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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those of you have been fortunate enough to grace your presense on the illegal Table Mountain trail in Upper Stevens Creek park, you know how gratifying the ride actually is.

For those of you unfortunate enough to recieve a ticket for riding on this trail, you know how costly it is.

I am currently in communication with the Dept. of Parks and Rec., and I am looking to find a way to share this trail with Mountain Bikes so it will no longer be illegal.

Currently it is a one way uphill hiking trail and is not open for bikes. As we are all aware, there are political and safety reasons for this, BUT...more and more parks are coming to realize that Mountain Biking is not as bad as most ecologists and lawmakers made the sport out to be.

I am looking for your input...history on trail, tickets, accidents, amusing stories, questions, comments, concerns.

Legalizing this trail will be an uphill battle, but hey, aren't we used to that?
 

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Old man on a bike
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I'm not sure what you're talking about. I know a singletrack that's bike legal uphill only from Canyon Trail to Charcoal Road, and believe it's called the Table Mountain Trail. Has this trail had bikes banned? I know of another trail that's not bike legal in either direction, that somewhat parallels the Table Mountain Trail and Charcoal Rd (but don't remember the name for this one). Maybe there's something else there I've missed, though. And what's with the Dept of Parks and Rec? This is all MidPeninsula Open Space Dist lands that I know of.
 

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Table Mtn is open to bikes for uphill only. Bikinfoolferlife is correct, unless something has changed. The upper section that parallels Charcoal Rd has always been off limits. This would be a sweet extension to the top and avoid super dusty Charcoal Rd. Maybe thats what you are talking about. Table mtn is a great climb and I really don't miss having to deal with those who bomb down it in complete disregard for those who are climbing.
 

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190lbs of climber
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Quite a climb

I've climbed it a few times and it's one hell of a climb on SS. I've only gone down once, I think it was the single track to the left as you descend, and I didn't even know it was illegal then. It was fun though. Is that the trail you speak of, or is there some other hidden single track?
 

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Macrohard is talking about two different trails. Both are in a Santa Clara County Park, Upper Stevens Creek County Park, and surrounded by MROSD preserves. The lower trail crosses Stevens Creek from the Canyon Trail, and climbs 1.3 miles up to Charcoal Road. It is called Table Mountain, or Lower Table Mountain, and has been open to bikes in the climbing direction for years. A hundred or so yards up Charcoal from there, another single track breaks off to the right and parallels Charcoal 3 miles to the intersection of the Charcoal and Skyline trails. County Parks calls it Upper Table Mountain, and old MROSD maps call it Alternate. Upper Table Mountain has been closed to bikes in both directions for over 10 years.

The County real reason for not opening this trail boils to down to not wanting to make more work for themselves, and the cumbersome bureaucratic process. The reason they most often site is the need to prevent the environmental damage that will occur when a steep narrow trail gets bike traffic. If they were to look at the trail with an open mind, they would see that the lower trail, which is closer to the creek and open to bikes, is no more impacted than the upper trail, which is far from the creek and closed to bikes.

Most of the maintenance on this trail is being done by volunteers, and most of those volunteers would like to see both trails open to bikes in at least the climbing direction. In the 20 or so hours I have spent on the trail this year, I have seen more bike users than any other, at a ratio of at least 4:1. Its safe to say most trail users would also like to see it open to bikes as well.

Gather the County's set of official reasons for not opening this trail to bikes, and lets weigh them against a set of reasons for opening it.
 

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Dpr

I think it's safe to say that if DPR (CA Dept. of Parks and Rec.) owned that trail it wouldn't be open to bikes either way and neither would any of the surrounding trails. A quick glance south to Skyline to the Sea and Castle Rock should tell a mountain biker all he needs to know about the trails the state owns in that area.
I am no big fan of Mid Penn but I have to say that they have done a great job in keeping as many trails as they do open from Windy Hill to Highway 9.
I know the county owns much of that trail but my friend received a ticket from Mid Penn when he tried to poach it. So you may be right that the county park's budget is partly the reason they don't want it more open than it is.
If your lobbying can get Table Mountain downhill open and Mid Penn gets up there and trims the poison oak that is so prevalent on that trail I would be happy to make it part of one of the many loops that are already in that area. For now though I am happy to keep riding the many trails around it and keep out of the poison oak. Vince
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Trail Info....

