Local 4-mile introduction to trails

It occurred to me while training on Sunday that there is a great little 4-mile stretch that offers a nice introduction to trail running. It falls in the middle of a longer run I do, but it also makes a nice one on its own.

Over the course of the four miles you will have experienced a condensed version of a trail run: hills, rocks, dirt, single track, open spaces, views, peace, 2.5 miles of up and down, 1.5 miles of flat to gradual climb. It really isn’t steep, but you start below the dam and end up above the lake so that’s something. I’ll check the elevation next time I run it and let you know.

Anderson Lake Dam from the Top of the HillsStart at Anderson Dam Park, which is located at the corner of Cochrane and San Rafael. It falls below Anderson Dam where there are picnic tables, open spaces, and Coyote Creek. Cross the bridge over the creek and just go straight on the dirt path. Do not go on the pavement.

You will hit Serpentine Trail and go right. Follow it around the pond and then go left and up. You quickly hit a “T”; go right along the trail. There are trail markers that are easy to follow. Remember, if you have multiple choices, you are heading up and over the dam. Follow the trail up and you will cross the paved road to the dam. Keep going on trail.

You are about to hit single track, rocks, and it gets a little steeper. Follow it all the way to the dam. When you hit the dam, go across the whole thing towards the parking lot. There is a restroom and water fountain if you need it. Head across the lot to the hills. Go between or around the gates and back on the dirt path.

Follow Lakeview Trail up and straight. You will have the option of turning right, which is fine, but I usually stay to the left as it is the ridge closest to the lake. Take it all the way up and around. Eventually you hit a little pond, which is awesome in winter because of the rising steam. You will see a neighborhood and street to the left. Head that way. Run to the cute school bus stop. You made it the two miles! Now turn around and go back down.


Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/schizoform/42148718/


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Sounds like a good run. We Hillbillies like to run off road.

  2. runrunrunrun says:

    Thanks Neil! If I ever get back to Scotland, maybe I can come run with the CarnegieHillbillies. Great website, by the way.

  3. Hey! Thanks for the tip! I’m staying in Morgan Hill for a few days for my son’s swim meet. This run was just what the doctor ordered when I had a bit of time in between morning prelims and afternoon finals. Your directions and description are spot on! Enjoyed all the wild stuff: Stellar’s Jays, Red Tail Hawks, Turkey Vultures, Toyon, California Sagebrush, Live Oaks, Gray Pines and Poison Oak! Even some Mountain Lion tracks! A little bit of everything as you say.

    This run brought back fond memories of many runs I did in the hills above Woodside and Portola Valley when I lived there back in the day. Those kept me sane amidst the insanity of silicon valley! 🙂

    Thanks again! Will explore some more in the next couple of days!

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