California visitors consider outdoor recreation to be one of the state’s primary calling cards, with bicycling a leading popular activity. Coastal trails, in particular, are major draws, offering beautiful scenery, cooler climates and varied terrain. From the north to the south, whether you lean toward a beach cruiser bike or an electric cycle, you will find a ride that fits you among the following coastal California street paths and trails.
Humboldt Bay Trail
As you travel Northern California’s 4.5-mile long Humboldt Bay Trail you will experience the beauty of marshland and a wildlife sanctuary: birds and critters mix with colorful flowers and greenery along much of this dirt pathway. With the sound of the ocean in your ears, you will find this easy, level ride to be a fine starting point, but you do need to be aware of hikers along the trail.
Ten Mile Beach Trail
Further south you can access a trail that offers a greater challenge than Humboldt Bay does. Known locally as the MacKerricher Haul Road Trail, this route calls for using a beach cruiser bike or similarly-styled cycle to navigate some sections. The ride starts north of Fort Bragg, an old lumber town, after which you soon cross an old rail trestle. You then travel a state-park trail that crosses bluffs overlooking the aqua Pacific Ocean waters, passing thin scrub and other plants native to wild coastal areas. Toward the end of the ride, you access picturesque sand dunes where you can stretch out under the sun.
San Francisco to Marin
If you visit San Francisco, you must experience the unique bike route that takes you from the city to towns just north, especially on a guy’s or ladies electric bike. Starting at the Presidio’s Crissy Field, make your way to the Welcome Center of the Golden Gate Bridge to access this iconic span. Follow directions to the small towns of Tiburon and Mill Valley, where you can browse the small shops and enjoy cappuccinos at cafes. Even if you are not up to the long excursion, the ride across the bridge, where you take in rough waters below and feel wild winds on your face, is special enough.
Marvin Braude Bike Trail
Farthest south and longest in distance, this path along the Los Angeles coast offers serenity to liveliness in equal measure. If it seems too long, keep in mind that you can travel sections of its 22 miles or make plenty of stops and still have fun. Along the way you can see and experience plenty that Southern California is famous for:
- Ocean piers
- White beaches
- Sailboats on the water
- Trendy shops
- Simple restaurants
If you want to fit in with the cool locals walking the path, consider weaving in and out on a hip beach cruiser bike.
These bike-trail examples represent the diversity of potentialbikin g experiences you can find along California’s coast. The state is expansive, and it has focused on developing an accessible recreational cycling infrastructure. Wherever you may choose to plant your wheels, you can find a path within an agate’s throw of the ocean that will provide a beautiful ride for you and your family.