It’s the dream of any biking enthusiast living in a city: the opportunity to get away and ride freely without the bustle of cars or the slalom of pedestrians around you. Angel Island offers clean air, leisurely trails and breathtaking scenery; All nestled in the San Francisco Bay! Just a short way from the city, you can find yourself in idyllic surroundings with the wind in your hair as you tackle the trails of Angel Island’s cycle routes, which have been described as “easily number one in the whole Bay Area” by Bay Area Rides.
The main trail is the Perimeter Road, a five mile, partially paved route that loops around the island’s outer edge. This route is a perfect casual trail for families and those looking to feel the freedom of the open air without building up too much of a sweat. The circuitous road offers a 360 degree sweep of the entire San Francisco Bay from a unique location at its heart, allowing you a rolling panorama of one of America’s most iconic areas.
The second of Angel Island’s trails is the Fire Road, an elevated biking trail that puts you in a commanding raised position from which to view the island and its surroundings. Being a more difficult trail, this might not be one to take the younger ones along on but if you are willing to put in the hard work on those peddles, the rewards are well worth it.
The Fire Road is linked to the Perimeter Trail by a dirt road, which is around a half mile long. This takes you 250 feet above the perimeter. Of all the sections of biking trail on the island, this is definitely the toughest climb. If that doesn’t sound like your idea of fun, however, the Fire Road is easily bypassed by simply staying on the Perimeter Road when the turn off appears (and don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone!). If, however, you feel that your legs deserve a little ache then you will be met with what has been called number one in terms of “scenery per unit amount of effort” (Bay Area Rides). The Fire Road Trail is around three miles in length and is the more difficult trail of the two. If the hills are a bit too much after biking up the dirt trail, taking the Fire Road counter-clockwise will turn those climbs into a nice, coasting decline and a much easier ride. Be aware that as you reach the Point Blunt section, there will be a asking you to dismount and walk your bike.
The Angel Island Company offers a fleet of bicycles that can be rented by the hour or for a full day. You can find out more about renting a bike here.
Whether coasting along the Perimeter or scaling the Fire Road, Angel island offers a fantastic day’s of worth biking fun that is sure to impress, de-stress and hopefully bring you back for round two.