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Explore the best rated trails in San Marcos, CA. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Rose Creek Bike Path and Coastal Rail Trail. With more than 29 trails covering 152 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
Good for bikes, just what I needed
This trail is amazing…butter smooth pavement, clean environment and great views. How every trail should be!!!
Have ridden this path a half a dozen times on group rides and there is always something sketchy going on on this path. Homeless, etc. have given us momentary hesitations, but have ridden through it without problem.
Smooth sidewalk. Not too many people out on this winter weekday.
Paved, lots of elevation changes. Stunning scenery as it goes along the canyon. Be sure to keep going past the soccer fields to Pooch Park - we missed it the 1st time and it is the best part!! This trail is well designed and you go under busy roads.
It was hard to find how to get to the. It’s a nice trail- only sporadically scenic, but makes a great corridor along the concrete river embankment
Fantastic views! Many steps and the city has elevators “temporarily “ out of order. Lots of up, down, steps. Worth the effort, the views are spectacular!!!
We are elderly and use peddle assist bikes. We NEVER speed through areas with pedestrian use. Both of us had so many people barking at us about being on the trail, and it be guy intentionally pushed me. When we finally unearthed a sign, it was very small - prohibiting e-bikes and peddle assist. Meanwhile bikers carrying surf boards are allowed. It was a horrible experience.
To call this a “Bikeway” or even a “route” misrepresents the meaning of those words. Sure, the west side of the bay is lovely— a well-marked, separated and well-maintained bikeway with great views of the Pacific, sand dunes, and wildlife preserves. Unfortunately, the trip north from Chula Vista devolved from unpleasant to one of the most terrifying experiences I’ve had in 50 years of cycling. Riding alongside Harbor Drive on the segregated trail was ok; it is a busy road but the trail is fine. However, it is at S 32nd Street that the “route” became more of a suggestion. The trail map indicates a crossing to the west side of Harbor Drive, to the oncoming traffic side. How? Via a pedestrian bridge with only stairs. From there, the “bike lane” such as it is, changes from non-existent, to two way, to a one way lane heading against you (so that you are riding towards oncoming traffic on a very busy highway), then disappearing entirely, then returning as a single lane against you again. There was no indication of a north bound bike lane on the east side of Harbor Drive. It was when a Fed Ex truck and then a semi barely cleared the lane that we really felt we might not make it. Sanity returned, briefly, at the Hilton Bayfront, when a marked mixed use trail took us along the Bay again behind the Convention Center and a few hotels. It wasn’t long however before the “bikeway” became a pedestrian walk on which cycling is prohibited. My advice, travel south from the Del Coronado (I can’t vouch for the route from the ferry to the Hotel Del), but turn around when you reach Frontage Road. You will live longer.
Started at the Imperial Beach Trailhead near Trident Coffee and rode the east side of the bay. Scenic but noisy from traffic. Rode the Coronado Ferry to the west and rode the west side to complete the loop. West side has a lot of street riding and is not scenic with lots of industrial views. I would recommend only riding the west side of the loop. 26 mile total ride.
The end section in San Marcos is quite good, the part along Mission Ave. in Escondido is OK. But in between the cities are a number of locations where tree roots have severely damaged the asphalt, some in shadow area surprising you when you hit them with your bike. So if coming from Escondido by bike I take Rancheros Dr. down to Woodland Pkwy, take a right and then a left on Mission Ave all the way to Twin Oaks Valley RD and get back on trail there. This is to bypass the poor section of trail.
Fantastic views make this walk worth the effort of stairs.
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