The excitement of riding a mountain bike began in Marin County many years ago. The Bay View Shoreline Trails in China Camp State Park (415-456-0766) provide a fairly easy 10.3-mile ride past oak-bay woodlands and provide views of scenic San Pablo Bay. The Ridge Trail to Mt. Barnabe in the Samuel P. Taylor State Park (415-488-9897) is 7.4 miles of steep riding. It will provide you with excellent vistas of Tomales Bay, Point Reyes and forested valleys of West Marin. The Pine Mountain Loop is a hard ride along 13.4 miles of fire roads gliding past redwood and fir trees and lakeside canyons. For an extremely challenging ride, head to the Eldridge Grade to East Peak Loop for 17.7 miles of strenuous riding, and an elevation change of 2,800 feet. You will pass panoramic views of the bay, mountain lakes and meadows, and then finally reach the top of Mt. Tamalpais.
For more information on trail locations and bike rentals, contact the Marin County Visitors Bureau at (866) 925-2060. Or stop in at a local bicycle store and pick up a copy of “Mountain Biking Marin… 40 Great Rides in Marin County,” written by Theresa Martin and Brian Simon. Also very helpful, the Marin County Bicycle Coalition’s Bike Trail Map, available in most bicycle shops.