The under-appreciated Móstoles
Updated: Jan 3, 2021
I have this obsession with this tiny river called Rio Guadarrama...I started exploring this creek around Torrelodones first (and will write about it in the coming weeks), and it feels to me as if this is still a bit of a hidden gem. Don't get me wrong - you won't be alone on the trails, but it does feel like a true break from the city noise and all the people.
I started the run at the Parque el Sotos Mostoles, where there is plenty of parking on the eastern side, next to the soccer fields. To get to Mostoles, just take the A5 out of Madrid, which depending on where you come from and time of the day, is around 30 minutes drive.
The park is actually quite nice and worth a loop. I exited at the west end, and made my way across the small road to the "Via Verde", besides the previously mentioned river the main reason I wanted to run here. Vias Verdes are old train tracks that had been repurposed for running and biking, and due to the nature of trains, they are typically straight and not too steep, and make therefore a nice warm-up run. I followed the trail for about 5km to the small village called "Rio Guadarrama" - you can imagine my excitement about the name. I checked out the pedestrian bridge south of the trail but returned back to the village to head to the river, where I decided to cross the bridge. That area isn't particularly nice, so I sped up and head north, on the western side of the Guadarrama first. My hope was to run a few kilometers and then cross the river, as Strava and Google Maps suggested. Well, that crossing wasn't possible, at least not in December after some weeks of rain. As you see on the map, I tried different places, but no luck, which left me with no choice other than turning around and find my way to the bridge. There, I chose the trail on the rivers east-side, ignoring signs in Spanish that even for native speakers would have been hard to read due to age...
This trail was so much better than the, admittedly, somewhat disappointing west side. The trail was narrow and a few bikers passed by, but overall, super-nice, green, and alone. There seems to be a castle on the right side, on a hill, I am afraid I missed that one. After a bit more than 3km, the trail meets a dirt road, and a small finca/house is on the right side. Soon after, the road splits and I decided to head east, up the hill. That is likely the hardest part, where the trail goes up about 100 meters over 2km. The rewards are nice views and some pretty fields.
On top of the hill is a farm, Granja El Cubillo, which I passed. Less than 1000 meters after the farm, a trail goes down the hill to the right. I decided that I wanted a longer run, and stayed on the trail, which turned out to be a mistake. I would suggest taking that turn instead, which leads to the very beginning of the Via Verde, the old train track.
What I did instead, I entered the outskirts of the unpronounceable Villaviciosa de Odón, with lots of workshops, garages, and gas stations. Likely something I would opt to avoid next time. It even forced me to run along M-856 for a while, which was nasty. I exited the road to the small urbanización Pinares, which I crossed to a trail that took me south. The end of the run was heavy on trash to the trail (fittingly with the usual signs not to leave trash and garbage there...), just to be topped at the very end with running on the road along to the water treatment plant that is adjacent to the park where my car was parked. Again, back to the learning - next time I take the road right after the farm.