Mother’s Day is a great time to dig the bikes out from winter storage, and welcome Spring with a bike and brunch ride with Mom. If you need ideas for where to ride, below are some of our favorite places. Hopefully, there’s one near you. We’d love to hear about your favorite rides in your area!
Sammamish River Trail – Redmond, WA (11 miles)
The Sammamish River Trail rolls along smoothly through a wide, scenic greenway that’s home to riverside parks and farms, as well as a growing wine industry. The wide asphalt trail follows the river for 11 miles, from Bothell’s Blyth Park in the north (where it connects to the Burke-Gilman Trail) to Redmond’s Marymoor Park in the south (where it links to the Marymoor Connector Trail and East Lake Sammamish Trail). Visitors are drawn here by the open spaces; the views of far-off Mount Rainier and the closer Cascade foothills; and the opportunity to hike, run, skate, or ride a bike. Maples and alders grow along the river, while picnic tables, benches, and soccer and baseball fields inhabit the grassy areas by the trail.
Sellwood Bridge Loop – Portland, OR (11 miles)
Perhaps the premier short bike ride in Portland, this loop offers one view after another of the Willamette River & the surrounding green spaces. Mostly on paths, with just a few short sections on streets, this is a delightful and relaxing ride. The ride begins at Salmon Springs Fountain in Waterfront Park. Then heads north on Waterfront Park path. Follow path on to Steel Bridge, cross the river then head south along the river to the Springwater Trail path. Continue riding through Willamette Park, past the Willamette Sailing Club where you’ll be treated to great river views. Maybe stop to take a ride on the aerial tram before returning to Salmon Springs Fountain.
Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco, CA (6 miles)
An absolute classic ― easy, breezy, and with some of the most breathtaking views of the city you’ll find anywhere. Start along Marina Green at the intersection of Marina Boulevard and Webster Street. Heading west on the paved trail towards the bridge, you’ll pass the city’s swankiest yacht clubs and lots of kite-flyers. At Crissy Field, where the whole city gathers on fog-free days to wade in the bay and walk their dogs, transfer over to gravel paths and continue west. Follow signs up the hill to the bridge, and, as you cross on the bridge’s western side, take in views of the Farallon Islands and the Marin Headlands. For an only-in-SF ending to the day, continue down to Sausalito and catch a ferry back to the city.
Los Gatos Creek Trail – San Jose, CA (10 miles)
The Los Gatos Creek Trail offers recreational opportunities for walkers, joggers, bicyclists, skaters, non-motorized scooters and nature lovers. The trail is operated by the Town of Los Gatos, County of Santa Clara Park Department, City of Campbell, and City of San Jose. The trail has several access points including East Main Street at College Avenue, Miles Avenue and Vasona County Park where on site parking is available along with restrooms and picnic facilities. There are many opportunities for dining as the trail passes through the Pruneyard, downtown Campbell and Willow Glen before ending in San Jose.
Ojai Valley Trail – Ventura, CA (9.5 miles)
The Ojai Valley Trail extends about 9.5 miles north of Ventura from Foster Park to the heart of Ojai. The smallest city in Ventura County, Ojai is located in the scenic Ojai Valley, surrounded by the peaks of Los Padres National Forest. The city has long been known as a haven for artists, musicians and outdoor enthusiasts. The Ojai Valley Trail follows the former Ventura and Ojai Valley Railroad and runs along the Ventura River into the valley. This is a gorgeous ride, providing sweeping views of the surrounding mountains. The trail is paved and in generally good condition, with a parallel woodchip path for equestrians. At mile 9, you pass through grassy Libbey Park, which offers parking, restrooms and access to a short park trail leading to downtown Ojai.
Bayshore Bikeway – San Diego, CA (16 miles)
Bike riding experiences don’t get much better than this—a long, smooth, palm-tree-lined trail with stunning views of the Pacific, San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline, plus easy access to parks, tot play areas and chic cafes. The Bayshore Bikeway sets out from Coronado Ferry Landing and the Ferry Landing Shops & Restaurants. 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 can take in wonderful views of the downtown San Diego skyline as you skirt Tidelands Park, with its grassy fields and playground. Bike underneath the beautiful arching Coronado Bridge, and keep your head up as you roll past the Coronado Golf Course, a public course with million-dollar views. You might recognize the signature red roof of the historic Hotel del Coronado. Marilyn Monroe fans may recognize the 1888 hotel as the location for the Miami Beach scenes in “Some Like it Hot.” You’ll pass the large U.S. Naval Amphibious Base (where Navy SEALs train), and then a 0.5-mile nature path with observation decks and interpretive signs. Beyond the Silver Strand State Beach is the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, which was dedicated in June 1999 and contains the majority of the remaining wetlands, mudflats and eelgrass beds in San Diego Bay. The 3,940-acre refuge supports many endangered and threatened species of flora and fauna, which makes it an important stop on the Pacific Flyway, a north–south migratory bird route along the Americas.
Cherry Creek Trail – Denver, CO (11.2 miles)
The Cherry Creek Regional Trail is a picturesque route that begins in downtown Denver and connects to the tony suburb of Cherry Creek. The trail has an 8-foot wide concrete surface. The trail begins at the Platte River Trail in Denver’s Confluence Park, which marks the area where a gold discovery in 1858 led to the founding of the city. Meandering southeast, the trail parallels Cherry Creek through urban landscapes and parks and into the suburbs. Highlights of the route include the Cherry Creek Shopping District and Four Mile House and Historic Park, where one can learn about Denver’s early pioneers. In Arapahoe County, the trail emerges in Cherry Creek State Park, which offers several hiking trails, campgrounds and a vast array of recreational opportunities around Cherry Creek Reservoir.
Ogden River Parkway – Ogden, UT (9.6 miles)
The Ogden River Parkway runs 9.6 miles along the Ogden River. The trail begins at the mouth of Ogden Canyon along State Route 39, and it travels west to Fort Buenaventura, where it links up with the Weber River Parkway. The Ogden River Parkway is also part of the Golden Spoke trail system, which spans more than 100 miles between Ogden and Provo. Between stunning river views, hearty fishing, and access to attractions such as Rainbow Gardens and the Historic 25th Street district, the trail will appeal to a range of users. As you wander past the ponds and parks, be sure to find a shady spot to pause and just take it all in.
Rio Salado Pathway – Tempe, AZ (10.5 miles)
The paved Rio Salado Pathway runs along both banks of the Salt River in Tempe. The generally dry waterway was expanded into Tempe Town Lake in 1999, and the scenic waterfront area is now a popular recreational, residential and commercial destination. On the lake’s south side, the trail connects Arizona State University’s main Tempe campus with Tempe Beach Park, as well as the Tempe Marketplace retail mecca. A newer extension on the trail’s eastern end continues the trail behind the Tempe Marketplace and under the State Route 202 and 101 interchange to an end at Riverview Park in Mesa. Sloan Park, the spring training home of Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs, was recently built in the park. The trail is shorter on the lake’s north side, but it serves the Tempe Town Lake Marina and provides a critical connection to the Indian Bend Wash Path at its eastern end. Trail users can extend their trip by taking that trail north all the way into downtown Scottsdale. A bicycle and pedestrian bridge links the two paths over Tempe Town Lake. At the bridge’s southern end, the trailside Tempe Center for the Arts offers a variety of exhibits and events in a critically praised building.