Bicycling Carmel and Monterey
The Monterey Peninsula and its mountainous hinterland constitute a wonderful destination for the cyclist. A full spectrum of trails is available in this beautiful stretch of Pacific coastline, from challenging up-and-down epics to pleasant and painless pedaling tours suitable for all ages. Renting a bike gives you an unparalleled mode of transport for soaking in the tremendous natural panoramas and the delightful local culture.
An easy but rewarding route is the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail, which encompasses a particularly celebrated section from Fisherman's Wharf to Lovers Point. Cyclists of all ages and abilities will appreciate this aesthetic trek, which includes marvelous vantages over Monterey Bay and passes near some of Monterey's most cherished attractions--from Cannery Row to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
For intermediate cyclists, an excellent choice is the Hennekens Ranch Loop, an exploration of the extensive dominion of the stunning, undeveloped Fort Ord Public Lands--a great redoubt of wild scenery on the Monterey Peninsula, and home to one of the newest declared national monuments in the country. This biking route, recommended (like the rest detailed here) by the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau, traverses eight miles of the Fort Ord countryside, involving as it does a nice range of hills and flats as well as a rich mosaic of natural habitats. Wildlife is plentiful along the way, so keep your eyes peeled as you cruise the rolling, winding roadways.
Another fine option is 17-Mile Drive, one of the region's most well-known bicycling routes. A bike lane between Cannery Row and Cypress Point offers secure and easy cycling along this venerable touring trip--not to mention stunning views. More experienced bicyclists can venture farther to Pebble Beach.
More challenging routes are easy to come by along this rugged expanse of jaw-dropping coast--not least an exhilarating adventure down renowned Highway 1 between Monterey and Big Sur. Best early in the day to avoid the thickest traffic, this pedaling jaunt is an acclaimed one given the world-class scenery spilling away on either side of you as you muscle your way along.
Inquire about renting a bicycle today, and take to the trails and roads to experience the Monterey Peninsula and the California Coast Ranges--some of the grandest and loveliest landscapes on the planet.