Biking in Chico: Ride, Explore, and Embrace the Epic Outdoors

Biking is one of the most popular activities to enjoy in Chico any time of year. Explore the bike paths that intertwine the city with neighboring communities, or enjoy the high-quality mountain bike trails in Bidwell Park

Exploring Chico by bicycle is fun and easy, with 11 paved, multi-use biking paths throughout the city. Most establishments in Chico are bicycle friendly, which means there is usually well-lit and secure bike parking nearby. You’ll also find many ways to ride your bike to popular creeksides, swimming holes, or even the Sacramento River for more outdoor fun.

On average, there are over 300 sunny days a year in Chico, which means biking is a year-round activity for most. Throughout the spring and summer, there are regular group rides that vary in distance, speed, and style. Community members will often call out opportunities to join for a “decide and ride,” with descriptions of the type of ride they are expecting: 

  • Road rides usually are between 20-50 miles and have minimal climbing.
  • Gravel rides can be flat, like on the levees or in Lower Bidwell Park. 
  • Mountain Bike rides in Upper Bidwell Park are beginner friendly near Horseshoe Lake, and increase sharply in skill level as the trails leave flat ground. Know before you go!

Find these rides by exploring social media or calling one of the bike shops and asking them for a current menu of weekly group rides. Good apps for local biking are Ride with GPS, Trailforks, and Strava.

From the Sierra Nevada foothills to the Sacramento River, everything in Chico is a bike ride waiting to happen!

Two male teens mountain biking
North State Composite Mountain Bike Team

Hit the Road

  • Search for Chico on your navigation app and choose your mode of transportation as “bicycle”: Find the biking paths and routes that are best for alternative transportation. 
  • Download “Ride with GPS” to find great rides: Chico Velo, Chico’s vital non-profit bicycle advocacy group, has a route club that shows many rides in and around Chico that will interest locals and visitors alike! Download the app on your smartphone and explore the map to see what excites you!
  • Ask for recommendations from the local bike shops: They know the ins and outs of cycling in Chico. If you’re not sure where or what to ride, the rules, what to put in your flat kit, or how to find information, they will be sure to steer you in the right direction. 

Know Before You Go

Almost every bikeway in Chico is multi-use, with the exception of Upper Bidwell Park, where some trails are pedestrian-only. This means that knowing the rules of the road, trail etiquette, and having the right gear is important wherever you ride! 

  • Road Rules: Follow traffic laws, wear a helmet, and ride at safe speeds for your ability and conditions. We recommend using the bike routes that connect the city! 
  • Trail Etiquette: Yield to pedestrians, equestrians, and uphill riders. Please do not modify trails. Stay on the right side of the pathways in Upper and Lower Bidwell Park. 
  • Recommended Accessories: Front and rear lights (for daytime and nighttime riding), bicycle lock, a map, and a flat kit, just in case! Don’t forget to stay hydrated and fueled. 
A father and son biking in Lower Bidwell Park
Family fall biking in Lower Bidwell Park

Biking Essentials

Bike rentals are limited, but most bike shops offer them. Visitors can call these local biking favorites and reserve rental bikes ahead of time. Need a tune-up? These shops can help with that, too. 

Campus Bicycles
(Photo Courtesy Campus Bicycles)