San Diego Bicycling – Connector Trails

Connector trails do just that – connect. These are usually short, not always good to ride, but can shorten the distance on a ride.

Allen Road – Mission Hills

Old bridge on "Allen Road".
Old bridge on “Allen Road”.

Allen Road leaves Ft Stockton Dr near Hickory St. It looks like a driveway, but goes to a trail that gradually leads down to Mission Valley. Parts of the trail are nice singletrack, others require some carrying. There is an old bridge about 2/3 down from the top, so at some point, this trail was traverseable road. At the bottom, the trail leads into the parking lot for the Ramada Inn along Hotel Circle South. This trail is best ridden down, as it is rather steep overall.

Clairemont Area

Two trails, both along I-805, can be used to bypass portions of the neighborhoods west of the freeway in the Clairemont area. The northern trail runs from Arvinels Ave at the south end of the MacDowell Neighborhood Park to Clairemont Mesa Blvd. The second path starts on Cannington Dr between Liebel Ct and Hannon Ct to Balboa Ave.

Home Avenue/ 39th St Connector

This very short trail makes travel south of SR-94 possible from Home Avenue. It runs from Home Avenue at SR-94 to Broadway at 39th St. Additional connections can be had at C St. Watch for debris, as this tends to be a dumping spot. This trail is best used for travel from Fairmount Park / southern City Heights to the Golden Hill / Downtown area.

Kelton Road / Federal Blvd Connector

The State Route 94 Freeway breaks up Federal Blvd between San Diego and Lemon Grove. This paved trail connects the two along the south side of the freeway between Kelton Road and eastern Federal Blvd. The trail is unlit and is only lightly maintained. Use caution during rains and at night.

Juniper Canyon Open Space – South Park

There are two major branches to this canyon and I’ve only ridden the east branch so far. This connects Delevan Dr (near SR-94/SR-15) and Boundary St. It follows a streambed, with two crossings, both of which may require carrying. The trail is mostly singletrack. It isn’t terribly useful as a connection unless you are on a very local ride. But still, riding dirt in the city is rare, so it is still nice to have. The other, west branch, connects the north end of Whaley Ave to Juniper St. The upper part is fairly open, the lower a bit more overgrown. I haven’t ridden, so I don’t know the condition of the trail.

Mission Hills Open Space

This open space canyon goes from the 1800 block of Titus St up to Washington Pl at Mission Hills Park. This is a fairly decent singletrack trail, with some sections in the lower half washed out. Not much to it, but it does make for some off road riding in the city.

Rose Canyon Path – La Jolla / Pacific Beach

Connecting Gilman Dr with Santa Fe Ave, this paved path provides much needed through access along the “Coast Corridor”. It partially follows an old alignment of US 101 and the railroad tracks. The north entrance can be a bit tricky to navigate. Getting to it from the northeast, along La Jolla Colony Dr, you either have to make an illegal left turn or ride along the east sidewalk for a short distance. In time, this may change but it looks to be this way for the foreseeable future.

Rose Creek Path – Pacific Beach

Along the same corridor as the similarly named Rose Canyon Path, this one follows Rose Creek from its awkward northern end at Mission Bay Dr and Damon St south to N Mission Bay Dr near De Anza Cove. This trail suffers from poor maintenance and is prone to being covered in various debris along most of its length. Visibility and width issues also plague this trail, in particular where it crosses under Grand Ave and the path around the baseball diamonds to the south. Despite these drawbacks, the path does provide a handy bypass of the busy commercial district along Mission Bay Dr in Pacific Beach.

Sorrento Valley – UTC Trail

Trail between Roselle St and Eastgate Mall runs between locations A and B.
Trail between Roselle St and Eastgate Mall runs between locations A and B.

Sorrento Valley is a tough place to get to by bicycle. Travel from the south tends to involve a freeway shoulder (I-5), a long detour to the east via Carroll Canyon, or a long detour to the west via Torrey Pines. For those with a bike that can handle it, there is another way. Running from the southeast end of Roselle St to Eastgate Mall between Easter Way and Genesee Ave. The trail is usually in good condition, with one stream crossing that can get real muddy about 1/3 from the bottom. As this is a dirt access road for the City, through City owned land, access is not an issue. Some plans do call for this to become an official trail, possibly paved.

State Route 15 Path

North end of the State 15: Mission Valley to Kensington trail

Run along the east side of State Route 15 from Camino Del Rio South in Mission Valley to Adams Ave in Kensington. Connections, albeit awkward, can be had to points north of I-8 via Fairmount Ave or Mission City Parkway.

State Route 52 Bike Path

While not entirely within the City of San Diego, it does serve as decent connector. The path is bi-directional and runs along the north side of the State 52 Freeway from Santo Road in San Diego to Mast Blvd in Santee. There are no intermediate intersections, so keep this in mind when you travel this path. It is separated from the freeway with a concrete barrier. As it goes over Mission Trails Summit (821′), there is a bit of a grade on both sides.

State Route 56 Bike Path

Running from just east of I-5 to Sabre Springs Pkwy, this path follows the majority of State Route 56. West of Carmel Country Rd, the path runs along the south bank of Carmel Valley Creek. Persistent flooding at Carmel Country Rd necessitates a short detour throughout most of the year. East of there, the path runs alongside the freeway with at-grade intersections at each interchange. At Black Mountain Road, the path briefly runs along Azuaga St until it again rejoins the south side of the freeway.

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