Sometimes the best views are from a bicycle seat. Jump on your two-wheeler and take advantage of the Monterey Peninsula Recreation Trail’s eighteen miles of car-free coastal beauty. This converted railroad track passes a montage of classic Monterey attractions— from sailboat-filled marinas and iconic spots like Steinbeck’s Cannery Row to the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. Along the way you’ll see eucalyptus forests, sand dunes, seabirds, fishing crafts, and kayakers. And if the mood strikes you right, Lover’s Point provides a poetic overlook you should be sure not to overlook.
The Monterey Recreation Trail starts at Lover’s Point in Pacific Grove, or 18 miles north at the junction of Del Monte Blvd. and Lapis Rd. just north of the city of Marina.
BONUS: Mountain bikers looking to get their single-track fix should head east thirteen miles to Fort Ord. There, fifty miles of single-track bliss and fire-road options await (see recommended loop below). You’ll get a solid ride anywhere you go, exploring a mix of rolling grassland, dense chaparral, and wooded oaks; in fact, it’s the same terrain as the mountain bike races at the legendary Sea Otter Classic cycling festival, the “Woodstock” of bicycle events. This year’s classic takes place from April 12 through 15.
To reach Fort Ord, head east on Highway 68, a few miles past Laguna Seca, turn left on Reservation Rd. Turn left again on Portola Rd., then right on Creekside Terr. Park at the designated lot. Hop on Trail 31 and take this until Trail 02, which goes left and will drop you off on Oil Well Rd. Follow Oil Well Rd. a few miles uphill (enjoying the views) until you hit Skyline Rd.; go right on Skyline. Look for single-track Trail 44 after half a mile on the right. Take Trail 44 to Trail 41—all single-track. This takes you all the way back to Oil Well Rd. Turn left on Oil Well Rd. and look for Trail 02, which takes you back to your car.
For either the Recreation Trail or Fort Ord, you can rent your two-wheeler at Bay Bikes.