Distance: 3 mile loop. Seaside mountain biking. Wide, flat trail - perfect for beginners. Sweeping views of Pacific Ocean and iconic California coastline. Sea birds, sea lions, and whales.

The Old Cove Landing Trail at Wilder Ranch is the perfect destination for a relaxing bike ride. The 3 mile loop starts at Wilder Ranch Visitor Center/Park Store, takes you past their Brussels sprout fields and on to a coastline trail. From the Visitor Center parking lot look for and follow signs pointing towards Old Cove Landing Trail.

Stick to the trail as you ride by expansive fields and eventually the trail will bend right when you reach the coast. Throughout the ride there are little turnoffs and lookout loops. Be sure to check them out - the views are stunning - but keep a safe distance from the cliff edge. A couple highlights along the way are the trail's namesake, Old Cove, a small inlet where lumber ships unloaded in the 1800s, and a large flat rock where harbor seals like to hangout and sunbath. Eventually the trail swings right and away from the coast, back towards Wilder Farm where you began your ride.

As you ride you won't be able to miss all the sea birds but keep an eye out for sea lions sunbathing year round and April through November is Humpback season in this area.

A quick drive east on Hwy 1 will lead you back into town where there are more than enough options for food and drinks. For those craving a local brew, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery is less than five minutes from the Visitor Center.

Photos: Sara Stasi, J Maughn, Redlu

Pack List

  • Layers
  • Mountain bike
  • Biking gear
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Activities Mountain Biking, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Enjoyable Trail

Wide pathway for walking and biking. Plan to go on a sunny day in the afternoon, when the coastal fog has gone away!


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