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California Trails Connect Distinct Destinations

March 9, 2020

California is a great place for explorers on the go to pack up and hit the trails – here, getting from one outdoor destination to the next by way of hiking or biking is paired with incredible natural wonders and unforgettable landscapes.

Truckee River Bike Trail – Lake Tahoe
Make the most out of a trip to Tahoe on the Truckee River Bike Trail, a paved route linking Squaw Valley and Tahoe City. Following the river from Olympic (Squaw) Valley all the way to Tahoe City and beyond, this primarily car-free and beautiful path is suitable for all abilities. Visitors can start their days at Squaw Valley Resort, one of the largest ski areas in the United States and former Olympic host site, and journey to the trail bridge over the Truckee River in 64-Acres Park. Arrive in Tahoe City, a walkable downtown mountain community with boutique shopping, local dining and outdoor recreation.

Caspar Uplands Trail – Mendocino
In Mendocino, explorers can see a historic lighthouse, visit a popular whale watching site, hike a self-guided nature trail and conclude their journey in a unique Pygmy Forest–all before the sun sets. The Point Cabrillo Light Station overlooks Caspar Headlands State Beach in the north, where campgrounds and beach trails are situated near migrating grey whales’ path. Follow Caspar Uplands 4km trail into Jug Handle State Reserve, where terraced rock formations show 100,000 years of history. From here, the Jug Handle Creek directs adventurers to the Pygmy Forest, where trees barely reach knee-level.

American River Parkway – Sacramento
The American River Parkway is a 1,940-hectare natural resource spanning from Folsom to Sacramento, receiving over 8 million visits per year. With over 48 kilometres of hiking, biking and equestrian trails, there are plenty of opportunities to observe various points of interest. Explore the Nimbus Fish Hatchery where Chinook salmon and steelhead are raised at the north access point of the Parkway, or marvel at the golden Tower Bridge connecting West Sacramento with Downtown Sacramento. Explorers are sure to see turkeys, fish, deer and more wildlife within the urban area.

Dipsea, Steep Ravine and Matt Davis Loop – Marin
In a half-day, Mount Tamalpais is easily tackled–from mountains to the sea, its slopes and winding paths are a highlight reel of beauty. The trail-head starts at Stinson Beach, right off Highway 1 in Marin County. Here, the Dipsea Trail guides hikers along a coastal trail with panoramic views of the Pacific. 1.6km in marks the Steep Ravine split, where Webb Creek cascades adjacent to the trail and hikers trek up a eucalyptus-studded incline. Follow the Matt Davis Trail back to Stinson Beach to complete the loop, rounding out the day at one of the seaside cafés.

Ojai Valley Bike Trail – Ventura
Biking in Ventura can introduce visitors to a multitude of destinations all in one ride. It’s easy to follow the new 5.6km Rincon Bike Trail, adjacent to Highway 101 and leading north to Carpinteria’s Rincon Point. Visitors can also rent bikes at Wheel Fun at the foot of Ventura Pier, or Open Air Bicycles Ventura in town. Cycle along Ventura’s beachfront for views of Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands while passing through the towns of Santa Paula, Fillmore and Piru in Heritage Valley. Journey beyond Ventura to Ojai via the Ojai Valley Bike Trail, a shady 14km, tree-lined ride. Cyclists will arrive in Libbey Park, where they can park in the bike-friendly town and enjoy the local shops and restaurants before heading back.

Marvin Braude Bike Trail – Santa Monica
The Marvin Braude Bike Trail, also known as The Strand, is a 35km paved path that runs along the Pacific Ocean and connects some of the best beaches in Los Angeles County. The Strand winds past Santa Monica and Venice, then heads inland at Marina Del Rey, is back on the beach at Playa del Rey and glides along the shorelines of Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo Beach, finally ending in Torrance. A popular route for cyclists, joggers, rollerbladers and beach-lovers, taking “The Strand” is a quintessential Southern Californian route.

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