Photo by Ben Davidson
Posted in Blogging Marin on Monday, June 16, 2014 by MCVB Staff
Marin is the birthplace of the mountain bike and the sport of mountain biking. Not surprisingly, some of the finest mountain biking trails in the Bay Area are found in Marin, including a superb single track loop at San Rafael's China Camp State Park.
The 1,514-acre park situated on Point San Pedro is nestled along the shore of the San Pablo Bay and features an extensive intertidal salt marsh, meadow, and oak habitats. For beginner and intermediate riders it's a favorite spot for a quick morning ride along the dirt, multi-use Shoreline Trail. A longer loop ride is possible by connecting to a moderate two-mile climb on the Bay View Trail to the Oak Ridge Trail and back on a "flowy" route through forest and past views of San Pablo Bay back to the Shoreline Trail, about 12 miles of blissful rising in all.
After your ride (which, thanks to the route's climbs, twist and turns, will feel like a real workout) you can rest and relax at China Camp Beach, site of a historic shrimp fishing village. In the 1880s, nearly 500 people, originally from Canton, China, lived in the village. At one time, it had three general stores, a marine supply store and a barbershop; the relics of these buildings still remain.
For cyclists who travel by bike to China Camp, a "Hike and Bike" site is available at the park's Back Ranch Meadows. Regular campsites are also available. Reservations can be made year-round by calling Reserve America at 1-800-444-PARK (7275). All campsites at Back Ranch Meadows campground are hike-in for tent camping only. Visitors must hand carry all equipment from the parking lot to the campsites. Campsites range from 50-300 yards from the parking lot. Riding and camping at China Camp is a perfect way to overnight in a beautiful outdoor Marin setting and to relish the heritage of Marin's homegrown, ever-popular sport of mountain biking.
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