Summer is the perfect time for outdoor fun. And what could be more fun than an outing on two wheels? We’ve reviewed some family-friendly bike trails that’ll get the whole crew outdoors for some good, old-fashioned exercise.
Get On That Bike and Ride!
1. Tahoe City to Squaw Valley – Lake Tahoe, West Shore
Duration: 7.8 miles, one way
Skill Level: Easy. Paved, mostly flat with a few easy grades.
This popular, scenic path offers incredible views of the Truckee River. Picnic areas are scattered along the path- with easy access, so bring along a healthy lunch for a mid-day break.
Parking and Trail Access:
If you’re beginning at Tahoe City: Park in the lot just off of Fabian Way, which is accessible from W. Lake Blvd.
If you’re beginning at Squaw Valley: Park in the large parking area and ride to HWY 89 where the trail continues after the lighted crosswalk.
2. Pope-Baldwin Beach Bike Trail – Lake Tahoe, South Shore
Duration: 3.4 miles, one way
Skill Level: Easy. Great for all ages – especially the little ones.
A gorgeous ride through old-growth forests that pass Camp Richardson, the Tallac Historic Site, Pope Beach and Baldwin Beach. Great opportunities for a beach stop and cool dip in the lake!
Parking and Trail Access: Parking for the Pope-Baldwin Bike Path is available at the Lake Tahoe (Taylor Creek) Visitor Center on SR 89 (Emerald Bay Road), west of South Lake Tahoe. Additional parking can be found at Baldwin Beach and Pope Beach, but parking fees apply.
3. Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway – Reno
Skill Level: Easy. Paved asphalt.
Although this bike-way is still under construction, there are a few areas where you can enjoy access. Eventually, this route will connect Lake Tahoe and Pyramid Lake. We’ll focus on three kid-friendly routes so the little ones won’t miss out on all the fun.
A. Mayberry Park: 1.8 miles
Easy access and plenty of parking along this section of the trail. Several picnic tables along the river and grassy areas to enjoy after your ride.
From the parking lot:
➤ Head west and you’ll cross a bridge that ends in a dirt trail and housing area.
➤ Head east and you’ll cross another bridge to Aspen Glen Drive, which is a short road that leads to Mayberry Drive. Just before Mayberry Drive, take a sharp left where the bike path continues. You’ll pass Dorostkar Park on your right, and you’ll find a few little trails to explore in the meadow beyond this park. The trail ends again at Mayberry Drive, so you’ll want to turn around to avoid riding on the busy street.
B. Crissie Caughlin Park: 0.6 miles
With easy parking and trail access, Crissie Caughlin Park is a great starting point for a short ride. Head west over the cute wooden bridge and ride along the short trail lined with willows. Bring a picnic to enjoy in the shade trees and coolness of the Truckee River. There’s plenty of grass, plus a playground and a horseshoe pit.
C. Idlewild Park: 0.7 miles
You’ll find several areas to park around this well-established Reno gem. The bike path runs near the river, but please pay attention as some paths are pedestrian only. This park features the Idlewild Park Train, which is open from April to September, as well as large expanses of grass and picnic areas, two small lakes and Reno’s Municipal Rose Garden.
4. Rancho San Rafael Regional Park – Reno
Ride the easy Pasture and South Park Loops in this 600-acre park that features the Wilbur D. May Museum and Arboretum as well as abundant picnic and playground areas.
Duration: 2.1 miles
Skill Level: Easy. Gravel.
Parking and Trail Access: Park on the west side near the dog park for easy trail access.
5. Tahoe Meadows Whole Access Interpretive Trail – Incline
A short drive from Reno, this trail features wildflowers, a boardwalk and gorgeous meadow views – and is perfect for all skill levels.
Duration: 11.3 miles, loop
Skill Level: Easy/Moderate. Dirt.Parking and Trail Access: Park along Hwy 431, access to the south.
For more family fun on two wheels (or two legs), check out the Open Streets events in Reno and Sparks presented by Renown Health. These events are daylong community celebrations, where the streets are open to biking, walking, dancing, playing- and socializing while supporting local business — a healthy way for families and friends to interact, automobile-free. This year’s Open Streets dates are:
- Reno Open Streets: July 31, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., from Riverside Drive to Arlington Avenue
- Sparks Open Streets: Aug. 20, Victorian Square, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
What family-friendly bike routes does your family enjoy? We’d love to know!