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Level: Intermediate
Length: 20 mi (32.2 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +387/ -409 ft
Total: 146 riders

Mountain Biking Water Dog Lake Park

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#59 of 1,003 mountain bike trails in California
#966 in the world

It's right in town (located in Belmont, just off Ralston and Alameda), and somehow that makes you think safe. Think again...if you choose to, you can get quite a bit of excitement here! Technical, very steep climbs, twisty singletrack, crazy little descents and quite a bit of poison oak make this much more challenging than Arastradero Preserve.

If you stick to the main trail (called Lake Road) it's not so bad. But if you want to do some real exploring, I'd strongly recommend riding with someone who knows the place because the network of side trails can get you confused and cause a lot of extra climbing!

Please keep in mind that this is a very busy multi-use trail system maintained by volunteers. Go out of your way to be courteous and yield the right of way to hikers. Please stay off the trails when they are wet and observe the sunset trail closure.

First added by jfoz01 on Jun 9, 2005. Last updated Oct 29, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: yes
  • Lift service: no
  • Night riding: no
  • Pump track: no
  • Restrooms: yes
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: yes
  • Fee required: no
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From U.S. 101, take Ralston Av. west, past El Camino Real and The Alameda de las Pulgas. Just past this last street, keep your eyes open for Lyall Way on the left, just as the road begins to climb. Turn left on Lyall. You will come to a stop sign at Lake Road. Park on the left side of Lyall just past this stop sign. The entrance to Water Dog Lake is at the corner. A newer (and probably better) place to park is the parking lot at the end of Carlmont Drive. To reach this, turn left on Lake, then right onto Carlmont. Carlmont will dead-end at the parking lot.
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Water Dog Lake Park Trail map

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(on Oct 15, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Fair (on Apr 1, 2019)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Belmont, California

| 3 mi
| 1.3 mi
Easiest | 12 mi
Intermediate | 9 mi

Rider questions

Q: Poison oak here?
A: Yes, tons!

Q: is it easy to get lost on this kind of trail? i would assume the views from this trail are awesome... whos done this one to give some input on it?
A: Yeah, there's a lot of different trails to go on so you can get lost but cell service is pretty good so you could find your way on google maps.

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  • abermisabankedturn

    Some really sketchy downhill segments, but a decent amount of flowy singletrack.

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  • OleScottyC

    Good ride overall, has some pretty challenging spots. Trails are eroding pretty bad in a couple areas, but overall in pretty decent shape. Whoever takes care of it has put in some hard work, for sure.

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  • *****

    It's a delightful mountain bike area smack in a city.

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  • smackenzie

    Great combination of ups and downs, with some steep technical climbs (roots, rocks, ruts, etc. interrupt the momentum). Descents are fun and fast, but sometimes a little short given the climbs. Not a lot of flow. Jumps, switchbacks, bridges, and gaps sprinkled throughout. Definitely ride with someone who knows the trail system, can easily get twisted around.

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  • Piotr Gajos

    I'm a beginner and I have a feeling I shouldn't be coming here. Almost killed myself a few times, but loved every second of it. Very narrow singletrack on the ridges of a small canyon. Steep descents full of rocks, gaps and roots kicked my ass. Amazing place in otherwise slightly boring San Francisco area!

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  • talonbiker99

    This trail has tons of technical singletrack. Their are so many side trails, that you can get lost easily. Most of the singletrack twists and turns, and is very technical. If you want flowy stuff, I wouldn't recommend this.

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  • macr88   ✓ supporter

    Definitely appreciate the effort put into some of these trails to make it fun.

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  • *****

    A lot better than I expected wish the single track section where a little bit longer but they are still a lot of fun am pretty new to single track but if you have some confidence on a bike it a trail you should try

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  • skiracer89

    Very nice spot! Nice fireroad to go all the way uphill and singletracks on the way down. Just make sure you talk to locals in order to know where to go, I messed up and had to hike the steep singletracks by foot.

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  • malice33

    A perfect outdoor playground in the middle of suburbia.
    A lot of love has gone into maintaining these trails and adding new obstacles and features. You can really kill yourself on these trails, with intense uphills and some technical switchback sections. Or you can just take an easy line down to the bottom and have a blast without breaking a sweat. fun!

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  • karendenyse

    fun.fun.fun. Easier trails for beginners and hard single track for others. Not bad as night ride but mountain lion territory so be prepared.

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  • gab26

    Fun trails, pretty crazy network just choose one and ride it.

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