Best Rail Trails California  by Tracy Salcedo-Chourre

Best Rail Trails California Guide Book

by Tracy Salcedo-Chourre (Falcon Guides)
Best Rail Trails California  by Tracy Salcedo-Chourre
Best Rail Trails California is the complete guide to walking, jogging, biking, and cross-country skiing the Golden State’s extensive rail-trail system. Written by a local with expert knowledge of her state, this easy-to-use book provides mile-by-mile descriptions of the seventy-four most popular rural and urban trails, plus complete listings of the other rail trails. From Northern California’s Hammond Coastal Trail to Sierra Nevada’s ruggedly challenging Merced River Trail, the state’s best rail trails are described. Look inside to find: • Full trail profiles, including length, access points, difficulty rating, and surface type • Detailed trail maps • At-a-glance icons for easy identification of rail trails that best suit one’s interests • Information on wheelchair accessibility; availability of parking, restrooms, and places to eat along the trail; locations of ranger stations, visitor’s centers, and depot museums; and where to rent bikes

© 2008 Tracy Salcedo-Chourre/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Rail Trails California" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 71.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 71.

Running alongside an active railroad line, this trail primarily serves the recreational needs of local residents and commuters. Surface: Asphalt.
Santa Ana, CA - Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Walking - Trail Length: 1.8
The AT&SF Trail has surprising appeal for a route that runs adjacent to active railroad tracks. It primarily serves local residents, offering a nice stretch of open space upon which to ride a bike, walk, or run. Two small parks bordering the rail-trail allow neighbors to stretch out on the grass and let their children run free. Surface: Asphalt
Irvine, CA - Rail-Trails,Road Biking - Trail Length: 3
Aside from the richness of San Francisco’s food, shopping, cultural districts, and views, this rail trail offers something few others do: the chance to ride the rails for a leg of the route, in this case on one of the city’s fabled cable cars. Surface: The surface is mixed: concrete sidewalk, brick, asphalt, and boardwalk.
San Francisco, CA - Rail-Trails,Walking - Trail Length: 3
The Silver Strand occupies a unique niche, arcing into the Pacific Ocean at the southwestern tip of the United States. The bikeway that runs along it offers fascinating views of this end of the line, including Coronado Bridge, the skyline of San Diego, and, of course, the endless Pacific. Surface: Concrete and asphalt.
Coronado, CA - Birding,Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Walking - Trail Length: 9
The Bizz Johnson Trail is the longest, and arguably the most scenic, rail-trail in California. The wonderful route leads through the dense woodlands of the high country into the spectacular Susan River canyon, and incorporates numerous historic sites, including trestles and tunnels. Surface: Gravel and original ballast.
Susanville, CA - Cross-Country Skiing,Fishing,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 25
This is the setting of the short rail trail that leads into Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve. Although the trail itself is not breathtaking, it links with a trail system within the park that is rich in history and natural beauty. Consider it a gateway to a greater adventure or take it on its own merits. Regardless, you’ll be delighted. The railroad that once ran along this grade served the Black Diamond mines. Black diamonds were coal, and millions of tons were extracted from these hills over a forty-year period at the end of the nineteenth century.
Antioch, CA - Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 1
The Bol Park Bike Path is a charmer that threads through a peaceful neighborhood in the hills south of San Francisco. At its heart is Bol Park, a strip of playground and lawn laid alongside Matadero Creek. Surface: Asphalt.
Palo Alto, CA - Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 1.5
The Bud Turner Trail is hitched to the Juanita Cooke Greenbelt at pretty Laguna Lake Park, circling the northern edge of the lake and a riding ring for equestrians before narrowing into a streetside walkway. Surface: Dirt.
Fullerton, CA - Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 1.7
This scenic median path cruises up the center of Burbank’s Chandler Boulevard, providing easy pedestrian access to area neighborhoods and the North Hollywood Arts District. Surface: Concrete.
Burbank, CA - Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 4
