Cruise around Lake Merritt

Bay Area Bike Rentals Lake MerrittRide the bike path around Lake Merritt

Enjoy an easy 3.5 mile ride around Oakland’s beautiful jewel of a lake. A bike/ped path rings the lake, with many places to stop and sit in the sun or enjoy your lunch. You’ll often hear musicians playing, see tightrope walkers, and witness tai chi or yoga classes.

Ride in the green bike lane on Grand Avenue, or take the inner route.

Bay Area Bikes to Lake Merritt

Park your bike, take a gondola ride!

When you get to the Pergola, you’re at the tip of the Lakeshore area, with shops, bakeries, and other eating and drinking options.  On Saturdays you’ll encounter the Farmer’s Market for year-round fresh local fruit and veggies.

Continue around the lake, there are 3 biking options–the designated street bike lane, the outer path and the inside path next to the water (when crowded, leave this for the pedestrians).  Stop at the south end of the lake and explore the new amphitheater and public arts projects.Just past Lake Merritt Blvd, as you see the historic Camron-Stanford House, you can get on the bike/ped path. If you’re visiting on 3rd Sunday of the month, $5 will get you the tour.

If you have time, head to the amazing  Oakland Museum of California.  Lock your bike in the bike corral out front and head inside for the critically-acclaimed exhibits.

You can have lunch at the Lake Chalet out on the dock, perhaps go for a gondola ride .  If you’re riding with kids, you might want to visit Children’s Fairyland or stop to play at one of the playgrounds in the park.

Rent from Bay Area Bike Rentals and ride the Lake Merritt bike path

Stanford House -Oakland’s first public Museum

Lake Merritt, a bit of history

Lake Merritt, once a tidal marsh on the east shore of the San Francisco Bay was transformed into a 140-acre fresh water/salt water urban lake.  It was Dr. Samuel Merritt (1822-1890), a New Englander who was an early town founder and mayor, who in the 1870s put up his own funds to build a dam at the south end of the tidal marsh to create the lake. In the early 20th century, another mayor, Frank K. Mott (1866-1968), oversaw many lake area improvements, including the construction of a lakeside boulevard, a municipal boathouse (renovated and now the Lake Chalet)  and viewing pavilion and the establishment of the city’s first public museum (today’s Camron-Stanford House).

Bay Trail to Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline

MLK_ParkRide along the shoreline to the MLK Jr. Regional Shoreline Park, 741 acres along the San Leandro Bay.  Birdwatchers take note: the 50-acre Arrowhead Marsh is a stopover on the Pacific Flyway and is part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve.



Bay Area Bike Rentals for Bay Trail rides

From the East Parks website, access this interactive map

Ride on the Bay Bridge Bike Path

Bay Area Bike Rentals for Bike Rentals on Bay Bridge

Rent a bike and ride the Bay Bridge Bike Path

A ride out on the “longest bike pier” is a great way to see our beautiful San Francisco Bay.  The newly-opened, iconic Bay Bridge boasts a bike and pedestrian path that provides views of the Bay that we’ve never before seen from a bike.  However, the old bridge is currently in the way of the path reaching Treasure Island, making this an ‘out and back’ ride of about 8 miles.

Bring water with you; it’s about 4 miles after you start on the pathway (only 2.4 miles on the bridge itself).  Although there is seating built into belvederes along the way, there are no restrooms and no trash bins. The bike and pedestrian path is named after the late East Bay Bicycle Coalition founder and Bay Bridge pathway advocate, Alexander Zuckermann. Look for the plaque bearing his name.

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Bike Ride-Middle Harbor Shoreline Park

MiddleHarbor_night Bike ride to Middle Harbor Shoreline Park

This is our favorite place to watch the firework shows at AT&T Park or on the Embarcadero. A short bike ride takes you to a very serene park with fabulous views of the Bay Bridge and San Francisco.

From Jack London Square, take 3rd Street, turning left at Middle Harbor Shoreline Drive. You’ll climb a short overpass and drop down for a ride with the Port of Oakland operations on your left.  Those large loading cranes were the inspiration for the ‘walkers’ seen in George Lucas’ Wars movies. Ride about 2 miles and turn into the park to discover the Shoreline Bay Trail, estuary views and some of the best views of San Francisco–without the noise and crowds found in the touristy areas. Because of the big rig/container activity, this is best ridden during the evening hours or weekends.

 About the Park

Middle Harbor Shoreline Park is a 38-acre shoreline park built and operated by the Port of Oakland for the community, with more than two miles of pathways encircling Middle Harbor Basin. The park provides unprecedented access to the shoreline, with associated views of the bay, natural habitats and maritime activity.

The park remains open for all visitors from 8am to dusk, year around.Bay Area Bike Rentals bike ride to Middle Harbor Shoreline Park

Picnic/BBQ areas

Why not rent one of the cargo/family bikes and plan for a picnic! Bring your own blanket for lawn picnicking or select a picnic table with a BBQ pit. Picnic areas are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that alcoholic beverages are not allowed in the park; nor are dogs or fireworks.

There are just under three miles of pathways that are available for pedestrians and bicyclists to explore the shoreline and inland areas of the park. These pathways are extensions of the regional San Francisco Bay Trail, and connect directly to the adjacent Port View Park and the West Oakland neighborhood.


The park’s shoreline pathways allow for excellent wildlife observation year-round. Numerous shorebirds, diving ducks, and sea birds can be seen just off shore. Year-round residents include the Forster’s tern, western gull, double-crested cormorant, and brown pelican. Summer visitors include the Caspian tern, least tern, California gull, Canada goose, and snowy egret. Winter visitors include the common goldeneye, ruddy duck, bufflehead, scaup, western sandpiper, dunlin, surf scoter, Western/Clark’s grebe, and eared grebe. Interpretive panels with photos of these birds can be found within the park.

While nearby ship traffic always seems entertaining, the feeding and grooming antics of waterfowl are fascinating. During your visit here, take time to look for the many species of birds that find food and refuge in this area. As the habitat is restored and improved, many animals will return, giving us the chance to observe wildlife in the city.


Cast out a line at Pt. Arnold for great fishing opportunities. A California State fishing license is required to fish at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, with the exception of fishing from the pier at the end of Port View Park, where no California State fishing license is required.


Bike the Golden Gate Bridge

 bike the golden gate bridge with bay area bike rentals

Bike across the Golden Gate Bridge

Why mess with the hassle of renting a bike in San Francisco when you can start your journey from Jack London Square? Start your self-guided bike tour of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge with a ferry ride right out Bay Area Bikes’ back door. Here’s the perfect day trip on bike; suitable for all abilities.

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