns through woods to the trailhead. Although Annadel is a busy park, heavily used by equestrians and cyclists as well as local walkers and runners, it’s worth putting up with the crowds." Read more
"This loop is classic Jekyll and Hyde, with Rough Go being the technical, rutted, and boulder-strewn singletrack counterpoint to Canyon Trail’s moderately smooth fire-road serenity. This ride is great in either direction and provides a very different experience, depending on whether you choose to climb or descend Rough Go. There is no easy spinning on Rough Go; “taking it easy” on this trail means that one of the boulder outcroppings has decided to take possession of your forward motion. However, stopping just gives you reason to take in the rolling grasslands, reddish-brown boulders, and scattered old-growth oaks." Read more
"This is the big-daddy loop in Annadel, which goes up and around the Ledson Marsh. Two Quarry Trail is one of the more challenging rides in the park, and Ridge Trail is a true gem born of the new school of trail building that has arisen in the past ten years. It’s a long ride, but you’ll be enjoying yourself so much you won’t realize you’re tired until you’re back in the car. Many park users, except the equestrian crowd, park their vehicles in the dirt lot off Channel Drive when accessing the park from the northwest side. There are trails that begin just across the road from this lot, but today you’ll ride 1.5 miles farther up Channel Drive to the equestrian parking lot and start the ride on Warren Richardson Trail. A trail sign with a blown-up trail map and some environmental warnings is there, as well as a drinking fountain. Warren Richardson begins at the base of the mountain, in a shady grove of pine and bay trees and poison oak. A large gate separates you from your dream ride. Fortunately, there is an opening for pedestrian and bicycle access on the left. Pass through and begin climbing up the fire road." Read more
"Gradually climb over grassy hillsides and through oak woodlands and conifer forests on the west side of Bennett Mountain along wide, rocky service roads. You gain 1100 feet and then lose 1000 feet as you descend past spring-fed meadows on a well-graded trail to Annadel’s east side. The west- and south-facing slopes can be hot in summer; north- and east-facing slopes are forested." Read more
"This loop offers great singletrack riding through the rolling hills of diverse oak woodlands, grass meadows, chaparral, and forests of Douglas fir and redwood. While there are endless combinations of trails throughout the park, this loop gives an overview of the central and southeastern sections. The size of the park allows you to repeat favorite sections. You will want to go back to explore and piece together your favorite trails. The marsh has some great places to picnic and bird-watch. Trail surface: 68 percent singletrack and 32 percent fire road." Read more
"This ride offers great singletrack through pristine oak woodlands and meadows in the rolling hills east of Santa Rosa. Enter through Spring Lake Regional Park and weave through the northwestern part of Annadel State Park. Full suspension is recommended for aptly named trails like Cobblestone and Rough Go. Bay Area fog seldom reaches this park. Even in the shade, summers can be hot here, but you can cool off in Lake Ilsanjo. Trail surface: 70 percent singletrack, 23 percent dirt roads, and 7 percent paved bike path." Read more