I had never heard of Boggs Mountain State Forest before Gary Gellin suggested I come along for a trail run. It didn’t take long for me to become excited about this run after looking at the trail map, which features a myriad of single track trails on a broad mountain ridge between 2,800 and 3,800 feet. Boggs Mountain is located two hours north of San Francisco and 30 minutes north of Calistoga and the Napa Valley Wine Country. It is between Mount Saint Helena and Clear Lake near the town of Cobb, CA. While occasionally used for mountain biking events, Boggs is virtually unknown in trail and ultra running circles so we decided to check it out. What we found was a trail running paradise primarily consisting of gently rolling terrain under a forest canopy of ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and black oak. Almost all the trails have a plush carpet of pine needles for a soft and bouncy feeling. The trails were well maintained and showed little sign of erosion or wear. Brian Lucido joined us on this run and produced a short film (best in HD) that does an amazing job at capturing the day. I have already watched it a dozen times, at least!
We quickly realized that this could be a premier location for an ultra running event. There are enough trails and possibilities to have a 50k with virtually zero repetition and almost entirely on some of the sweetest single track you will ever run. It would also be relatively spectator friendly with several points at which you could view runners. As a bonus, there is free primitive camping available in large area amidst the pines and you are very close to the vineyards and amenities of Napa Valley! Keep Boggs in your mind because it could be on the racing calendar soon!
I also took some video footage on my point-and-shoot and produced my usual amateur style video.
And here are some photos!
More photos after the jump!