Bike … Hike … Skate
Bicycle Sundays on Cañada Road, Belmont, CA
This Sunday bicycle adventure is fun for bikers of all skill levels and ages. It is blocked to auto traffic every Sunday, 9 am-3 pm year round (subject to weather). The ride is conveniently located just off Hwy 280 on lovely Canada Road for approximately 2 miles between state Highway 92 and the Filoli Estate entrance. See Map.
This ride provides beautiful scenery, smooth asphalt pavement, and easy rolling hills. It is great for beginning bikers (even families with very small children take the Sunday two mile ride from Hwy 92 to Pulgas Temple), intermediate riders (seven mile ride from Hwy 92 to Woodside), or as a starting segment for advanced cyclists.
Below are stopping points (see our Canada Road Bicycle Sunday map), pictures, and comments about what you will see when you bike south on Canada Road from Hwy 92 to Woodside Road. For another paved hiking and biking trail also check out the popular Sawyer Camp trail.
Hwy 92/Canada Road
You can park your car near the north end of Upper Crystal Springs Reservoir where Canada Rd intersects Hwy 92. On Sundays you will see many other bikers’ cars already parked and signs that block Canada Road to auto traffic. Heading south you will quickly feel as if you are in a Swedish countryside with no freeways in sight … only a lake on one side and rolling hills on the other.
The smooth asphalt roadway is is also a nice place to in-line skate or you can hike adjacent dirt trails located several feet off the road towards the lake.
Pulgas Water Temple
After about 2.2 miles you can see Pulgas Water Temple on the west side of the road. Sorry, but it’s not open weekends … only Monday-Friday 9 am-4 pm. The temple was erected in 1934 as a monument and end point of the 160 mile Hetchy Hetchy Aqueduct which still provides water for the City of San Francisco and Peninsula customers. Until 2004 you could actually see the water rushing under the water temple but now it is diverted to a nearby water treatment plant.
The temple sits within a 23,000 acre watershed which is why the area remains so natural and beautiful. This watershed is a Fish & Game reserve with one of the highest concentrations of rare, endangered species of flora and fauna in the Bay area
Filoli, at 86 Canada Road, Woodside, a half mile south of the Pulgas Water Temple, is a national historical monument and its gardens are recognized as one of the finest examples of early 1900s English Renaissance garden architecture in the United States.
The word Filoli is short for the original owner’s creed “Fight for a just cause; love your fellow man; live a good life.” He (William Bowers Bourn, owner of the Empire Gold Mine and Spring Valley Water Company) had famous California architect Willis Polk design his retirement estate here in 1915 and it is still regarded as one of the most beautiful estates in California. The grounds consists of 16 acres of formal gardens on a 654 acre private estate. You may have already seen the main house on “Dynasty,” a TV series where it was used as the Carrington Mansion.
There is an admission charge of $20/adult to get inside Filoli. We feel it is worth a separate visit by car just to see the mansion and gardens, especially in spring. See more details.
Edgewood Road Exit off Hwy 280
You can get to Filoli via car by driving north on Canada Rd from the Hwy 280/Edgewood Road exit. On Sundays, immediately north of Filoli is where auto traffic is stopped for bikers.
Heading further south on Canada Road to Woodside Road the scenery is very nice though not so amazingly beautiful. The terrain is similar but Hwy 280 is now often visible and no more lakes are to be seen. There are sidewalks & horseback riding trails but usually no hiking trails unless you take the Crystal Springs hiking trailhead a few hundred yards south of Edgewood Road.
A good end destination for your Sunday 7 mile bike trek is Woodside Bakery, 3052 Woodside Rd, Woodside, CA. The food is OK and, being the only game in town, is a favorite with the many weekend bikers who buzz around Woodside. By the way, the professional Amgen biking tour rode by this Bakery while going through Woodside this year.
If you are a more serious biker you might extend your ride by enjoying the quiet forested streets in Woodside, heading on up to Skyline Drive via Old La Honda Road or Kings Mountain Road. Or, you can take a round trip to Stanford via Whiskey Hill Rd – Sand Hill Rd and back via Alpine Rd – Portola Rd – Mountain Home Rd. Check Google for more details.
Try Bicycle Sundays on Canada Road, between Belmont and Woodside, for a beautiful pleasant way to get your exercise! If you want more exercise connect to the rides out of Woodside (to the south) or to Sawyer Camp Trail (to the north via the short Ralston Ave Bike Trail over Hwy 280 adjacent Hwy 92).
- Skyline Ridge Biking – good advanced biking nearby.
- Sawyer Camp hiking & biking trail the most popular trail in San Mateo County.
- Belmont’s Best Parks & Dog Walks
- San Francisco Biking – more places to bike near SF.
- Lily’s Crepes – another place biker’s riding between Canada Rd and Sawyer Camp like to eat.
- Crystal Springs Regional Trail – a planned 17.5 trail which will include a San Andreas segment, a Sawyer Camp segment (i.e., Sawyer Camp Trail), and a Crystal Springs segment (i.e., Canada Rd Sunday Biking).
- San Mateo County Parks – Short descriptions of nearby county trails. Also see Bicycle Sundays.
- Back from Sawyer Camp Trail to San Mateo Things To Do
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