Today was a beautiful day, so naturally I had to hit the beach. Rather than just driving, I took the scenic route and rode my bike along the Bob Jones trail to Avila Beach. It was beautiful.
This fully paved five mile round trip walk, jog, or ride features views of the San Luis Creek and the Avila Beach Golf Resort Golf Course. The trip is relatively flat and shaded in many parts making it a great opportunity to get outside (and even to end up at the beach!). It is a great trip for any age or physical fitness level surrounded by excellent scenery. As always, make sure to bring water and put on sunblock before heading out on your adventure.
It was a sunny Sunday afternoon in San Luis Obispo, so I put my bike in my car, and drove to the trailhead on Ontario road. If my Toyota Yaris can haul my bike and make the trip, so can you 😉
To begin the ride, cross Ontario street and watch out for cross traffic as the cars from either side do not have to stop. There is a crosswalk, but still be careful on this busy road. The trail is well marked, and this is what you will see on the other side of the road.
After riding for a few minutes you’ll reach the sign that honors Bob Jones and explains why the trail is named after him. He was a local activist and in 1983 retired to Avila Valley, until he passed away in 1994.
There are many other people who use the trail, especially on a busy day, so make sure to be courteous to those around you by signaling to them that you’re coming up from behind, and warning them of your presence. If you want to stop and take a break, there are benches which are littered along the sides of the path every once in a while which allow you to relax and take in the scenery.
Eventually you will come to a fork in the path. Go left. The Bob Jones trail continues on toward the left and goes underneath a bridge toward the shade. I’m not sure where you’d go if you went straight but it wouldn’t take you to finish off this amazing ride, which is why you should go left!
Once under the bridge you’ll ride past the Avila Village Inn. Make sure to stay on the path here too, and respect the property and the guests of the Avila Village Inn.
Coming up on the left side of the path is a playground.
There’s a basketball hoop as well a little ways up from here, and a helpful sign to put your location in perspective…
A few tenths of a mile further up, the road will become wider and you near the property of the Avila Beach Resort Golf Course. In this area it is important to remember to be respectful of the golfers and the golf carts, as they have the right of way. Bike vs Golf cart = not a happy ending for either party….
At around this time, you will also reach the San Luis Creek! It’s a peaceful place to stop and take in your surroundings when you’re only about a mile out from the beach.
Now begins the journey through the golf course. There’s a slight uphill here, but unless you’re like me the LAST time I tried to bike the Bob Jones trail with flat tires, you’ll make it up the hill no problem. (side note: never EVER try to do a five mile bike ride on flat tires after hiking Bishop’s peak earlier in the day, with your sorority big who bikes at Mock-9 speed…)
The last part of the ride is easy, biking over a beautiful bridge and then into a shaded tunnel of vines and flowers.
The flowery fencing will open up into the city of Avila and all of its bright colors and sandy wonders. After you cross the street, you’re at Avila beach and pier.
Make sure not to forget your bike lock so that you can lock your bike somewhere along the pier rather than having to bring it on the beach with you (I got a lot of weird looks…). And enjoy your triumph in the sun for having biked the Bob Jones trail to the sea.
I had to lie down on the ground to set up my camera’s self timer for that top left shot and also got a lot of weird looks there, too. But it’s a great shot so it was definitely worth it. All in all, Sunday well spent!
Get out there and walk, ride, or jog the all-fitness-level friendly Bob Jones trail next time you’re looking for a prime opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy the Central Coast sunshine.
Address: 7001 Ontario Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
Trailhead coordinates: 35.185651, -120.703016 (35° 11′ 08.34″N 120° 42′ 10.85″W)
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