With year-round sun and warm temperatures, Los Angeles is a great place to go biking. While surface streets are crowded, there are many bike paths and lanes that are safer and travel through some lovely areas. Here are eight of the best bike paths in Los Angeles, California.
Santa Monica Bike Path
This paved bike path has lovely Santa Monica Beach views. It starts near Will Rogers State Beach in the Pacific Palisades. Then it goes through Venice and ends up near Manhattan Beach. After Venice, the path changes from a Class I, paved path with separate right-of-ways to a class two path where there is a designated bike lane along city streets. There are tons of scenic places to stop and people to watch along the way.
Sepulveda Dam Recreation Bike Path
The Sepulveda Dam Recreation area is in the San Fernando Valley. This pathway basically circles around this 2,000 acre facility for just under eight miles. It’s a nice easy ride with views of Balboa Lake Exit at Balboa Boulevard from the 101 freeway and park in the parking area at Balboa Lake, in the Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area. Spend some time at the beautiful Balboa Lake Park.
Los Angeles River Bikeway
This pathway goes along Griffith Park to Elysian Park. Griffith Park is the largest municipal park in Los Angeles and has many places to bike within the park. For several miles, this path parallels the Los Angeles River. It also parallels the five freeway. Once you cross Fletcher Avenue, there are some parts of the trail that are a little bumpy.
Huntington Beach Trail
Also called the Bolsa Chica path, this eight mile trails borders Los Angeles and Orange County. Breathe in the salty breeze as you ride by the Huntington Beach Pier. Cross PCH and see the Bolsa Chica Wildlife preserve. Although sometimes crowded, this is a great oceanfront bike path. Due to pedestrians and other factors, this path is designed more for a slow ride rather than a training area. Access it anywhere along the coast near the once freeway.
San Gabriel River trail
If you are interested in taking a long bike ride, try the San Gabriel River trail. It extends from the San Gabriel Mountains and goes to Seal Beach. On your way, pass by a Nature center, water play area and El Dorado Park. See a map of the trail here.
Santa Clara River Trail
This is a lovely trail that runs behind many neighborhoods and along the Santa Clara River. Additionally, this bike path connects various suburbs in the Santa Clarita Valley. The paths are paved nicely and are relatively uncrowded. These trails feed into the paseo system that leads to parks, stores and Metrolink stations. This trail is North of Los Angeles off the five freeway before you hit Magic Mountain.
This path is a short five-mile ride around the lovely Legg Lake in the beautiful Whitter Dam Recreation Area. If you want a longer ride, hop onto the nearby Rio Hondo or San Gabriel River trail. The Rio Hondo is a tributary that flows into the LA River. This bicycle path goes along the Rio Hondo. This is located off the 60 Pomona freeway off of Rosemead Blvd.
Culver Boulevard Median bicycle path
This is a bicycle path that follows Culver Boulevard. It begins at Huron Avenue and ends at Braddock Drive. The path is nice and grassy with benches. There is a separate area for walkers and runners. For directions, click here.
Many of these bike paths are off the main highways. For this reason, it is best not to travel the river trails at night or by yourself. Always follow bike safety rules and California Bike Laws.
Patrick Brady Bicycling Los Angeles County: A Guide to Great Road Bike Rides Menasha Ridge Press