Posted by PeterD on January 4, 2013
Reports on Soquel Demonstration Forest – some good news and some bad news.
Bad News: Highland Way is closed due to a slide. From Mark at Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz: Highland Way is still closed from slides (since Christmas). I spoke to someone at SC county public works and they said they are getting their engineer and geologist out there this week to assess. So no news yet on the prognosis. Also the new gate is finally getting installed tomorrow at the bridge on Highland Way. But another report in the Santa Cruz Sentinel says they will start clearing it next week.
These slides often stay here for a long time (and are often cleared by some local before the County gets it done), so I more believe Mark. Once it dries some, you likely will be able to walk/ride over the slide. Those who have crossed it on foot say to bring a change of shoes and sock, as it is still very wet. Officially you are not supposed to pass the slide. And definitely not recommended to try to pass it on the days they are out there working on the slide.
Of course, you could always drive there from the Watsonville side or ride up the fire road from Nisene Marks (trailhead in Aptos) to get to the Demo.
Good News: Tractor Trail is reopened! The area was closed for logging, which is now mostly done (so there may be temporary closures from time to time as they finish up). That said, not clear what shape the trail will be. The logging likely really damaged the old trail, and trail work will be needed to make it as fun (or more fun) than the old trail.
If you are on MTBR, you can follow details at http://forums.mtbr.com/california-norcal/soquel-demonstration-forest-trail-work-828236.html. There is also a link to their trail project dates there, so you can get out and volunteer some time to help make Tractor a good trail (or at Pogonip or the other locations they are working).
If you aren’t familiar with Soquel demonstration Forest, we have info on it here: http://passiontrailbikes.com/pages/SDF