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.