Zig Zag & Loop Away! Kiddo-Friendly Bike Trails in the Bay Area
Rev up your little one’s Skuut and scoot on over to these Bay Area bike trails perfect for your tiny rider. From an easy lakeside loop to a smooth and level road through the redwoods, these are the perfect beginner spots for kids to build their confidence and pedal away.
photo credit: District Experience via Creative Commons
North Bay: Lake Lagunitas
Twenty minutes from downtown Fairfax in the North Bay you’ll find Lake Lagunitas, a two-mile loop perfect for cruisin’ for you and your little biker. The smallest lake in the Mount Tamalpais watershed, Lake Lagunitas is ideal for new riders with its wide pathway and no major uphills or downhills to trek. Stay hydrated and bring hat and sunglasses for your mini me as it can get sunny and hot during the summer. There are even a few bridges to cross along the path, making it a fun adventure for the whole family.
Getting There: Find detailed driving directions to Lake Lagunitas at marinwater.org.
Good to Know: Be sure to have cash on hand for the $8 park entrance fee.
Samuel P. Taylor State Park
Located in the wooded hills of Marin, Samuel P. Taylor State Park features a paved, three-mile bike trail near the campgrounds. Because it follows the former Northwest Pacific Railroad right-of-way, the trail is nearly level. Enjoy the trickle of a creek and see if you can spot some wildlife along the way. Explore their website, www.parks.ca.gov, before you go for park closure info and directions.
photo credit: yelp via Amy P.
East Bay: Redwood Regional Park
Nestled in Oakland’s Redwood Regional Park, you and your youngster on wheels will enjoy the paved, flat trail through this picturesque redwood forest. Take the Redwood Gate entrance north from the Canyon Meadow Staging Area. There is a children’s play structure about one-quarter mile down Stream Trail from the Canyon Meadow staging area. Make sure to bring water bottles and a trail map.
Getting There: The main entrance, Redwood Gate, is on Redwood Road in Oakland about two miles east of Skyline Blvd.
photo credit: yelp via John D,
South Bay: Los Alamitos Creek Bike Trail
Beginning at Almaden Lake Park in south San Jose, this long paved straightaway is another ideal biking locale for beginner cyclists. The many trees along the path make for a shaded ride, and if you are feeling ambitious you can tackle the whole seven-mile length. The trail runs along the creek from Los Alamitos Park and Lake Almaden south to McKean Road, and with no hills this is an easy route for your kiddo to master their two-wheeler. Plan your route with a trail map, found here.
San Francisco: Mission Creek Park
With views of AT&T Park in the background, this approximately half-mile-long tiled straightaway that runs along Mission Creek in San Francisco’s Mission Bay/SOMA neighborhood is ideal, with a wide pathway and ample room for your little tike to coast away. Make your way down this scenic esplanade and follow the windy paved path and rolling green grass, taking in the sights of this urban oasis. Bonus: This park boasts some of the city’s cleanest public restrooms.
Getting There: Access Mission Creek from Channel or Berry Street between 4th and 5th streets. Check out a map and get more info at missionbayparks.com.
Where are your favorite spots to let your little ones spin their wheels?