The best bike routes in the Bay Area
Do you ever wonder how the Bay Area earned its reputation as a cyclist’s paradise? Add these notable routes to your ride plans and see for yourself.
The beginner-friendly ride
It will take you approximately one hour to get from the Embarcadero waterfront to the bayside town of Sausalito, a distance of 10 miles. Riders cross the Golden Gate Bridge and are treated to stunning views of Alcatraz Island along the way. In downtown Sausalito, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to wind down and grab a bite. You can even opt to take a little sip of wine. You can pedal your way back or hop on a ferry and enjoy a short cruise back to the Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco.
- Golden Gate Park
A quick and casual ride in the City by the Bay
San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park presents a variety of trails, including dirt paths that boost the sense of adventure in an otherwise soothing ride. The paths are open for bikers to explore on their own, but visitors can also take guided tours designed to showcase the Park’s most popular sights and secret gems. The park is compact enough for you to ride around in about 30 minutes. You can also check out all of the attractions around the premises if you instead to stay for the day.
- Crystal Spring Regional Trail
A weekend crowd favorite
Located in the South Bay area, this route is popular among weekend riders, joggers, and trail walkers. The paths can get pretty crowded on a weekend, so head out early in the morning for the best riding experience. Scheduling a midweek ride also works. Expect to be treated to views of the San Andreas Reservoir, the Upper Crystal Springs Reservoir, and a historic miner’s camp. The trail now stretches 15.3 miles, but will cover a total of 17.5 miles when complete.
- Muir Woods Loop and San Pablo Dam Reservoir Loop
Mild challenges, inspiring scenery
Intermediate riders will surely enjoy the ups and downs of the North Bay’s Muir Woods Loop and the East Bay’s 19-mile San Pablo Dam Reservoir Loop. The Muir Woods Loop covers just over 13 miles, with the first three miles mostly a long, continuous climb, followed by three miles of downhill roads. You’ll find yourself in the midst of towering redwood groves and be delighted by sparkling ocean views.
- Iron Horse Trail
Time to test your mettle
The aptly named Iron Horse Trail presents a worthy challenge for experienced cyclists. It is 32 miles long, but will eventually extend to 55 miles. At present, the path runs through a total of 12 cities. Allot six hours to negotiate the trail, which alternates between crowded urban centers and barely populated rural neighborhoods.
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