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Find the top rated atv trails in California, whether you're looking for an easy short atv trail or a long atv trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a atv trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
|Trail Image||Trail Name||States||Length||Surface||Rating|
The Modoc Line runs 86 miles between Wendel in the south and McArthur Siding in the north (just south of Alturas). The most scenic sections are between Likely and Madeline and Snowstorm Canyon. The...
|CA||86 mi||Ballast, Cinder, Gravel||
This trail is worth exploring if you want to venture into the neighborhoods of Goleta. It must be especially awesome for the residents of Goleta to be able to jump on their bikes and head to the beach or UCSB via this path and the Obern Trail!
If you ride this trail, do it in conjunction with the Goleta Beach Trail or Maria Ygnacio Bike Path since it's so short. The locals must love this since for the most part it's quiet, away from roads, and leads to the beach. It seems ideal for the neighborhoods that back up to it for the last couple of miles. If I lived there I'd probably be on it most every day headed for the beach!
Over the years on our visits to the Santa Barbara area, we've ridden the Goleta Beach Trail. Utilizing the probably now somewhat obsolete Santa Barbara County Bike Map (copyright 2000), we followed what was called the Coast Route. The Class I bike path starts near the corner of Storke and El Colegio, so that's where we would park and unload the bikes. In the summer months it's a great place to start your Goleta Beach ride since you add some distance to it, plus you can peddle through the nearly deserted UCSB campus to the Goleta Beach Trail trailhead.
After riding down to Goleta Beach County Park and Goleta Pier, the Coast Route turns inland allows you to pedal alongside Atascadero Creek. Today that trail is called Obern Trail, a lovely ride in itself. Another option is a spur off the Obern Trail just beyond Patterson Avenue called the Maria Ygnacio Bike Path. This will give you some uphill and through the neighborhoods of Goleta.
The Goleta Beach Trail is a beautiful, ridiculously short ride with sensational ocean and mountain views. If you are going to ride this trail, you might as well combine it with Obern and/or Maria Ygnacio and burn a few more calories!
We rode this trail between the marina and bird refuge a few years ago. The photo op highlight was peddling our bikes between the rows of giant palm trees for that stereotypical California beach scene, but for a couple of native southern Californians palm trees are no big deal. In addition, the ride is so short it just wasn't worth getting the bikes out of the SUV.
This trail feels most appropriate for tourists, walkers, joggers, skateboarders, and vendors renting those quadcycle things to families.
Way back in June of 1998, the Los Angeles Times had an article entitled "Joy Rides - 10 scenic bike trails for real people." Coming in at #8 was "The Milk Run." It was a 16 mile round trip through the Ojai Valley starting at Foster Park. Being the real people that we are, my wife and I rode it a year or two later during a vacation to Ventura.
Today that trail is known as the Ojai Valley Trail, and from the photos on the Rails to Trails site it looks just as beautiful as twenty years ago and appears to have had some nice upgrades added too.
I recall lots of trees, a rural atmosphere, a gentle incline, and being able to pretty much coast much of the way back to Foster Park!
(BTW: I've racked my brain and done some research, but I can't remember or find why it was referred to as The Milk Run)
We rode the Bayshore Bikeway on a glorious July weekday and have very fond memories of it.
We started at the southeast end near the salt flats and pedaled north to the Coronado Ferry Landing. After snacks and some shopping, we then headed back down the same way. You have to do some on road riding, but it's no big deal through a fairly quiet neighborhood overlooking the Coronado Municipal Golf Course. The wind creates some resistance, but look on the bright side: at least you won't sweat as much!
It was a fun experience with lots to see and plenty of Kodak moments. We took it slow and made a day of it. It was a superb ride for a couple of vacationers!
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!
For beautiful panoramas and photo ops, the Morro Bay Harborwalk is tough to beat. The path is usually full of tourists, but that's OK. It makes you slow down to enjoy the majesty of Morro Rock, the shimmering waters of the bay, and the antics of frolicking sea otters.
To make this into a lengthier and more substantial bike ride, we parked and unloaded our bikes up the coast a bit at the Morro Bay Sunset parking lot on Azure Street. We then enjoyed a leisurely ride down a Class I bike path for maybe a couple of miles. You'll pass through a park and go by Morro Bay High School.
Eventually you'll come to quiet Atascadero Road where you'll turn right. The road will dogleg into Embarcadero which leads straight to the Harborwalk. Yes, you have to ride on the road for a mile or two, but the roads had little to no traffic.
All in all, a fun time was had by all on these mini bike paths, perfect for a couple of sixty year olds.