The grassy expanses surrounding the Chico Airport are surprisingly scenic, hosting a variety of songbirds that raise a pleasant ruckus in spring. This rail-trail runs from the airport into town, where it offers residents an alternative to walking or cycling on the streets. Surface: Asphalt.
Chico, CA - Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Walking - Trail Length: 3.5
Efforts to create a rail trail that runs the length of California’s scenic southern coastline involve the preservation and development of disconnected links like those in Oceanside, Carlsbad, and Solana Beach. These brief patches of rail trail will one day be part of a much larger whole—the 42-mile Coastal Rail Trail, which will run adjacent to the active tracks of the Los Angeles– San Diego rail corridor, used by Amtrak, Metrolink, and Coaster commuter trains. Meantime, the links in Oceanside, Carlsbad, and Solana Beach off er locals and visitors access to neighborhoods, businesses, and beaches, and a glimpse of what will come. Surface: Asphalt, concrete.
Carlsbad, CA - Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Walking - Trail Length: 4.4
Tucked in a steep canyon in the hills east of San Jose, this rail-trail passes through beautiful country that once attracted visitors not simply with its natural setting, but also with mineral waters that bubbled to the surface near a creek shaded in alders and oaks. Surface: The section from Penitencia Canyon to Quail Hollow Picnic Area is dirt single-track. The surface is paved from Quail Hollow to the dirt road 100 yards west of the railroad bridge, then a broad dirt track to the western border of the developed section of the park near the visitor center. The route is paved past the visitor center and Youth Sciences Institute, then narrows to a dirt track for the last mile, ending at the confluence of Penitencia and Aguague Creeks.
San Jose, CA - Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails,Trail Running - Trail Length: 2.4
The nicely landscaped median park that holds the Culver City rail-trail is mostly frequented by local residents, but also is long enough to give runners or walkers a good workout. Surface: Asphalt.
Culver City, CA - Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 2
Running along the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, the Duarte Bike Trail ties the east end of this small city to the west end, and offers access to a local park and elementary school. Surface: Asphalt and concrete.
Duarte, CA - Rail-Trails,Walking - Trail Length: 1.6
Orchards, brilliant with pink and white blooms in spring, laden with fruit in summer and autumn, and naked in winter, line this rural bike path, which borders the Midway road in southern Chico. Surface: Asphalt.
Chico, CA - Birding,Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Walking - Trail Length: 2.5
The El Dorado Trail, like so many rail-trails in California and elsewhere, is a route in transition. About half of the trail is in place, a nice path that wanders through the oak woodlands east of downtown Placerville that serves, for the most part, local residents. But plans are afoot to extend the route. Surface: Asphalt (with a parallel dirt path) and ballast.
Placerville, CA - Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running,Walking - Trail Length: 1.7
If you believe the setting makes the trail, you won’t quibble with the brevity of the Electric Avenue Meridian Park rail-trail. The path is ensconced in a beautifully maintained linear park and offers easy access to a spectacular Southern California beach. Surface: Concrete.
Seal Beach, CA - Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running,Walking - Trail Length: 1
This is primarily a commuter route that leads from downtown Fairfield to the Solano Community College. A portion of the trail runs through a nicely landscaped greenbelt featuring small playgrounds and benches. Surface: Asphalt and concrete.
Fairfield, CA - Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 4
Gazing out across the Pacific Ocean from the heights of the Fay Avenue Bike Path, you can’t help but be struck by the gentle beauty of La Jolla. The easy trail, spectacular setting, and wonderful weather conspire to make this a wonderful, if brief, adventure. Surface: Asphalt and dirt.
La Jolla, CA - Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 1
This short rail-trail begins at the Fillmore end of the historic Fillmore & Western Railway. The dynamic collection of railroad cars clustered around the station—including one that houses a museum—is the highlight of the route. Surface: Asphalt.
Fillmore , CA - Rail-Trails,Road Biking - Trail Length: 2