World’s Best Bike Paths

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by Byron on Apr 14, 2008 at 5:34 AM

At Bike Hugger we’ve become connoisseurs of bike paths and think that Santa Barbara has the best ones in the world. Huggacast Thirty Eight features two sections of the Pacific Coast Route.

What bike paths do you think are world class?

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Comments: 10

I vote for the American River Parkway between Sacramento and Folsom Lake, CA.

I just moved to Sac from the “bike town USA” Davis, CA and the ARP bike trail beats anything I’ve ever been on in Davis. Davis had many paths but most were poorly maintained and covered in potholes. The ARP has wide bike paths with room for pedestrians and bikes in both directions. It has river views, lake views, parks nearly every other mile and gorgeous well maintained asphalt paths.

Hard to beat the ARP but Santa Barbra ocean views and palm trees offer a tough contender. ;)

Cheers

I forgot to add a link to the ARP map: http://www.sacparks.net/our-parks/american-river-parkway/docs/ParkwayMap.pdf

If ya’all get to try it out I have been advised to steer clear of Discovery Park.  Sadly its the only place left for some homeless folks and has become dangerous to vistors.

Cheers,

Agreed and what’s remarkable about SBA paths are they appeared to have been designed by a cyclist v. some of the [worst-ever bike paths](http://bikehugger.com/2008/03/read_my_lips_share_oh.htm).

up in humboldt county there’s something called the “hammond trail.”  while well maintained, it’s really nothing special, winding its way through densely wooded backyards and through a neighborhood of faux-castles.

if you keep going north, though, and you’ll find yourself on an old road carved into the rugged coastal cliffs.  it’s not a bike path, but it has to be one the most epic two miles of riding on california’s coast.  huge breakers, massive rock formations colonized by little pine forests, sweeping high speed curves, sudden stretches of washed-out gravel, it’s got it all.  so fun.

My favorite bike path of all time was between grosetto and marina di grosetto on the west coast of italy.  It was wide, perfectly paved, well maintained, separated from the highway by a small canal, and had lovely little picnic and rest stops along the way as it snaked through fields, approaching the coast.  It’s surprisingly long and I think I spent most of the day on that path before reaching a coastal camp ground.  Oddly, I remember it being serenely quiet in spite of the nearby highway.

Fun post—it makes me start thinking of all the great bicycle paths I’ve ever ridden.  I’ve lived in Los Angeles for the last seven years and have ridden the Santa Barbara and Ventura bike paths and, you’re right, they’re wonderful.  The ocean scenery is really tough to beat.

I also lived for eight years in the San Francisco Bay area, and there are segments of bike paths there that are truly spectacular.  They’re more bits and pieces of paths but you can cobble together a nice, long leisure ride by combining them with roadway riding (and even some mass transit such as BART or the ferry system). 

Here in Los Angeles, I enjoy the paved bicycle path that lines parts of the—don’t laugh—Los Angeles River.  If you know this area, you know that the LA “River” is really a concrete aqueduct/drainage slough that runs north>south into the Pacific Ocean.  You also know that it passes through all manner of neighborhoods and under many freeways and is refuge for many a homeless person. 

Sold on this yet?  As horrid as it may sound, in the right mindset, and aware that you’re cycling through one of the most built megalopolises in the world, the urban expedition that is the LA River bike path is invigorating and fun.  If you begin your ride at the northern end in Arcadia (at the southern edge of the Angeles National Forest), you can actually ride almost 100% uninterrupted on this bike path along the “river” all the way to Seal Beach and the Pacific Ocean (about 40 miles one-way).  It’s a helluva ride in the city of angels.

Peace!

Good morning,
I’m a recent Seattle expatriate, forced to move to Morgantown, WV in the aerospace slump of 2003.  However, I couldn’t have found a better place to live for biking if I’d tried.  In addition to the beautiful scenery, quiet rural roads and short/bikeable in-city streets (OK I’m and LCI - not everyone would say it’s bike friendly) I moved here when they had just completed 45 miles of new bike path.  Twenty-three miles follow the Monongahela River (10 miles north and 20 miles South) on a very slight grade with beautiful river views in a deep wooded valley.  The other 15 miles go East up into the Allegheny foothills along the Deckers’ Creek.

Although there are some sub-optimal parts (a coal power plant, some acid mine-waste in the streams) it is a beautiful experience.  The portions in Morgantown are paved, although rough in spots.  Still it makes for a quiet pleasant bike trip through town when the main road is gridlocked with school and commuter traffic.

If you ever come by to see it drop me a line and I’ll give you a tour.

Excellent comments all . . . also see our [video from Girona](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7tO1_UdoaQ). There’s is not paths, but lanes, and roundabouts! Going into a roundabout where cars just naturally give you the right away was quite the thrill for us.

I vote for the Katy trail.  It goes almost completely across the state of Missouri.  It’s not paved but it is well maintained.  And there is access galore all along it.  I’ve ridden most of the trails in California and they are good.  But the scenery on the Katy is stunning.

If we could find a sponsor, that’d make for some good blogging. Ride all the best bike paths.

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