Bike riding is almost akin to owning a pair of wings.
Although you may not clear the ground, biking can be a form of freedom rarely felt by adults. It helps you to connect with your inner child, inspiring playfulness and a sense of fun.
Bike riding can be for fitness, commuting, or stress reduction. Or, for many people, all three!
You may think of biking only for the spandex-clad 20-something racers or ten-year-olds cruising to their friends' houses around the corner. But the reality is biking is for just about everyone.
The Paseo Club is a social club in the Santa Clarita Valley. We have been supporting our members for almost 20 years in their journeys in fitness and health. We are often asked about the local spots for hiking, biking, and adventuring outdoors.
To better help you out, we wrote this article. We will discuss the benefits of biking, how to have a good ride, and where the best trails are in the Santa Clarita Valley.
What are the benefits of bike riding?
Biking is fun and enjoyable, whether outdoors or indoors, long distance or short. Riding can pay huge dividends toward your fitness and mental health. It’s also a great way to spend time with family and friends!
Increase muscle strength
Improve cardiovascular health
Reduce stress and anxiety levels
Eco-friendly form of transportation
Enhance coordination and balance
What makes a good bike riding experience?
A great bike riding experience is one where you feel safe, comfortable, and confident.
Achieve a successful ride by maintaining your equipment, selecting well-marked trails or roads (like the incredible paseos in the Santa Clarita Valley), and respecting other riders and pedestrians. Remember, it's essential that when you bike, a rider stays within their ability.
Biking gets you outdoors to enjoy the weather and scenic views. Currently, the trees are in bloom, and the hills are green!
The 8 best bike trails in the Santa Clarita Valley
If you're in the Santa Clarita Valley, there are plenty of amazing bike trails to explore of varying lengths and levels of complexity.
Best mountain bike trails
Several mountain bike trails surround the Santa Clarita Valley, ranging from beginner to ultra-experienced. The Santa Clarita Woodlands Park offers a variety of mountain biking trails for riders of all levels.
1. Elsmere Canyon Loop Trail is 6.8 miles long and is located near Newhall beside the Angeles National Forest. The trail is moderately difficult. It often is not too busy, so it is a great option for riding. Be aware of hikers and birders who use the trail while you bike. 2. Towsley Canyon is a 5-mile ride that can be technically challenging and an intense workout. It offers many obstacles, including hikers along the looped path. Take the traditional start for an extremely tough climb to the top, with tight turns and steep inclines. Ride it backward and climb switchbacks against the mountainside. Big drops as you head back down once you've seen the beautiful Santa Clarita Valley from above. Towsley can be busy with hikers. If that is the case, then consider the East Canyon Trail. 3. East Canyon Trail Is part of the Santa Clarita Woodlands Park system. Many people ride East Canyon and then continue onto Rice Canyon Trail for a 6.4-mile out-and-back ride. This route often takes a little over three hours and is considered moderately challenging.
Best city bike trails
The Santa Clara River Trail and the Valencia Paseos system are excellent options for city rides. The Valencia Paseo system offers over 30 miles of dedicated bike paths throughout the city. Go for a short ride or a long one — the paseos are incredible. You can ride for a few hours and never have to stop!
4. Copperhill Loop is an easily accessible trail with great parking at Heritage Park or behind the Paseo Club. This 5-mile loop is a great warm-up for a ride, with mostly flat terrain and several water fountain stop spots along the way. From Paseo Club, head north and stay on the trail until it dead-ends at Copperhill. Cross the bridge and grab the paseo on the other side, continuing back to Heritage Park to cross the bridge and finish your loop. 5. Newhall Ranch Road is a more challenging ride along the paseos. Begin your adventure with (or without) the Copperhill Loop first, then head southwest from Heritage Park, following the trail under McBean Road and out past Bouquet Canyon Road. Once you travel parallel to Newhall Ranch Road again, go right and remain on the trail to the dead end. Out and back will give you 12 rolling miles, or 17 with Copperhill added.
Best family bike rides
Families with young children should select flat, short trails that end at a fun activity such as a park, water feature, or ice cream shop.
6. Heritage Park to Iron Horse Loop is a 4.4-mile trail with only 140 feet of elevation gain. This family-friendly loop never crosses over driveways or streets, making it a safe choice for younger riders. Much of the trail is beside the Santa Clarita River providing a scenic and peaceful area to relax and enjoy the ride. 7. South Fork Trail is a smooth, paved trail that is a little over 4 ½ miles long. The Placerita Junior High School is on the south side, making it a popular path for students. The trail winds through many neighborhoods with attractive greenery alongside it. A highlight for many kids is biking the railroad trestle constructed in 1898.
Best BMX track
BMX stands for Bicycle Motocross. Although BMX riding is not typical for long distances or commuting, it is a form of bike riding that brings a lot of fun to your (or your kiddo’s) life. People use BMX bikes for stunt riding or racing.
8. The Santa Clarita Skatepark at the George A. Caravalho Santa Clarita Sports Complexfeatures a BMX track and a variety of other skate features, including bowls, ramps, and rails.
The park is free and open to riders of all ages and skill levels. Park hours are 8 am-8:30 pm. Make sure to wear a helmet and knee and elbow pads for safety.
Enjoying your bike rides while staying safe
To follow bike safety and etiquette, always wear a properly fitted helmet, abide traffic laws, and communicate with other riders and drivers.
At night wear a bright-colored shirt and a vest with reflective striping so you are easily visible.
Don't forget to pack essentials like water, snacks, sunscreen, and a basic repair kit. There is nothing like finding yourself eight miles away from home with a flat tire and no way to patch it!
Dress appropriately for the weather. That can mean wearing several layers during the colder time of year or shorts and a tee when it is hot. Look for sweat-wicking clothes such as bike shorts or leggings so that you feel dry as you rack up the miles.
Final thoughts on bike riding in the Santa Clarita Valley
Bike riding is a fantastic activity for people of all ages and abilities. Even seniors enjoy riding into their golden years on recumbent bikes. Families with young children can use trailers to share their love of riding with their child or children.
Just remember, start slow and gradually increase distance and difficulty to prevent injuries and burnout. So grab your bike and hit the road – happy riding!
The Paseo Club is a home away from home for many Santa Clarita Valley residents. Whether it is pedaling to the beats at cycle class, relaxing with a massage at the onsite spa, or visiting with friends with a glass of Pinot Grigio in hand at Wine Down Wednesday, the Paseo Club has your fitness and social needs covered!
Jen Azevedo is a person of many talents. She is a tennis professional, pickleball professional, personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and the general manager of the Paseo Club. She loves the community at the Paseo Club and that it is also a safe and fun place for her daughter. Jen’s favorite activities are joining her tribe for trail races or her partners for tennis matches. Occasionally Jen slows down to relax with a book — she reads over 100 a year!