Thursday, September 23, 2010

trailing bob jones

Sorry folks, this is about an easy hike/bike trail near San Luis Obispo, CA named for a central coast conservation activist not the evangelist namesake of Bob Jones University.

If you live near or are visiting San Luis Obispo here's an excellent choice for a nice walk or an easy bike ride. The a-go-gos and most of the family were looking for a bike ride that everyone could manage including the nephew a-go-go who's legs are still short. The Bob Jones City to Sea Trail fit the bill nicely. Here are directions and a map. and for the curious here's some tidbits about the man and the eventual plan for the trail. For now the trail is only 1.5 miles but some day it will connect the city of San Luis Obispo with Avila Beach.
ring ring

If you want to make the short journey on a weekend it's a good idea to arrive early. The parking area is small and will likely fill by 10am on nice weekend mornings. We set out at 8:30 when the typical summer coastal fog was still drifting over the hills. That kept us nice and cool until about 11am on our way back.

The trail winds along San Luis Obispo Creek though it isn't visible much of the way. We've made this short trek before and are still fascinated by the stalled development pictured above (this is a picture from a year ago on a day with no fog). The steel columns look like something out of a Time Machine film set. Much of the canyon is developed and the trail skirts some condo clusters, a Buddhist temple, and a golf course but it is still a pretty ride.
 On our way to Avila we passed several joggers and dog walkers. By the time we were headed back the trail was quite a dog party and people were neglecting the "keep right" policy causing a little chaos. After about 3/4 mile the trail comes in view of the creek and joins Blue Heron Drive. This is an active road shared with auto traffic though the speed limit is 20mph and the drivers were all very courteous and patient with the pedestrians and bikes.

After leaving Blue Heron Drive the trail meanders through the golf greens, crosses the creek on a small truss bridge, and ends at a pedestrian crossing of Avila Beach Drive. If you wish you can continue on Avila Beach Drive. It skirts the bay and dead ends at the pier on the West side. The sea lions are often hanging around barking and growling at each other and there's the Olde Port Inn at the end of the pier.

We chose to continue on San Miguel Street which leads to Avila's beach front walkway. Lining Front Street there are several places to get a cup of coffee, a dab of ice cream, or a sandwich.

We locked up the bikes (One thing missing here is bike racks. There are a couple here and there but most people seem to use the railing along the walkway.) and took a walk out to the end of Avila Pier (this one's on the East side of the bay). The fog was still with us so our photos are mostly of things fading to white, but mrs. a-go-go got some excellent shots of dew spangled spider webs.
The pier was just long enough and the fog just thick enough that we seemed to be taking a bridge to nowhere. Looking back from the far end the shore faded into a faint horizon.
Morning fog and cool temperatures is the norm for a summer day at Avila, but any time of year is a good time to visit. Often the best beach days here are in the Fall and Spring, so put that bike on the rack and go. For those with more muscles and more ambition the ride from San Luis Obispo to Avila can be made on the asphalt even though the future dream of the City to Sea Trail is incomplete. It's only about 10 miles. C'mon you can do it.


  1. Love the people in San Luis Obispo, love the weather, and the surf, cannot wait to go back and try the trai.

  2. Just as I hit post comment I saw I left the l off of trail.

  3. Had to come back to peek at the Octagon Barn one more time... something about it speaks to me.



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