The Adventure Cycling Association has designated September 28 as the annual Bike Your Park Day. The principle is simple: ride or bring your bike to a park and ride it! Do it for all the reasons you enjoy riding, and maybe a bunch of bikes mysteriously showing up at a park could help bring the need for better accommodations to the attention of park staff.
The foothills have a great assortment of parks available for family-friendly or more ambitious riding. Even if the other 364 days are park your bike day for you, there’s something on this list for you. Visit Adventure Cycling to register your ride and, if you register by September 22 you are entered for a chance to win a Co-Op Cycles adventure touring bike (perfect for the mountains).
- Yosemite Valley–bring or rent a bike to explore the paved paths on the valley floor.
- Columbia State Historic Park–great for small kids, or just ride to the park to enjoy free music at the 35th annual Fiddle and Bango contest.
- Calaveras Big Trees State Park–camp and ride with kids or hit the trails. Rides can extend outside the park into the adjacent Stanislaus Forest.
- Murphys Community Park–ride big or small and relax with lunch at the creek.
- The reservoirs–New Melones, Hogan Dam, Don Pedro, Pardee, and Camanche have varying degrees of camping and access to family-friendly trails or nearby road riding.
- The Sugar Pine Railroad Trail–family friendly to longer adventures on a mostly level trail. Twain Harte to Lyons Dam and the Strawberry Branch are great for families.
- The Stanislaus National Forest–Pinecrest lake, the Arnold Rim Trail, Bear Valley and Alpine Lake, and road rides to the Sierra passes for fall color.