Ride, Explore, and Dine in Valley Springs
November 30, 2020
If you’re experiencing cabin fever right now, you’re not alone. While travel options are restricted by the pandemic, there’s one way to get away, experience California, and stay COVID-safe: bicycle tourism. California’s Central Valley and Sierras have great bike rides that will give you a welcome break from daily life.
Great Bike Rides to Support Arts Education
Each spring Valley Springs holds an arts education fundraiser for Calaveras County K-12 public schools. See https://www.rideandwalk4art.com/ The three route options are available on this website, 25, 45, and 75. The routes start at Hogan Dam and wind around the Tri-Dam Lakes.
Hogan Dam Cameron Trail, New Hogan Lake
A multi-use trail starts at a small parking area north of the park headquarters. From there it travels above the water on crushed gravel and a number of interconnecting sections of road. The wide trail provides easy access to the Wrinkle Cove area, Fiddleneck area, Acorn Campground, and Oak Knoll Campground, and eventually ends at the Coyote Point Trail just north of Coyote Point. There’s intermittent to no shade so hike or bike either in the early mornings. Acorn Campground to Observation Point is a must family ride. No traffic road. Rides 4, 8, 10, miles.
Wrinkle Cove to Lime Creek, Valley Springs
Five miles out and back to practice road bike riding skills. The road is mostly flat with several short rolling hills. Light traffic, watch for deer during fall and summer. Parking at Wrinkle Cove
Sheldon Road, West of Valley Springs
My favorite ten-mile flat road and with expansive views of Sierras. My wife and I used this road to practice and prepare for bike tours in Europe and Asia. Parking is along fence lines just off Highway 26. Turn around at Escalon Belotta Road
Berkesey Lane, Rancho Calaveras
Absolutely the best two-mile road to learn how to ride a bike. This is my go-to bike road to teach grandchildren to ride a bike. Parking at either end of the road.
Gwin Mine Road, Paloma
A three-mile downhill ride to Middle Bar Road and a hilly bike ride back. This is a good ride for e-bikes.
South Hogan Road, Hogan Dam Reservoir
Below the Hogan Dam and across Calaveras River is a six-mile out and back rolling quiet rural road. The hill climbs out are challenging but, the ride back is much easier. There is very little traffic and beautiful views of Sierras.
Salt Springs and Hunt Road, Milton
The Salt Spring loop is as well known as any bike ride in the foothills partly or maybe mostly due to its use for the Copperopolis Road Race in the early spring. It’s a lovely ride with varied terrain, great scenery, and very little traffic, but the pavement is very rough. If you can set yourself up with 28C (1 1/8″) or wider tires, you’ll be fine. With 23C road tires, you may feel a bit beat up afterward.
Parking after Salt Springs Reservoir, along the road.