Best Beach Bike Paths in Southern California

Originally appearing in Southern California Life Magazine – Inspiring the SoCal Explorer

No matter where you are in Southern California, the coastline beckons. Blessed with great weather year-round. “The Golden State” offers miles of bike paths, many along the ocean. From Santa Barbara to San Diego, the coast is edged with cycling paths perfect for riders of all abilities, guaranteeing views that will soothe the soul and capture that California feeling! Here are five of our favorites – remember to bring water and your helmet!

2. Rincon Bike Trail

Immortalized in the Beach Boys 1962 classic “Surfin’ Safari,” Rincon Point is one of California’s most revered surfing spots. Surf lovers will enjoy riding the flat, oceangoing 3.6-mile Rincon Bike Trail, which was developed as a protected alternative to cyclists using the US 101. Connecting the beach towns in Carpenteria and Ventura, the path offers beautiful views of the Santa Barbara Channel and is part of the California Coastal Trail, a series of existing and proposed trails along the Pacific Coast from Oregon to Mexico.

3. The Ventura River Parkway Trail

Called “One of the best urban bike rides in Southern California” by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the 17-mile Ventura River Parkway Trail is really three trails in one. Start your ride on the incredibly scenic 4.1-mile Omer Rains Coastal Bike Trail, which runs along the Ventura coast and offers views of the Channel Islands, Ventura’s historic pier, and often showcases surfers, dolphins, and whales. Continue on to the Ventura River Trail, a portion of the path that follows the old Southern Pacific “rail trail” and highlights the area’s industrial and agricultural past. Art installations along the path are funded by the City of Ventura Public Art Program and make for an interesting ride. The trail continues slightly uphill to Foster Park – the perfect spot for a picnic break – and joins the Ojai Valley Trail for the 9.5-mile ride to Ojai, SoCal’s legendary artist enclave. This portion of the ride runs along the Ventura River and offers gorgeous views of the scenic Ojai Valley.

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