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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Best local biking trails everyone should try

Kevin Yang
A peaceful scenery of the Los Gatos Creek Trail during sunset.

It’s 7 p.m., and for once, you’ve finished all your homework. Your parents are gone and your friends are all busy — why not go on a bike ride? Here are some of my favorite local bike trails to try:


  1. Joe’s Trail (distance: 3.2 miles; difficulty: easy)

The trail starts at Saratoga Avenue and ends at Blue Hills. Since it is short and straight, I often ride here for exercise when I have limited time. However, it requires careful attention because the path hugs a railroad and is made of dirt filled with small rocks. Another downside is the lack of shade along the path.


  1. Bohlman Road (distance: 4.2 miles; difficulty: hard)

A challenging mountain trail located near Saratoga downtown, it is a very popular trail for biking with a significant, challenging upward grade. It starts at the southwestern edge of Saratoga and ends at Bohlman Road.

I’ve ridden here only twice, but have noticed many beautiful views of nearby cities and the occasional wild animals, such as mountain lions. 

The one drawback is that this trail may be challenging for beginning bikers: On one section, I had to get down and push my bike because of the steep slopes. The trail is also on the road, sharing the path with cars, and is potentially dangerous.


  1. Stevens Creek Trail (distance: 7.1 miles; difficulty: moderate)

Located between Mountain View and Cupertino, this trail is popular for hiking and birding. 

The path is surrounded by trees and rivers. Compared to the Bohlman Road and Stevens Creek Trail, the road is relatively flat . 

The most unfriendly parts are the bumpy road and trees along the trail creating a “labyrinth,” causing a lot of people to get lost on the trail. Even after going to the park many times, I still get lost trying to find the parking lot.


  1. Mid-Peninsula Linkup (distance: 26.9 miles; difficulty: hard)

The trail starts at the Saratoga Gap parking area and moves through  Saratoga Gap, Long Ridge, Skyline Ridge, Russian Ridge, Coal Creek, Monte Bello, Steven Creek and finishes off with a small singletrack. It contains several different types of roads and, although I have ridden this trail twice from different starting points, I have never finished the whole distance due to its sheer length. 

Nevertheless, I enjoy the majority of the trail being away from vehicle traffic with the different paths introducing various new sceneries. 

One potential downside is its remoteness — there is one stretch of 10 miles with no exit point. I would suggest any riders who are planning to visit this path to come prepared with water and any necessary weather gear.


  1. Los Gatos Creek Trail (distance: 11.2 miles; difficulty: moderate)

This trail extends from downtown San Jose to the hills above Los Gatos Creek. It stretches wide paths and is completely separate from vehicle roads. Additionally, the path provides a great view of the sparkling Los Gatos Creek, which is shrouded in shrubbery on its banks.

On my first ride, I was impressed by the trail’s beautiful scenery with rivers and trees adding to the scenery. The rusty steel bridge also makes me feel like I am biking in an abandoned place. 

Additionally, morning and evening biking give vastly different experiences. In the morning, the sun rising from the edge of the river and freshness of the air give a good start to the day. In the evening, the warmth from the golden sunset combined with comfortable temperatures make for a pleasant, relaxing experience. 

The trail is also versatile in fitting both beginner and advanced riders — part of the trail is bumpy for advanced riders, but other parts are flat and spacious. I highly recommend it for riders who want to enjoy scenery while exercising.

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