Backpedal is correct. There are 2 different Table Mountain Trails. (Depending on which map you are looking at.)

Santa Clara County Map
http://www.scc-dcss.org/scc/assets/docs/199364Upper Stevens Creek Map.pdf

Mid Peninsula Open Space Preserve Map
http://www.openspace.org/preserves/maps/saratoga_gap_map.pdf

I am specifically talking about the "Alternate" Table Mountain trail.

Santa Clara County map calls it the Table Mountain Trail. MPOSP doesn't call it anything. Either way it is still off limits to bikers.

My History: I was born and raised in this valley. I received my first ticket for riding that trail last week. But I'll tell you...I stopped more bikers from coming down that trail in the 25 minutes it took me to "walk" up it, then the amount of hikers, equestrians, or rangers, I have ever seen in the 10 years I have been riding it.

The trail is perfect for a great technical downhill ride from the 9 and 35 park entrance, down Saratoga Gap, to Charcoal Mountain "Uphill a bit" (I didn't tell you that), then a quick left to the "Alternate" Table Mountain Trail(I didn't tell you that either). This takes you right down to Stevens Canyon Rd. Trail time: Less than 1 hour. Trail thrill: Priceless (Worth a parking ticket)

My mission is to legalize this trail. I figure I lived here and biked here my whole life. Why should I stop now cause they started enforcing not riding on trails? I plan on living here a while so why not make it legal. This is a democratic government last time I checked, and my taxes go to these parks just as much as any hikers or equestrians. 20 minutes from work and home, can't beat that.

Remember...we make the rules that govern society.
 

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Flyin Canine
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More info:

You can Talk to Charles from the FOREST group. He is the one that works with the county parks to do the maintinance on that trail. I have been out there for about 8 workdays in the last 2 or so years and we have done a lot to make the trail more sustainable for riding in the hopes that the county will eventually open it to bikes.

I have also been to a county parks meeting during some of their general plan sessions and spoke up about the lack of riding available to us.

Some more advice: Get in touch with Paul Nam the president of ROMP. He is heading up some limited trailwork on the caynon trail and works closely with Charles. Let's all make an effort to show the county parks that
a: mtn bikers want access to this trail
b: we are willing to pitch in and help maintain the trail so that they don't have to worry about a budget hit.

Join ROMP if your not already a member. They do much work in this area and can help you meet your goal. Also check out trailworkers.com. By coming out and doing trailwork you gain a lot of respect from the rangers and from the group you are helping.

here is Paul's email
vocinam at yahoo dottt com

and Charles
imahorse at stanford dott edu

http://www.romp.org
http://www.trailworkers.com/stevens_creek.cfm
 

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I remember that trail

When I first started riding up there MTBs were just trail users, with no specific restrictions anywhere. I was so out of shape that I couldn't dream of climbing up Table Mtn. I considered them downhill only. I would park at 9&35, ride down and climb back up on the road out of Stevens Creek Cyn to Hwy 9.

Ever ride down the front (north) side of Black Mountain, starting behind the radio shacks at the summit of Monte Bello Road? That was the first trail I ever saw the dreaded no bikes sign. I think it went off-limits in '89 or so. Rockin' trail. It would be worth a night-poach for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Fast Eddy said:
When I first started riding up there MTBs were just trail users, with no specific restrictions anywhere. I was so out of shape that I couldn't dream of climbing up Table Mtn. I considered them downhill only. I would park at 9&35, ride down and climb back up on the road out of Stevens Creek Cyn to Hwy 9.

Ever ride down the front (north) side of Black Mountain, starting behind the radio shacks at the summit of Monte Bello Road? That was the first trail I ever saw the dreaded no bikes sign. I think it went off-limits in '89 or so. Rockin' trail. It would be worth a night-poach for sure.
I was there maybe 5 years ago and the firetrails were legal for bikes but a 15mph speed limit sign was posted. I started out riding the Front of Black Mountain years ago. B-E-A-utiful views from the radio towers. Monte Bello Rd, to Indian Creek, to Canyon. Table Mountain meets Canyon there at the creek. I got info about how to get to it from riders that just came down it and have been riding it ever since.

I would hate to encourage (but I am) other riders to hit up the illegal Table Mountain trail, but you really got to experience it to see why I am so motivated to legalize it.
 

