From the newest riders who are looking for a flat spot to those wanting to amp it up on some harder trails, there are tons of kid-friendly trails and bike parks all over the Bay Area. Be sure to confirm hours before you head out!MoreLess
With views of Oracle Park in the background, this approximately half-mile long, tiled and wide pathway has ample room for your little rider to coast away. The path runs along Mission Creek in San Francisco’s Mission Bay/SOMA neighborhood. Make your way down this scenic esplanade and follow the windy paved path and rolling green grass, taking in the sights of this urban oasis. Bonus: This park boasts some of the city’s cleanest public restrooms.
The jewel of the city has some of the best bicycle paths for families, with just a few mild gradients. On Sundays and holidays, JFK Drive is closed to car traffic from Stanyan Street to 20th Avenue, leaving it free for cyclists and pedestrians. If you want to continue on, the trail leaves JFK Drive near Lloyd Lake, veering southwest, passing near the Polo Field. You’ll eventually cross Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and end up near Lincoln Way at the Great Highway, just across from Ocean Beach.
Fabulous views and a sea breeze await you and your little explorers on Angel Island. Hit the Perimeter Road, a six-mile, partially paved path that casually loops around the island. With plenty of opportunities for Instagram-worthy pitstops, the circuitous road boasts a 360-degree panorama of the entire San Francisco Bay. The best bit? No cars are allowed on the Island so little riders can let off steam, while moms and dads can hang back and soak up the view.
This is a half-acre bike park in San Francisco serving the Bay Area and beyond. The phase 1 park was launched in 2017 and it has features for those wanting the extra challenge of biking on beginner to advanced-level bike features such as flowing trails, berms, progressive table top jumps, dirt jumps, wooden ladders, wall rides, a pump track and much more. COVID-19 Update: The bike park is currently closed. Check their website for updates.
Tucked inside Oakland’s Redwood Regional Park, you and your kiddos will enjoy this one-mile paved, flat trail through a magical redwood forest. With plenty of room for little legs to pedal or run, both open meadow and trails provide a nature-rich adventure for all ages. Great for families with little and bigger cyclists, the Stream Trail is paved far enough along the route for a decent bicycle or tricycle ride. Be sure to check the website before you go to see if there are any road closures.
This paved path running along the Contra Costa Canal is perfect for little cyclists who might still have the wobbles and don’t want to deal with hills. Since it runs nearly 14 miles in a rough horseshoe, riders can pick it up in several different staging areas and ride a portion of it or the whole thing. Along the way, parents can talk with kids about how the Canal provides water to nearby cities, pumped in from the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta.
The neighborhood of Bay Farm is a charming little enclave of Alameda. A nice flat grade, this six-mile paved loop is ideal for getting those newbie pedal-pushers some serious practice in a pretty setting. The trail goes through Shoreline Park at the northern end and around the Chuck Corica Municipal Golf Complex. If you need to make a pit stop, Shoreline Park has several restrooms.
Nice and flat, this scenic section is the perfect place to introduce new cyclists to two-wheeled action, or get those training wheels off—finally! Several paved pathways connect to a variety of different areas of the park. Just be sure to observe all posted speed limits and be aware of those out for a stroll. Bicycles should also stay on the designated paths—bonus that they’re all paved!
Got older kids? Check out Saddle Loop Trail, a two-mile gravel loop that passes through a eucalyptus grove and mature cypress trees up on top of San Bruno Mountain. Zip along the satisfyingly crunchy limestone and breathe in that sweet eucalyptus scent all while taking in killer views of the Bay, San Francisco skyline and Sutro Tower.
The 750-acre wildlife and recreation area has gorgeous views of the mountains to the west and east across the bay. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Shoreline at Mountain View first opened to the public in 1983 and is now open 6 a.m. until 30 minutes after sundown, seven days a week. Shoreline at Mountain View is home to an eight-mile network of trails, bridges and roadways for walking, jogging, biking and inline skating. Find out about closures by checking the website.
Beginning at Almaden Lake Park in south San Jose, the Los Alamitos Creek Trail is one long paved straightaway that’s shaded by trees, making it a great choice for beginners. If you’re feeling ambitious, tackle the full 4.7-mile length. The Trail connects to the Almaden Creek Trail. The whole trail runs along the creek from Los Alamitos Park and Lake Almaden south to McKean Road. With no undulations, it should be a breeze for everyone in the family. Parking can be limited, so plan ahead.
This trail that follows the creek through many different neighborhoods is great for bike riders of every level. It's almost completely flat and you can stop along the way to check out the birds in the creek and the playgrounds (when they are open). There are numerous entry points in Campbell and Los Gatos with parking lots in Vasona and along the street.
This is a rare, free, public BMX park with three sections of the park to ride in. Kids and adults of all ages and abilities are able to enjoy the challenges of the park. An excellent BMX park with safe atmosphere and lots of fun. Check the website for more info.
This is California's largest skate park (68,000 square feet!!). Spread over 8.5 acres with seven diverse riding zones to challenges riders of all skill levels, the park is worth the visit. There is a parking fee but the extensive thrills offered at the park make up for everything.
A short drive from downtown Fairfax in the North Bay, you’ll find Lake Lagunitas, a two-mile lakeside loop perfect for little scooters and bikers alike. The smallest lake in the Mount Tamalpais watershed, Lake Lagunitas is ideal for new riders with its wide pathway and no major uphills or downhills to navigate. Bring your hats, sunglasses and drinks galore for you and your minis, as the Lake can be a sun-trap in warmer weather.
This almost-flat (most of the way) trail is great for a full day trip or for more adventurous older riders. It’s a 3.4-mile roundtrip from the parking area. Cruise your way through a valley filled with wildflowers like lupine, buttercups, sticky monkey flowers and sagebrush. When you arrive at the ocean, lock up and head over to the pretty, secluded Tennessee Cove for a picnic on the beach. COVID-19 Update: Parking lots are currently closed. Check the website for updates.
Nestled in the wooded hills of Marin, Samuel P. Taylor State Park boasts a partly paved, three-mile bike trail, the Cross Marin Trail. It’s conveniently close to the campgrounds, and also welcomes well-behaved pooches. Following the former Northwest Pacific Railroad right-of-way, the trail is almost level, making it excellent for new riders. Kids will enjoy listening to the sound of the bubbling Lagunitas Creek and pointing out some wildlife along the way.