5 San Diego Bike Trails That Are Worth a Ride

san diego bike trails

There are several San Diego bike trails and paths that are perfect for both avid enthusiasts and casual riders – though some are more strenuous than others, all of these trails are relatively easy, flat, and make for a great half-day ride outdoors. Pack a sandwich and some water and take off on one of these 5 San Diego bike trails.

1. Fay Avenue Bike Path: 1.1 miles

The Fay Avenue Bike Path is a 1.1-mile trail that runs from Fay Avenue & Nautilus Street to Camino de la Costa & La Jolla Hermosa. The trail is good for all skill levels and is accessible year-round. Starting out by La Jolla High School, the trail winds through a pleasantly landscaped neighborhood and past a grassy neighborhood park. La Jolla’s typical eucalyptus trees nicely frame the pathway. The trail actually runs along the former San Diego, Pacific Beach and La Jolla Railroad line.

TIP: Though mainly paved with asphalt, towards the end it turns into a dirt path; if you’re careful, you can still negotiate the entire route on a road bike. The trail officially ends at La Jolla Hermosa Avenue but continues as an on-street bike path. If you don’t have a bike of your own or you’re visiting from out of town, stop by California Bicycle on La Jolla Blvd. to pick up a rental!

SEE ALSO: 5 Great Hiking Spots in San Diego

2. Silver Strand/Bayshore Bikeway: 17.1 miles

The Bayshore (or Silver Strand) Bikeway starts out at the Coronado Ferry Landing and the Ferry Landing Marketplace. Bring your bike over on the San Diego-Coronado ferry or rent one at the Bikes & Beyond shop. Head south along the palm tree-lined path past some upscale restaurants and trailside cafes. You’ll get great views of the downtown San Diego skyline as you skirt Tidelands Park, with its grassy fields and playground. From there you’ll bike underneath the beautiful arching Coronado Bridge and past the Coronado Golf Course. As you wind around the perimeter of the golf course, the separated bike path ends; cross over to the right side of Glorietta Boulevard and keep a lookout for a sign that says Bayshore Bikeway & Imperial Beach.

TIP: Expect a ride that’s long, but mostly flat; be sure and bring plenty of water and be prepared to spend at least half a day on this trail.

3. Ocean Beach Bike Path: 3.7 miles

The Ocean Beach Bike Path is a five-mile section of the San Diego River Trail that follows the river channel from OB Dog Beach, at the river’s mouth, past Mission Bay and on to Hotel Circle Place in Mission Valley. The trail begins at the west end of Hotel Circle Place, right next to the entrance to Sefton Park. It runs along the south side of Sefton Park and continues west between Interstate 8 and the San Diego River, all the way to the ocean.

TIP: Along the way, the path passes under Morena Blvd. and Pacific Highway, and there are formal, signed entrances to the path on both sides of both streets. There is also access to the Ocean Beach Athletic Area (Robb Field) and to a parking area just south of Dog Beach.

4. Rose Canyon: 1.1 miles

san diego bike trails

This short trail starts at 6113 La Jolla Colony Drive and is a popular route because of its scenery and the off-street connection it provides between the Mission Bay and UCSD areas. Tucked between an active rail line and Interstate 5, it offers pleasant views of Rose Canyon’s coastal sage- and chaparral-covered hills, and a car-free space to exercise and unwind. As you near the trail’s end, you climb steeply off the grade and up to the trail’s intersection with Gilman and La Jolla Colony drives.

TIP: You can turn around here, continue right (east) onto the bike lane on La Jolla Colony Drive, or bear left (west) and continue on Gilman Drive. Both on-street routes are popular with cyclists and provide connections to longer rides.

SEE ALSO: A Guide to Torrey Pines Hiking Trails

5. Mission Bay Bike Path: 12 miles

The route starts at 850 W. Mission Bay Drive in San Diego and passes through or near more than 10 public parks, two wildlife reserves, and a portion of the San Diego River. Bring your picnic basket, a frisbee and swimsuit, and a pair of binoculars to enjoy the parks and reserves to their fullest extent. The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition’s recommended route incorporates almost 12 miles of flat, scenic bike paths along most of the interior of the bay; with the exception of a few short sections, the route is vehicle free.

TIP: If you’re feeling up to doing more than 12 miles, extend your ride by biking around Fiesta Island, further along the San Diego River, or along the Mission Beach/Pacific Beach boardwalk – all easily accessible from the recommended route.

What are your favorite biking trails? For more in-depth information, visit our San Diego bike trails and path guide!

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