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Formerly dvo
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sure would be nice to have a legal one direction only downhill trail around here, i always thought that these trails would be perfect for just such a thing. not to mention lower steam donkey at skeggs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Legalize It Update

Well, I have my contact at DPR now and I will be working with a trails planner. She e-mailed me an outline of what needs to happen in order to remap the trails.

"Lower Table Mountain Trail is open to bicycles in the uphill direction only.
Upper Table Mountain Trail is closed to bicycles. Table Mountain Fire Road
is open to bicycles in either direction. At this time there are no plans to
change the use of any of these trails. In order to change the use of
trails, a study has to be done, public meetings are held, the Parks and Rec
Commission has to approve it and then the Board of Supervisors has to
approve it. The entire process starts with our planning department"

Soooo...I will meet with the trail planner and start on this process. Thanks for the info and I will get in touch with ROMP and other similiar groups. If you guys have other info to share please let me know.

I agree with dvo, a one-way downhill single track for bikes in this area would be sweet!!!
 

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not only would it be sweet it would be a sign that the powers that be recognize that there is a large user group for this kind of trail. yeah i know that those who climb it would be bummed but people that want to rip down a sweet trail are not going to go away and brizzly offers a good alternative climb, i should know i often climb it after the charcoal descent.
 

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Front of Black

I used to hike up the front side of Black Mountain in 83 and 84 just before I became a serious mountain biker. For some reason I never got around to riding them. Those trails/fire roads were/are pretty nice. I wonder how much development has encroached on them in the 20 years since I have been up there.
 

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Although it would be cool to have both sections open both directions, when I've encountered the downhill poachers, they felt they owned the trail and weren't willing to yield to the uphill rider who is grunting it out. This of course started a confrontation since my riding buddy back then refused to yield to them and was willing to let them know it. Good stuff.
 

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Old man on a bike
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Well thanks for the updates, and good luck Macrohard. I found that trail a hoot a very long time ago and would love to see that open to bikes (up and down). The last time I checked it out a couple years ago it looked like it was getting substantial bike use already, at least compared to earlier visits.

Lower Table Mountain trail I don't think would be suitable to 2 way bike traffic. Many guys riding downhill seem to think for some reason they have right of way, I have encountered too many like the ones Ebo ran into.
 

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Formerly dvo
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that trail does get a lot of poachers, way to many of them with no respect for other users. if you see me and my buddies we will stop say hello and wish you well. chances are you won't run into us because we won't start our descent until after 6 p.m. during the week and not at all on weekends. i wish more guys would follow these rules because then like us they would not run into anyone on the trail ( one encounter in 4-5 years of poaching ) .
 

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dvo said:
that trail does get a lot of poachers, way to many of them with no respect for other users. if you see me and my buddies we will stop say hello and wish you well. chances are you won't run into us because *** during the week and not at all on weekends. i wish more guys would follow these rules because then like us they would not run into anyone on the trail ( one encounter in 4-5 years of poaching ) .
DVO, it sounds like you and your buddies are pretty thoughtful. (Still you might want to go back and edit some details out of your post, you know?) There were some guys last year posting on MSDHW about doing downhill shuttle runs on Charcoal Road. From what they were writing, it didn't sound like they cared much what anyone else thought. And I've heard some hair raising stories about folks ascending Charcoal having near misses with armor clad downhill folks.

Macrohard, I hiked a portion of the upper Table mountain trail. In fact, the day I hiked it, I was passed by a guy on a bike ascending it. It seems like a nice trail. I'd like to see it open to bikes, but in both directions. As I noted in my earlier post above, uphill on Charcoal really isn't much fun.

Thanks for the links. That Santa Clara County map you linked to is super helpful.
 

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we are all a bunch of older guys ( 30's and 40's), so we do have some sort of idea about being somewhat responsible. we rode those trails today in fact. the vast majority of the negative encounters involve the younger guys, it sure would be nice if they were more thoughtful but as my friend reminded me of today, remember when you were 16 or 17? whatever you were into........were you the model of thoughtfulness???? the kids can be a negative sometimes but try to cut them a little slack.
as far as editing my post i assume you mean our timing, the way i look at it is if i get a ticket i will divide the cost by the number of times i have ridden the trail to soften the blow.
 
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