BTW: If you're looking for something a bit more substantial near Morro Bay that's not on R-T-T, then go down the coast to Montana de Oro State Park and hike or ride your bike along the bluffs on a wide, hard packed dirt path overlooking the ocean. Talk about spectacular photo ops!
Standing on its own, this is an enjoyable walk or ride to experience San Diego beach culture. However, you really should consider combining it with the Mission Bay Bike Path to make it great (see my March 2019 review of the Mission Beach Bike Path for my customized directions)!
Be sure to go all the way up to the bluff just beyond the north end of the path to Palisades Park for spectacular views.
A part of this trail can be congested with pedestrians at times, but the cool breezes, sunny sky, and beautiful sights make it worth your time! Take it slow, live for the moment, and say to yourself, "Life is good!"
This is one of our favorite rides. Every time we travel south to San Diego, we make a point of riding this trail. We've only ridden it on summer weekdays, so bike and pedestrian traffic wasn't an issue (unless you decide to combine this with the Mission Beach-Pacific Beach Boardwalk which we always do). This path is outstanding for its wide concrete trail, amazing views, cool ocean breeze, flatness (except for a couple of bridges), and for being a loop!
We don't follow the Rails-To-Trails Mission Bay Bike Path map to the letter. We think our customized route is better, so consider trying our directions. Unless we're staying in a Mission Beach rental home, we like to park at the north end of Mission Bay at De Anza Cove Park, then hop on the trail there and proceed in a clockwise manner. As we approach South Shores Parkway, near Sea World, we continue across it and stay on the path which hugs and encircles the Sea World parking lot. Eventually you'll head north on Ingraham Street to the first bridge which goes over the bay to Vacation Isle. Just stay on the bridge's sidewalk so you don't have to worry about a couple of tons of metal running you down. You'll have to go over one more short bridge over Fisherman's Channel, then you hop back on the Mission Bay trail heading west. This is my favorite part since you're totally away from roads and there is very little bike or pedestrian traffic. Plus it's the prettiest part of the loop! Million dollar homes and million dollar views of Mission Bay! Stay on this path and you'll eventually curve south along the bay.
When you get to West Mission Bay Drive, continue across it through Bonita Cove Park on a bike/pedestrian trail that will lead you past more beautiful bay front homes down to Mission Point Park. This is a great spot to find a bench, take in the incredible views, have a snacky, and perhaps use the restroom.
After you've had your fill of gorgeous scenery, head west on San Diego Place and then North Jetty Road. You'll soon discover the trailhead for the Ocean Front Walk, or Mission Beach-Pacific Beach Boardwalk. It's quiet and lovely down at that end as you ride between multi-million dollar homes and the sand. Eventually it will become somewhat congested with pedestrians as you encounter the restaurants, businesses, and tourist attractions, but that's OK. Just take it slow and enjoy the culture of Mission Beach!
Once you get past the pier it will open up a bit. Toward the end of the boardwalk, go up a short incline to a bluff and Palisades Park. What a great photo op as you look back down the coast toward the jetty where you started northward.
After your moment of zen, head back down the boardwalk, and when you reach San Rafael Place cut through all of the homes between the ocean and bay to get back on the Mission Bay Bike Path.
Now you can continue your loop, eventually passing Crown Point Park and a wildlife preserve on your way back to De Anza Cove Park.
This has to be one of the all-time great southern California beach rides. It's meant to be taken slowly, so relax and savor it. Don't forget your sunscreen!
I suspect this trail is especially popular with the surrounding community. I know if I lived there I'd be cruising down to the beach every day on it! For a couple of out of towners, it was well worth the time we put into exploring it.
After spending the night in Dana Point's bluff hugging Blue Lantern Inn, we parked the car and unloaded the bikes in Dana Point Marina's Baby Beach parking lot so we could enjoy pedaling around the quiet marina streets as well as the San Juan Creek Trail.
After cruising over to Doheny State Beach to the trailhead, we began our trek along the bank of the creek. For the most part it's a nice, fairly quiet ride. On the way up, we took a detour and explored the Trabuco Creek Trail as well as Old Historic San Juan Capistrano.
The San Juan Creek Trail eventually concluded in a somewhat rural area of ranches and equestrian centers. After cruising back down to the trailhead, I must say it's pretty cool to relax on the beach in the cool, salty air and to bask in the sun.
I first rode this trail over forty years ago when it was one of the first Class I trails in southern California, and I must say it was so cool to go from the Inland Empire all the way to the OC beaches! In recent years I've also ridden the upper portion which is a completely different experience but still worthwhile. The lower portion is nice and flat with cool ocean breezes, while the upper portion is hilly in places and much warmer in the summer. Lower: 5 stars. Upper: 3 stars.
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