While most families, couples, and groups visit California’s Redwood Coast to observe mammoth trees, surf in the Pacific Ocean, and spot migrating gray whales, we highly recommend bringing along your trusty bicycles this summer during your well-deserved North Coast getaway. There are over 1,000 miles of potential backcountry Northern California cycling in Humboldt County alone. But you’ll also discover dozens of well-groomed mountain bike trails in the Arcata Community Forest and Blue Lake, CA. While Northern California mountain biking is an uncommon activity for many of our guests, it doesn’t get much better than peddling through the Redwoods with friends and family.
Arcata Community Forest
Arguably the best public Humboldt County bike trails lie inside Arcata Community Forest, a particularly beautiful 790-acre slice of the Redwoods. With six parking lots along the outskirts of Arcata, CA, accessing the Community Forest couldn’t be easier. While not every one of these Redwood bike trails offers five-star caliber riding, there are several can’t-miss stretches that meander past towering trees in particularly beautiful stretches of the forest. Northern California doesn’t much more scenic than the Arcata Community Forest, regardless of the season. The Ridge Loop is an easy, downhill, six-minute trek, while the 400-foot Sunny Brae descent is quite the rush! With 28 Northern California mountain biking trails totaling 18 miles, you’ll likely spend half the day exploring this hidden gem.
Blue Lake Trails
Perhaps the most popular Northern California mountain biking organization in Humboldt County is the Redwood Coast Mountain Bike Association (RCMBA). In order to gain access to the 17 Blue Lake Trails, arguably the best bike park in the county, you must become an RCMBA member. Membership is quite inexpensive and well worth the donation as the RCMBA maintains the Blue Lake Trails. Some of our favorite Redwood bike trails in Blue Lake are black diamonds, such as Pits, Gnome of Love, and Wood Rat. But there are trails suited for all skill levels here in the Hatchery Ridge Trail System.
Northern California Mountain Biking Events
Not only does the RCMBA build and maintain mountain bike trails across Humboldt County, but they also promote a wide variety of regional Northern California mountain biking events such as the Mad River Enduro. The annual Enduro takes places on the aforementioned Hatchery Ridge Trail System in Blue Lake, CA. You can also join the 34-mile Monument Loop in celebration of Rio Dell’s Wildwood Days. The RCMBA will also be participating in the Lemurian Mountain Bike Race in nearby Redding, CA.
Charming Arcata Vacation Rentals
Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals has a fleet of lovely homes, lofts, and flats in Arcata, CA, only minutes away from the most extreme Northern California mountain biking opportunities. Here are three of our most popular vacation rentals, all of which are a short bike ride from the top-rated things to do in Arcata, CA.
The three-bedroom Frog Terrace rests along serene Janes Creek on the north end of town. Instantly, you’ll notice the exterior’s dark wood siding, bay windows, and spacious backyard. Some of the home’s highlights include an open kitchen, newly-renovated bathrooms, and comfortable beds. This peaceful neighborhood is less than two miles from downtown, so you’ll always be a short bike ride from a cup of joe, craft beer, or fresh seafood.
Hillside Home is our closest property to the Arcata Community Forest. In fact, this Park Avenue home is 100 feet from the Redwoods. The Hillside Home, living up to its name, features views of both downtown and Arcata Bay. The wooden balcony and tree-covered back patio are popular features among cyclists as it’s hard to top a glass of wine or can of beer after a full day of riding. While the kitchen and bathrooms are playfully retro, much of the house is sleek and comfortable.
Last but certainly not least, the Sunny Brae Getaway is conveniently located in-between downtown, the Arcata Community Forest, and Baywood Golf & Country Club. The Sunny Brae neighborhood is a quiet, family-friendly escape for those aiming to enjoy a peaceful, private evening together. This home features an outdoor hot tub, pristine wooden floors, and modern furnishings. Enhance your Northern California mountain biking vacation with a stay at one of these charming, inexpensive Arcata vacation rentals!