BEST CYCLING ROUTES AROUND VISALIA

From road cyclists to avid mountain bikers, Visalia is a great homebase for riding enthusiasts. From a casual bike ride with the family to day long treks, there are an amazing assortment of trails to choose from. Select from these spots to explore this region of outdoor beauty.

If you are like most families, a vacation with kids wouldn’t be complete without bringing along the bikes. Luckily, Visalia has several places that make a safe and fun route for biking. 

A morning ride along the St John’s Parkway is a great way to start the day. The path is used by bikers, walkers and runners, offering a casual ride along a mostly shaded path. On a hot summer day when the river is flowing, you might even see people floating downstream in inner tubes. The trail is 3.8 miles long and stretches from Riverway Sports Park to Cutler Park. A good starting point for an easier ride is the trailhead at N. Maddox Way and St John’s Parkway, which is about the middle of the trail.  There is ample parking in the shaded lot. The paved trail follows along the river on a mostly level, easy path. There’s no worry about car traffic as the trail goes under cross streets for a safe ride. Head east from the trail head toward Cutler Park, a nice destination for a rest and a picnic lunch before returning back to the car. 

Another place for a fun family ride is at Mooney Grove Park. The 100 acre park is perfect for a fun day of picnicking and bike riding. Several roads loop through the park around the grassy fields. Kids will love going on a scavenger hunt to find the log cabin, ride past the lagoon with ducks and geese, or even find the statue of the park’s namesake, Mr Mooney and his dog. 

Road cyclists will enjoy choosing from one of these routes that take riders through the area's agricultural farms and fields. The Amgen Tour chose Visalia for the start of one stage five of its race. The route took off from downtown Visalia and headed south to Bakersfield, quite a ride for competitive cyclists. For those looking for a slightly less challenging route, consider these options.

The ride to Rocky Hill is a great ride. Start from the Visalia Cyclery bike shop. Not only will the staff be able to provide gear for your ride, they are also experienced riders, familiar with the best route. Check in to see if they have any group rides you can join. 

From the bike shop head east along Caldwell Avenue. Along the road you will pass through agricultural fields and groves. Your destination is Rocky Hill in Exeter, 10.2 miles away. The road is flat, with little elevation gain, until you reach Rocky Hill where you will gain about 1,500 feet in elevation. The charming town of Exeter makes a nice stop for a quick break.  Rocky Hill is a popular destination for locals and can get crowded with walkers and cyclists, and families with strollers. Use caution.

The ride through Yokohl Valley, just beyond Rocky Hill, is beautiful, especially in spring. There is generally less traffic along this route and the views of the foothills dotted with ranches is spectacular. This road continues all the way to Springville, making it a great option for a long ride.

Lake Kaweah is another great ride for the experienced rider. At about 20 miles one way, it is more than a leisurely ride but it is one of the most scenic. Riders can choose to follow along Highway 198 or ride just north of the Highway along Avenue 300. This ride will take 2-3 hours one way. Rest lakeside, taking in the views of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. 

The foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains provide lots of opportunities for mountain biking. Stop in at Sierra Bicycle Werks for a chat with the crew for their trail recommendations. Their shop will ensure that your bike is properly tuned for the rugged terrain. Ask them about demo days, where they provide opportunities to test new models of bikes. While there are lots of trails to choose from, one of our favorites is the Skyline Trail.

The Skyline Trail in Three Rivers is a hidden gem in the foothills that offers year-round biking. It consists of a tight singletrack that bobs and weaves its way through trees, rocks and creek crossings and it will keep you busy all weekend long. This challenging trail is located on BLM land. 

If you didn’t bring a bike, don’t worry. There are some options for rentals available in Visalia. 

The Visalia Cyclery rents bikes, including electric bikes. The team at the shop will also offer suggestions on best routes for your skill level. Ask about employee Jesse Perves’ recent 24 hour ride to bring awareness to PTSD in veterans: 24 For 22. 

Sierra Bicycle Werks offers group rides and demonstration days. They are rider owned and operated and can provide you with best routes and best gear suggestions. They love nothing more than fueling the passions of cyclists.

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©2021 Visalia Convention & Visitors Bureau
P.O. Box 2734 Visalia, CA 93279
112 E Main St, Visalia, CA 93291
(800) 524-0303 : (559) 334-0141