I’ve been searching high and low for trails that allow bikes. They are few and far between especially if like me: a) you get exceedingly bored with a trail after the first couple times you use it and b) there are few trails that will tolerate my bad knee. In other words, there are few bike trails in the Bay Area that don’t require a considerable amount of climbing.
I had knee surgery about 10 months ago and people keep asking me “How’s your knee?” I tell them it’s getting better but the progress is super slow. And I will never declare myself “cured” until I can hike again. That is the ultimate goal. As for now, I can tolerate small bouts of hiking when I have to get off the bike and push it up-hill, or traverse an unsavory path. So – my unending quest these days is finding knee-friendly trails that allow bikes.
I wasn’t disappointed on Friday. I was delighted to discover some trails at China Camp State Park just outside of San Rafael. For light-weights such as myself I would suggest catching the Shoreline Trail directly across the main road from Turtle Back Hill. I took the trail toward the park’s Ranger Station, and had to stop at the hill that led to the station itself. The hill was too daunting, but I look forward to a time when I can climb it. I then may seek to explore The McNeara Fire Trail and the Oak Ridge Trail that will eventually lead to the Bay View Trail and the park’s walk-in campground. Actually, the campground can also be reached at the Park’s eastern car entrance. Campers can then park their cars and for $35 a day hike or bike into the campground. Campsites don’t require a reservation, at least at this early spring date. I was also delighted to see that the campground (perhaps due to cold nights) was relatively empty.
Accessible camping along with an opportunity to both swim and kayak this close to the Bay Area seems relatively unheard of. And I must add that China Camp State Park contains some magnificent scenery and plenty of places to hike and bike.