Imagine a 338-mile scenic (and mostly flat!) ride along the entire Bay Area. That’s what the San Francisco Bay Trail is. When completed, it will extend 500 miles and link 47 cities. The best part is you can catch any part of the trail from the East, South or North Bay and catch waterfront views, downtown city life, and remote wildlife areas all in one ride. It’s your commute to work and a relaxed Sunday joy ride. It’s the most universal, convenient trail in the area, offering endless outdoor recreation fun for all ages.
What Makes It Great
The SF Bay Trail is a reason why the Bay Area is ranked one of the fittest cities in the country. Thousands of people use it every day on foot, bike, rollerblades and skateboards. The North Bay section of the trail is mostly flat and guides you through the charming houseboats of Sausalito, past the soccer fields and suburban life in Mill Valley, along the million-dollar waterfront homes in Tiburon and up close to the infamous San Quentin prison. It’s scenic yet practical, getting you from point A to point B safely on your bike.
Everyone truly uses the SF Bay trail to get around. It's the gateway to other legendary Marin rides without having to drive to the trailhead. Kids learn how to ride a bike on this trail, pro cyclists train and race on this trail. It’s great because it’s for all ages, all abilities and the scenery is always changing. One minute you’re crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, the next you’re passing a quiet neighborhood with kids playing outside. The South Bay and East Bay similarly have always evolving environments while serving as a “highway” for cyclists. If you're anywhere in the Bay area, you’re likely just a few miles from the trail.
Who is Going to Love It
This isn’t an umbrella statement—everyone is going to love it. Commuters, recreational enthusiasts, out-of-towners, young kids, teenagers, dogs, anyone with a desire to get outside will love it. It’s not a challenging ride, is super convenient to get to, often sunny in the North and East Bay, and an overall awesome alternative to driving. It’s well maintained and there are plenty of water fountains along the way. Local bike stores sit right off the trail for any unexpected flats or quick repairs.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
It’s easy to find the SF Bay trail from anywhere. Just head towards the water and you’ll likely find the paved path. There is no trailhead or official starting point. Instead you’ll see the path parallel the water from all areas of the Bay, and that’s where your ride begins.
In the North Bay consult tide charts before heading out. A king tide will easily flood the path and raise havoc. Check your speed as new regulations have implemented slow zones in residential areas and citations will be dished out. Grab a few water bottles and plan to spend your day along the beautiful San Francisco Bay.