- Find a Trail
- My TrailLink
- Explore Trails
- About Us
- Get Involved
Find the top rated cross country skiing trails in Pacific Grove, whether you're looking for an easy short cross country skiing trail or a long cross country skiing trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a cross country skiing trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
I literally grew up on this trail, back when it was unpaved, and was just some weird, seldom-used backwater ie., prior to the early 1980s or thereabouts, at which point it started getting much more developed & popular. I have seen (quite large!) blue herons on (or adjacent) to this trail many times, and in 1995, I once saw a bobcat (at night, between Vasona dam and Lark Avenue). There are many turtles, and about 40 years ago, I once saw a Northern Pike (just behind Vasona dam). I've witnessed scores of salmon spawning at the Camden Avenue dam.
I rode part of this trail last week, from Pacific Grove up to the town of Seaside. It is quite scenic, in spots, but you also ride through some urban congestion and cross a number of busy intersections. It's also not very well marked. I got some advice from Adventures By the Sea, an outfitter located at the beginning of the trail, that was very helpful given the relative lack of signage. Maybe this trail gets quieter and more protected from traffic as you get further from Monterey, but I decided to turn around and ride part of the 17 Mile Drive instead when I hit the busy intersection at Seaside. If I try it again, I think I'd rather start in Castroville, at the northern end, and ride south.
Whenever we visit the Monterey Peninsula, we always make sure to ride our bikes or walk multiple times on the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail. Very few places in the world can match the beauty and splendor of this trail, especially between Lovers Point Park in Pacific Grove to the Wharf in Monterey. This portion of the trail is most certainly perfect for visitors and walking enthusiasts.
Beyond the wharf up to Castroville (the Artichoke Capital of the World) is for individuals looking for a much more intense workout.
If I lived on the peninsula, I'd be somewhere on that trail every day!
On a gray May morning in 2018, my wife and I headed north from Pacific Grove to ride the West Cliff Path. We parked on Swanton Blvd., which is pretty much right at the trailhead, and then headed down the smooth asphalt path/promenade.
The path has spectacular ocean views, plenty of benches to relax upon, restored Victorian homes, art installations, a surf museum, huge amounts of surfers, an extra long pier with a residence of sea lions, a multitude of photo ops, and even an amusement park when you reach the end.
At the trail's end consider continuing across the San Lorenzo River and navigating some quiet residential streets to get a better view of the Walton Lighthouse and look back up the coastline.
Even though we rode on a weekday morning, the path had quite a bit of use by walkers, joggers, dog walkers, amusement park goers, and surfers. It slows you down a bit, but that's OK since to ride this trail is all about the essence of the scenery!
With the exception of one hill as you descend the cliff down to sea level near the pier, it's all flat which is perfect for a couple of sixty somethings.
All in all, it's a path to be taken slowly and to be savored, an ideal experience!
Only rode a short distance of this trail from Trader Joe’s parking lot down to the West Cliff Drive Bicycle Path. Some traffic on this trail but not as much as the West Cliff path. Path condition was fine, not a real wide path but ok. A number of homeless folks hanging out on and along the path. Was panhandled while in Trader Joe’s parking lot. At no time did we feel uncomfortable with environment, just unfortunate.
Started the ride at Trader Joe’s parking lot along the Santa Cruz Riverwalk, rode downstream to the intersection with the West Cliff Drive trail. Then rode up the coast to the end of this trail. Trail in good condition and nice surface but lots & lots of other folks on the trail, mostly walkers. Great scenery of Santa Cruz bay, coastline, and surfers along the trail. So much traffic on the trail made it challenging. Once at end of trail decided it would be easier to ride the road. So on return trip stayed on the parallel road and sailed along without obstruction. Consider this as the return option.
We rode this in two sections.
First section started at Casa Verde Way and rode North to the intersection of Lapis Road and Hwy 1. Missed the first left turn to go over dunes (no directional signage) and after a short distance realized we needed to back track. Then at Lapis Road & Hwy 1 the trail appeared to end at this intersection (no directional signage), could have explored down the highway at little to find remainder of trail but by then had ridden about 15 miles, so called it at that point. We did divert off of this trail to ride the parallel Beach Range Road trail in Fort Ord Dunes State Park. That road is much wider and nicer to ride. Depending how long of ride you want but recommend ending at the North end of Beach Range Road and then return.
Second Section: Started again at Casa Verde Way heading south to end of trail at Lovers Point and return. This portion of trail has many more walkers and bikers but trail is wide enough for all and in very good condition. This portion has some great scenery, a number of interpretive signs along the way, stopped to watch the Harbor Seals at a number of stops. Highly recommend this portion of trail.
Connected on to this trail from the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail at the south end and rode to north end of trail. Nice wide paved trail/road that used to be a main road for Fort Ord (no longer used for vehicle traffic). At south end of trail a number of homeless camps and trash tossed around. Nothing threatening just an eye sore. A spur trail leads down to some old military munitions storage bunkers. A few information panels are along the trail. I went through basic training at Fort Ord and the trail passed by one of the rifle ranges we used, brought back some memories. Much better, wider, trail than the parallel running Monterey Bay trail.
It’s tough to go a constant speed on your bike because it’s congested on the weekends. Lovely otherwise
A friend and I parked one car on Del Monte near Egan, then drove the other car to a spot just outside the PG gate on 17 Mile Drive. We parked next to the fire road gate leading into the Rip Van Winkle Open Space. We then crossed the street and found the (unmarked) beginning of the trail. We made our way between the back sides of some businesses along Sunset Drive and the edge of the Spanish Bay golf course, crossed Sunset Drive at Crocker, and picked up the trail heading north.
Just after we crossed Sinex Avenue, we arrived at the site of the Asilomar station (such as it was) with a rebuilt replica of the tiny passenger shelter and an explanatory sign. Continuing north, the trail eventually turns into a narrow street, appropriately named Railroad Way, which terminates at Lighthouse Avenue. After crossing Lighthouse, we skirted the edges of the El Carmelo Cemetery and came out on the golf course, now heading east. We followed the path, crossed 17 Mile Drive and finally came out on Del Monte, close to where we had parked the first car. We followed the former track bed as far as a fence with a locked gate, on the other side of which is the mobile home park whose apparently-unnamed driveway (private property, no trespassing, as the sign says) continues the former train route to Lovers Point.
We picked up the car we had left on Del Monte, and drove it back over to where we had left the other car.
My step counter told me we had walked 1.7 miles total.
Although none of the trail is marked, it was not at all difficult to follow.
For anyone interested in historical information (and photographs) of all the railroads around the Monterey Bay, santacruztrains.com has a wealth of information.
Someone needs to maintain the event calendar--it says no events, but there was an organised marathon last weekend. There were tons of runners--it's safe, paved, etc. It would be nice to get one or two additional locations for restroom/water. I've been using this trail for 30 years, and it's nice to see that it gets appreciated by regular use (which also keeps it safe!)
Stayed at the Hilton on the south side of the trail and went north past the airport. It's a well maintained trail that follows the tiny Guadalupe river. If you can stay north of Julian St, you'll avoid sketchy-looking tent cities. I felt the run was perfectly safe and saw plenty of people throughout my run. I'd recommend it.
TrailLink is a free service provided by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (a non-profit) and we need your support!