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The Mission Bay Bike Path is a paved trail that loops almost completely around San Diego's Mission Bay. The trail runs through Mission Bay Park, which includes and encircles the large man-made body of water. Bathrooms, drinking fountains, parking, playgrounds and picnic tables can be found throughout the park.
Popular with tourists, the path also provides access to several other parks, two wildlife preserves and SeaWorld San Diego. From Sea World Drive, pick up the San Diego River Trail to head east or west along the waterway. Alternatively, pass through Mission Beach to reach the Mission Beach-Pacific Beach Boardwalk, which extends along the Pacific coast.
Parking for the Mission Bay Bike Path is available at several locations throughout Mission Bay Park. Refer to the TrailLink map for exact locations.
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!
We rode this trail and somehow connected it with several others and ended at "dog beach" in Oceanside. We rode 20 miles total. Good ride crazy crowds ( we did ride on a Sunday after a rainy Saturday). Signage could have been better especially at critical turns. I think on a weekday it would have been fantastic.
We circumnavigated the bay. The attached map was very useful. The map the city provides was also nice. We had to use both maps to get around especially the east side by the shipping yards. There is mostly bike lanes the entire route, the problem is some streets are not listed. The other issue is when some trails end they don't have signage to get you to the next one. We also did the ferry that cost $4.95 bikes welcomed. Please do this ride it is fantastic with a boat ride in the harbor to boot!! And an ocean ¿¿¿¿¿¿
The majority of this ride is beautiful, fun and safe to do with kids. But, with young kids / new riders you may want to stick to the west side of the trail. The north side (near Campland / Golf Course) requires biking in the street with traffic. Similarly, the stretch along Sea World Dr. and across W. Mission Bay Bridge is heavily trafficked/ not kid friendly.
The municipal code mentioned to in the previous review refers to pedicabs, not regular tricycles. We ride a tandem tricycle rig while pulling our disabled son in a special needs trailer (see photo section). The rig is heavy and slow and we like this trail because it has less climbing than most other places in San Diego.
Not sure if it's enforced but the local municipal code prohibits three wheeled bikes.
Not a good trail to ride for a work out. Great to sight see.
This trail is a great trail to take during the week, but on the weekends it may become a bit overcrowded and forces the biker to weave in and out of pedestrians. However, it is a fun trail with not too many hills and is a great way to work-out soloing or taking a relaxing ride with the family. People are very friendly. Great for kids.
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