Mountain Bike

Preserves | Sharing the Trails | Access Guidelines | E-Bikes | Email List

Most of Midpen’s 220 miles of designated trails are unpaved “wildland” trails in steep, rugged terrain. Approximately 65% of these trails are multiuse trails and are open to bicyclists, which is the highest ratio of trails open to bikes among parks and open space in the Bay Area. Many of these trails are also single-track trails, providing bicyclists with a more technical experience.

Please Note: Activities may not be designated on all trails within a preserve-- always refer to the map and trail signage for where the activity is permitted. Some trails are subject to seasonal closures, always check trail conditions and refer to signage.

Update on Plans to Study E-bikes

At a public meeting on January 27, 2021, the Midpen board of directors approved changes to plans to study e-bikes on paved and unpaved trails. Click here to visit the E-Bikes section below for details.

Preserves open to mountain biking

Sixteen open space preserves are open to mountain biking († - all trails; *- designated trails only):

Sharing the Trails

Midpen offers low-intensity recreational use consistent with resource protection and preservation. Many different users are out on the trails exploring open space.

To help make multiuse trails work, each user should keep in mind the needs of others. Bicyclists should always yield to all other trail users. On wide trails, slow down and pass with care. When encountering equestrians and hikers on narrow trails, make your presence known well in advance, particularly when approaching from behind. Stop and wait for them to pass or signal you through. Yield to other bicyclists traveling uphill.

Access Guidelines

  • Helmets: Bicyclists are required to wear helmets, even when riding uphill, that meet the standards of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission Standard for bicycle helmets, or ANSI or Snell-approved bicycle helmets on all Midpen lands. Helmet straps must be securely fastened when riding.
  • Speed limits: Control your speed at all times and obey the 15 mph speed limit (5 mph when passing or on blind turns). Racing and reckless riding are strictly prohibited.
  • Closed areas/off-trail use: Ride on designated trails only (those shown on Midpen maps for bicycle use). Closed area or off-trail use, including straying off the trail for jumps, “wallrides” and “woop-d-dos” is strictly prohibited.

Download Bicycle Access Guidelines

E-bikes

  • Electric bicycles are not, and have never been, allowed on Midpen trails, except for use by individuals with a mobility disability on trails where bicycles are allowed per our Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices Policy. This is not a change in policy.
  • Given an increase in public inquiries regarding policies on the use of e-bikes, indicating confusion regarding the prohibition of e-bikes, Midpen posted “no e-bike” signs where appropriate to provide clarity at Midpen trailheads.
  • All roads and parking areas that are open to public motor vehicles are open to all classes of electric bicycles.
  • At a public meeting on January 27, 2021, the Midpen board of directors approved the following changes to plans to study e-bikes on paved and unpaved trails (see board report):
    • To free up staff capacity to develop an unpaved trails study sooner than originally planned, the one-year paved trails pilot project has been scaled back. The paved pilot began in December 2020, allowing class 1 and class 2 electric bicycles on select paved and improved trails only where bicycles are currently allowed, at Ravenswood Preserve and Rancho San Antonio Preserve and County Park.
    • Staff will initiate a short-term unpaved trails study to start by summer/fall 2021 on lands of a regional partner agency where e-bikes are currently allowed, as a proxy for Midpen preserves. Prior to this decision, the plan to develop a proposal for a one-year pilot project for class 1 e-bikes on select unpaved trails had been postponed to the next fiscal year (July 2021 to June 2022) due to the staff resources required for COVID-19 response.
    • The results of the unpaved trails study will be presented to the board’s Planning and Natural Resources Committee at a public meeting in early 2022. The committee’s recommendations will then be presented to the full board at a subsequent public meeting to decide on appropriate next steps.
    • You may provide comments on our e-bike studies and/or sign up for email updates using the form below.
  • Learn more in our E-Bike Policies, Pilot Programs and General Information fact sheet (October 2020 version, see recent updates above) and sign up for email updates below.

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