The following areas allow bicycle access, however none were specifically designed with bicycles in mind:

Airport Trail
Roche Harbor Trails
Roche Harbor Highlands
Mitchell Hill

trail-bikeWith the exception of the Airport trail (see below) Most of these trails were built as rustic footpaths or from old logging roads with grass, gravel or wood chips for tread, adequate for off road type tires only. Over time we hope to continue to improve the quality and quantity of bicycle trail opportunities for recreation and transportation. Safe road shoulders are an important part of the multi- use pathway network, connecting destinations. Our goal is having a multi-use trail network including, but not limited to road shoulders. Future multi-use trail possibilities are Valley Farms trail, formerly called Pipeline trail (see Trails Plan), Town to Jackson’s Beach trail and a loop trail at the future Community Ball fields.

There is one section of the Airport Trail between Skagit Valley College and Shelter road (less than 1/2 mile one way) which is well suited as a leisurely ride for families and less experienced bicyclists. The paved route provides a beautiful vista of Griffin bay and Lopez Island over the south end of the airstrip. Franklin Drive which leads to the airport and Skagit Valley College off Weber Way are low traffic roadways, there is ample parking at Ernie’s Café, the airport, or the College. This is a very popular trail with various users including those with dogs. There is one steep hill upon entering the trail from the College, when riding down this slope, bicyclist must stay to the right and maintain safe speed, using extreme caution, and awareness of other trail users.

Mountain Biking

Mitchell Hill and Roche Harbor Highlands are local favorites for mountain bikers as well as horseback riders. Many of the trails are constructed from old logging roads and the terrain is quite hilly. Roche Harbor Highlands is privately owned and Mitchell Hill was recently acquired by the National Park Service. Both areas have a confusing array of unsigned trails in enjoyable forested terrain. Most trails that do not follow old logging access roads are not located or constructed in a sustainable manner. The newly constructed Roche Harbor Trails provide over 6 miles of mowed trails through meadows and woodlands. Bikes should be walked across the narrow wooden boardwalks.

The Golf Course Road Trail is the first island trail to be constructed as a multi-use trail. Sited on an existing county easement, and built in partnership with San Juan County Public works. This trail is approximately ¼ mile long and provides a safe route for pedestrians and cyclists, avoiding a narrow, winding section of Golf Course Road with very limited visibility for vehicles. Earthwork and clearing for this trail began in 2009, with the onset of winter rains, bark chips were used as a temporary surface material, and eventually this material will be removed and replaced with a more bicycle friendly tread.

Trail Etiquette

The use of bicycles in the two National Park Units is limited to main roads. Many of the remaining off road multi-use trails are informal, unsigned, non-motorized and shared use. Conflicts may easily happen in tight confines especially between group hikers, cyclists and horse riders. Remember to extend the same courtesies you expect in an enjoyable recreational outing. We are all privileged to have these opportunities. Due to increased speeds bicyclists must anticipate conflicts and adjust accordingly. Meeting horses on narrow trails requires pulling off the trail and quietly letting the horseback riders pass. Staying on the trails/paths causes the least destruction of the structural integrity of the trail surface and will help to ensure future use. Avoid cutting switchbacks and creating new cutoff trails.


Comments

Trail Cycling — 1 Comment

  1. There’s supposedly a trail about 20 miles long that is suppose to be the 10th most popular in the world. Where would that be?

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