The mighty oak forests of China Camp stand watch over some of the most spine-tingling single track to ever raise dust beneath a mountain bike. Located squarely on the Bay, this state park plays host to a 10-mile round-trip ride with lunch on the beach as a bonus — right at the very spot where the original Chinese shrimp fisherman, who gave the park its name, first settled the area long ago. China Camp is a blast to ride through, with only a few steep hills on the twisty, narrow trail. But it’ll definitely challenge a rider’s handling skills and lungs.
This three-mile roundtrip, fire road cruise through part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the Marin Headlands is the easiest trail we ride; but it also just might be the prettiest. Just one steep hill is all that stands between riders and jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean. For a group with riders of mixed skills, Tennessee Valley offers additional trails to challenge the stronger riders.
Starting at Ocean Beach in San Francisco, the trail meanders through the trees ducking in behind the old windmill passing the dog park, rose garden, disc golf course, redwoods, DeYoung Museum on the way to Hippy Hill (famous hippy hangout, sunspot) for lunch taking in a few throwback 1960s wannabees donning their tie-dye t-shirts and hula hoops. The trail offers 90% single and double-track winding through the Park’s grandiose vegetation and lesser known backwoods hiking and biking trails. With the initial climb from the beach taking about 1 hour on average to the lunch point – the return is sure to offer weary riders plenty of fun as the entire trip back to the van is all downhill and sure to bring the ear-to-ear smiles.
The journey is as scenic as the destination at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline, a 2,315-acre parkland right next to densely populated Pinole, Richmond, and San Pablo. Trails lead through breezy meadows with wildflowers in season, through aromatic eucalyptus woods, or along bluffs and beaches on San Pablo Bay. There are beautiful views of Mt. Tamalpais, the Marin shoreline, and San Pablo Bay with its sailboat and shipping traffic. This is the easiest trail that we ride, perfect for beginning to intermediate riders of all ages. Level / even dirt trail, loop ride.
Rush Creek is an out and back similar to China Camp and about 15min. further north in Marin past China Camp on the 101 in Novato,CA. A beautiful marshy start to the ride then circles the marsh to lead to some swoopy single track amidst the groves of Oak and Manzanita. This is an out and back ride that can be tailored to a variety of skill levels by the ride leaders with distance appropriate to kids lungs and legs abilities.
This paved path starts at the Rosie the Riveter Museum at the Richmond bay front and meanders along the bays many marinas and marshes looping back at the famous dog park and doggie coffee bar. A great sightseeing ride with lots to take in while practicing basic bike skills and bay postcard views.Optional Rosie the Riveter pop-in if the museum is open and not overly booked/ full with other registered groups. Good little chunk of Bay History highlighting woman’s pivotal role in the war-time efforts in the Bay.