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Nearly encircling the San Diego Bay, the Bayshore Bikeway offers views of downtown San Diego and the resort town of Coronado while providing access to a number of parks and beaches. Currently, the 24-mile route includes 17.1 miles of completed multiuse pathway, with the rest consisting of on-road sections. The pathway is also a segment of the California Coastal Trail, a network of bicycling and hiking trails that, when complete, will stretch along the coastline for 1,230 miles from Oregon to the Mexican border.
Since much of the route on the eastern side of the bay entails on-road riding, exploring the western side makes for an easier, more relaxing experience. The western side is likely accessible, but a section near 10th Street and Glorietta Boulevard is an on-street bike lane and not a separate trail. east side of the bay is predominantly on-street bike lanes. Note that there is no shade along the trail, so be sure to wear sun protection and bring water.
The southwest endpoint is located at Coronado Ferry Landing Park on the northern tip of the Bayshore Bikeway, where parking, restrooms, bike rental shops, and restaurants are readily available. Within minutes of setting off, you’ll be treated to a spectacular vista of the Coronado Bridge, which received an Award of Merit in the American Institute of Steel Construction’s 1970 selection of the country’s most beautiful bridges open to traffic, and—in true California style—you’ll hit your first beach in less than a mile. You’ll also pass by the iconic Hotel del Coronado, which was built in 1888 and has been the backdrop for a few movies, including Marilyn Monroe’s Some Like It Hot.
Continuing south from the hotel, the pathway follows the Silver Strand, the narrow spit of land that separates San Diego Bay from the Pacific Ocean and on which the Coronado branch of the San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway once traveled. Construction of the railroad began under prominent San Diego resident John D. Spreckels in 1906 and was completed in 1919.
On the left, you’ll find Glorietta Bay Park, which offers a beach, a playground, a picnic area, and restrooms. Although the rail-trail parallels CA 75 on this stretch, wildflowers and brush along the route keep the journey pleasant as you continue south.
As you approach the south end of the bay, you’ll have spacious views of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Its preserved wetlands offer prime opportunities for birding and support many endangered and threatened species of flora and fauna. As you enter the residential community of Imperial Beach, look for the entrance to the Bayside Birding & Walking Trail at Seventh Street; the dirt pathway parallels the Bayshore Bikeway for 0.4 mile and has interpretive panels on topics like migratory birds and salt marsh restoration.
After continuing east 0.8 mile from the entrance to the birding trail, take the opportunity to turn right at the short trail spur just before the red pedestrian bridge to reach Imperial Beach’s Bikeway Village, where you’ll find public restrooms and a coffee shop where you can pick up snacks and refreshments. The continuous, paved portion of the rail-trail ends 1 mile farther on at Main Street and West Frontage Road in Chula Vista.
If you would like to continue on the Bayshore Bikeway along the east side of the bay, follow the marked on-road bike lanes (largely paralleling Bay Boulevard) and a few short stretches of paved pathway north through Chula Vista and into San Diego. Crossing over the Sweetwater River, the route connects with the Sweetwater Bikeway. Nearing the northeast endpoint, the bikeway passes Linear Park and connects with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Promenade. Just past the intersection of Park Boulevard and Harbor Drive, the route leaves the road behind and follows the waterfront as a very wide, paved pedestrian boulevard through San Diego's Embarcadero. Another highlight of this section is Chula Vista’s Living Coast Discovery Center, which features interactive exhibits on the animals and plants of coastal California. As you approach the Coronado Bridge, be sure to also check out the colorful collection of murals in Chicano Park, which celebrates the heritage and culture of Barrio Logan, San Diego’s oldest Mexican-American neighborhood.
The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) provides easy access to the trail. Visit the MTS website to plan your trip.
For those driving, parking is available at a number of locations along the trail. View the TrailLink map for all options and detailed directions.
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