Mountain biking is an extremely popular activity in Marin, and for good reason—it was invented right here on the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais! There's really nothing quite like a ride down the trail, and it's a great activity for the whole family.
Get your kids started on cross-country cycling by trying out some of these easy, bike-friendly Marin trails. All you'll need is a mountain bike or other off-road capable bicycle and a helmet. (Make sure you bring plenty of water and some snacks, too.)
All these trails are designated for bicycles, and have minimal hills and technical sections for easy riding and maximum fun for the little ones.
One of the other benefits of riding offroad is the absence cars and other related hazards. My daughter actually learned to ride her bike on some of these trails. Get them started early, and they'll be shredding in no time!
China Camp State Parknear San Rafael is a popular destination for local mountain bikers. It's one of the few places in the Bay Area that has single-track trails open to cyclists, but families with beginning bikers will want to head for the wide easier paths like the Shoreline Trail. There's a $5 day-use fee here. On weekends, swing by the historic Quan Brothers Snack Shop in China Camp Village for post-ride ice cream and other treats.
The Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District near McInnis Park in San Rafael has wide, flat gravel trails that form a 2.1-mile loop. The trails are popular with hikers, cyclists, runners, dog-walkers, and birders, and it's a great place to visit at any time of year.
Marin Mommies presents a guest article from Cindy Winter of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC).
For the past 15 years, Marin parents and civic leaders have worked to create safe pathways and road crossings that encourage walking and cycling to school, short-distance errands, and recreation. We’ve seen astounding progress in the numbers of kids transporting themselves safely, healthily, and happily. But now, there’s a problem.
Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) has nearly completed its plans to widen Highway 101 from Corte Madera Creek to a short distance south of Wornum Drive. The project is needed to resolve the difficult merging of traffic lanes, both north and south. However, as part of their plans, the pedestrian/bicycle bridge over the freeway from Fifer Avenue to Industrial Way will be torn down and not replaced.
Last week we had the opportunity to head back up to the mountains and experience Northstar California Resort during the summer. When we visited back in the winter, we thought that the summer activities offered at Northstar sounded just as fun as the winter ones, so we were determined to go back once school was out. We did, and we had a fantastic time during our visit!
Northstar is an exciting destination for a family summer getaway, with lots of things to do including mountain biking, hiking, geocaching, roller skating, and more. The summer vibe at Northstar is definitely more laid back than it is during the ski season, but it's still a bustling place, with hikers and mountain bikers gathering by the gondola to head up onto Mt. Pluto for outdoor fun.
When you've had enough of the wilderness, come back down the mountain and take advantage of some of the fun to be had in the Northstar Village.
Meandering along the Bay from Blackie's Pasture to downtown Tiburon, the Tiburon Bike Path is a worthwhile family outing on almost any day. Last week I packed up our bikes and a picnic and headed down to Blackie's Pasture in Tiburon's Trestle Glen neighborhood. I absolutely love this spot, and it's been a favorite place of mine since I was a child growing up in Marin. There's something about riding your bikes along the water on a clear day that makes you remember how lucky you are to live here.
Tiburon Bike Path, also known as Tiburon Linear Park and Tiburon Historical Trail, is a popular spot with bicyclists, joggers, and walkers of all ages. Along the way you'll find breathtaking vistas, sports fields, playgrounds, and a series of trail markers that highlight the Tiburon peninsula's gritty blue-collar past. That's right—this now exclusive enclave used to be known mainly as a railroad hub back in the days of steam engines. And did you know that swanky Belvedere was home to the McCollom Fish Company's cod processing facility in the 1860s?