California Dreamin'

Top 10 Los Angeles Bike Trails

Los Angeles may seem car-centric, but there are a surprising number of biking opportunities in and around the city. Here are some of the best off-road, multi-use trails to be found throughout the L.A. region.


San Gabriel River Bike Trail

Photo by: chisq

At 38 miles, the San Gabriel River Bike Trail is a powerhouse north-south route loosely paralleling I-605 along the eastern outskirts of Los Angeles. Extending from the base of the San Gabriel Mountains all the way to the Pacific Ocean, the paved pathway connects to several others, as well as scenic protected areas, such as the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area and Whittier Narrows.


Los Angeles River Trail

Photo by: vikemaze

Although the Los Angeles River Trail has a gap in the middle, its northern and southern sections are still of a significant length to be of commuter and recreational value. Totaling 24 paved miles, the trail follows its namesake river from the Glendale–Burbank border to Long Beach and the Pacific Ocean. Although largely an urbanized route, it does offer access to several parks that offer pleasant views and amenities.


Marvin Braude Bike Trail

Photo by: katkoz

Offering a quintessential Southern California experience, the Marvin Braude Bike Trail has been featured in hundreds of TV shows and movies. The 21-mile paved pathway is a great way to explore L.A.’s coastal communities.


Orange Line Bike Path

Photo by: vikemaze

The Orange Line Bike Path parallels Metro’s Orange Line rapid busway in the northern neighborhoods of Los Angeles. The paved 18-mile trail stretches from North Hollywood to Chatsworth, providing residents of the San Fernando Valley with a dedicated environment for cycling and walking while connecting to rapid transit. Although its purpose is utilitarian, the trail is not without its charms. Native plants line the pathway, as well as public art. The trail also runs adjacent to Anthony C. Beilenson Park, which features Lake Balboa, a sports complex and other recreational amenities.


Rio Hondo River Trail

Photo by: vikemaze

Cutting a diagonal across the neighborhoods on the eastern fridges of L.A., the Rio Hondo River Trail follows a channelized tributary of the Los Angeles River. The paved, 17-mile trail extends northeast from its junction with the Los Angeles River Trail to Peck Road Water Conservation Park in Arcadia. Several neighborhood parks and the scenic Whittier Narrows Recreation Area enrich the journey.


Ballona Creek Bike Path

Photo by: vikemaze

The Ballona Creek Bike Path follows the channelized Ballona Creek for 7 miles, from Syd Kronenthal Park in east Culver City (National Boulevard) to the Pacific Ocean, where it connects with the Marvin Braude Bike Trail. Along the way, the paved pathway passes through residential neighborhoods and then opens up into the Ballona Wetlands with vistas and wildlife viewing.


San Fernando Road Bike Path

Photo by: vikemaze

The San Fernando Road Bike Path spans nearly 6 miles from Los Angeles’ Sylmar neighborhood to its Pacoima neighborhood, traverses the city of San Fernando along the way. The paved bikeway is fully landscaped and lit, with safety fencing separating the trail from the busy train tracks it parallels.


Whittier Greenway Trail

Photo by: vikemaze

The Whittier Greenway Trail whisks riders across the eastern L.A. suburb of Whittier. Along the nearly 5-mile paved pathway, you’ll find interesting wind vane sculptures, interpretive signage, exercise stations and pleasant landscaping with native California trees and plants.


Shoreline Pedestrian/Bicycle Path

Photo by: vikemaze

The Shoreline Pedestrian/Bicycle Path offers a scenic 4-mile ride along the coast of Long Beach. Running along a white sand beach for nearly its entire journey, the paved pathway provides direct access to the Pacific Ocean and the city’s popular Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier. Views from the trail are spectacular: you’ll see islands and ships in the outer harbor, beautiful scenes of Palos Verdes and the mouth of the San Gabriel River in the distance.


Chandler Bikeway

Photo by: vikemaze

The Chandler Bikeway is a jewel tucked nicely into a Burbank neighborhood. The 3-mile paved pathway begins in the median between lanes of traffic on Chandler Boulevard atop of the Southern Pacific’s old Burbank Branch. It offers a pleasant route through a quaint residential area with a wide array of trees, shrubs and flowerbeds alongside the trail. Public art along the way also adds to its appeal; a collection of murals created by local artists showcase subjects ranging from the movie industry to music, nature, railroads and the bountiful harvest of California’s many lush farm fields.

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