Greer Road Not Your Run-of-the-Mill Location

Greer Road in Woodside connects with the road through Huddart Park.


Most cyclists heading up Kings Mountain Road pass Greer Road and never give it a second thought. Besides, it’s a dead-end road. Not really.

Greer Road is the gateway to the back entrance of Huddart Park, open only to bikes, walkers, equestrians. But there’s more. Every time I ride here I get the feeling I’m taking a step back in time, a place in our history when loggers ruled. I can hear the sawmills buzzing.

Just to the right of the road there’s a small stream, West Union, Creek, fed by the intermittent waters from McGarvey Gulch, Tripp Gulch and Squealer Gulch. In the 1850s the loggers found a bounty of redwoods. With easy access, these were the first redwoods cut as loggers slowly made their way up to Skyline and down the other side.

No less than 10 sawmills occupied the land along West Union Creek and in the nearby gulches higher up. One was owned by Willard Whipple. Of course today his legacy lives on as Whipple Avenue in Redwood City. John Greer owned another mill.

And guess who profited from the loggers? R.O. Tripp and Mathias Parkhurst built a store at the corner of Kings Mountain Road and Tripp Road. Tripp also pulled teeth. The historic Woodside Store still stands, and today it’s probably in better shape than when it was built in 1854.

No road story would be complete without a mention of past Jobst Rides. Oh yes, Greer Road also connected to Richards Road, a hideously steep road between Skyline and Greer. One winter day Jobst coaxed us down the muddy trail and the fun ensued. Never again.

You too can ride in mud. Ted Mock takes a spill on Roberts Road in 1981.

You too can ride in mud. Ted Mock takes a spill on Roberts Road in 1981.

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6 Responses to “Greer Road Not Your Run-of-the-Mill Location”

  1. jim sullivan Says:

    Yeah Ray, Greer rd is a nice point of access for Huddart park pave’. Only the equestrians +walkers are allowed on the dirt trails within Huddart(and essentially every dirt trail within San Mateo Co Parks 15,680 acres)
    Bicyclist’s are required to exit Huddart park x the entry gate if wishing to head up to Skyline…
    So, basically that ride you took w Jobst, where Ted’s pic was taken, if you were,by chance, to have encountered a ranger, ticket(s) would likely have been issued(for the simple act of riding a bicycle on a dirt fire-road)
    Many of us cyclists have tried in vain for decades to reverse this bike ban on dirt within SMCo Parks….to no avail.

    Thanx for the post Ray, seeing Greer rd+ a wide open dirt trail within Huddart brought a wry smile to my aged mug.
    Jim Sully

  2. Ray Hosler Says:

    Yes, equestrians rule in this area.

  3. jim sullivan Says:

    Yes, they rule, but All us taxpayers fund it….
    Seems like there ought to be somewhere within these 15,680 acres of parklands that one can legally recreate on dirt while riding a bicycle.
    Ex:
    Pescadero Creek Co Park,8,020 acres, and the least visited of all SMCo Parks. With connectors to Butano State Park….no bikes.
    Even though there are duplicate trails off Old Haul rd x Wurr rd that connect to Butano Ridge+beyond….

    Chafes my shorts that these trails are essentially publicly funded for a small+dwindling # of “wewereherefirsters”

  4. Ray Hosler Says:

    Don’t get me started! Let’s no forget Alpine Road — San Mateo County. “We don’t maintain dirt roads.” Jobst was right.

    I was involved with the San Mateo County bike committee in the early ’80s at the dawn of the mountain bike. Briefly.

  5. Slonie Says:

    Depressing, all that’s closed now. Hopefully it can be reversed. Well, maybe in our grandchildren’s lifetimes…

    • jim sully Says:

      Slonie,
      Dirt trails within SMCo Parks were closed by ordinance to bicycles in the early 60’s.
      Closest to why was explained to me as a few kids on stingrays were riding on the trails in either Huddart or Wunderlich parks x the lower picnic grounds… startled either some well connected walkers of equines….presto, ban them all.
      The enforcement was spotty at best til the mid 80’s, with essentially warnings being the worst penalty to anyone riding a bicycle on dirt trails.(mainly kids)
      W the advent of the mt bike, that arcane ordinance was trotted out+re-energized to allow for exclusion by what i consider to be unabashed bicycle bigots….
      The newer residents of Woodside-PV , many being bicyclists are valiantly promoting some inclusion on dirt+actual bike path striping on pave’ within heir popular areas.
      However,
      Any rider wading into the political arena as a bicycle advocate within the Woodside-Portola Valley area will find the barely concealed contempt for all things bicycle is firmly entrenched….

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