Just a short drive north of town awaits one of the brightest gems FresYes has to offer in the San Joaquin River Trail known by those who love it as the SJRT.
With the investment of a 20 minute drive to Fine Gold Bay you receive the pay off of being rewarded with mile after mile of perfect trail conditions and postcard worthy views. Many times I’ve met friends from town to ride our mountain bikes from the trail head 16 miles east to Squaw Leap and back. This presents a challenge to even the most seasoned riders endurance with its elevation changes and trail obstacles yet easy enough for even a beginner to enjoy. The beauty for the MTBer is that you can at any point turn back and retrace your tracks for a ride distance that fits whatever your mood or time constraints for the day. Greeted with a sturdy 2 mile climb from the parking lot at the bottom it’s a quick wake up for sure but after completing the 20 minute climb up Pin Cushion though its a fun down hill almost all the way back to water level when the personality of the SJRT really shows itself.
From the 4 mile point on it’s a mix of rolling hills, green meadows, wild flowers and the random cow pie to dodge here and there. Turn after turn, hill after hill its a world-class mountain bike ride. I give it a 9 out of 10 on the scale of awesomeness.
Now I love mountain biking and you may too but lets hold up on this story because the SJRT is so much more than a mountain biking destination.
Yes the Big Sandy MTB race is going on 11 years this March but the trail also hosts the SJRT 50 mile running race. I have crazy respect for my running friends who pull this one-off but for me I’ve never made it more than 8 miles on this beast of a trail. I might pull of the San Joaquin Half Marathon, that’s it.
Runners from all over came out for the first time event and 2015 looks to be bigger and better. I hope to make it out just to witness the sheer joy on people’s faces as they run down the final miles back to Fine Gold Bay and the finish line. Its a feeling I doubt many of us will ever understand, but I think most of us can respect the dedication it must take to pull off such a feat.
I bet you are thinking about now what it is like to just go walking on the SJRT and not go all adrenaline junky. Well if you make the drive I promise it to be worth it. Every day of the week people can be found hiking the trail with friends, classmates or pets. I can’t think of anyone in FresYes who enjoys the outdoors who couldn’t have a fun filled day out on the SJRT.
Remember water, snacks and a cell phone, not only for safety but you want that selfie at the top of the mountain to be Facebook or twitter worthy and being dehydrated or cracked from hunger just isn’t the look you should be going for.
For more information look into the following links
Until next week or until we see each other, outside.