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Bay Trail Bike Routes Near Fourth Street East

A silhouette of a cyclist on a biking trail at sunset with the vibrant sky behind them.

The Bay Trail is an incredible and ambitious project by an area that loves the great outdoors. With over 350 miles of trail, this treasure provides safe paths for pedestrians, cyclists, runners, skaters, wheelchair users, and more to explore the Bay Area. The trails run all throughout San Francisco and Oakland, and reach all the way up to Napa and down to Palo Alto. They circle the Bay to provide incredible views of the water and an oasis of nature from the city.

Fourth Street East is near a number of accesses to different parts of the trail, and while we don’t recommend biking all 350 miles at once, we’re ideally located to start exploring different trail sections and get to know this underrated outdoor adventure. Check out our full guide to biking in Oakland.

Here are three routes, for all levels of biking experience, you to get started with exploring this fantastic trail system with Fourth Street East as your home base.

Route 1 (Easy): The Waterfront Cruise (5 miles round trip)

The Bay Trail has a section starting at Jack London Square that goes along the waterfront for about 2.5 miles. This paved, off-road trail gives a scenic view of the Bay and ends at Union Point Park. At this point, you can turn around and celebrate your cycling afternoon at a Jack London Square restaurant.

We love this route because it’s easy to get to from Fourth Street East — a three-block ride down Oak Street puts you right on it. It’s a casual ride perfect for enjoying the neighborhood around your building.

Route 2 (Moderate): The Bay Bridge Ride (18 miles round trip)

The Bay Trail goes partially over the Bay Bridge, and there are plans to build out the rest of the trail so you can bike over the entire Bay Bridge. Currently, parts of this trail is restricted to weekend and holiday usage due to construction, but it’s a great trip that gives you access to a few different viewpoints and Treasure Island. The trail is paved the whole way. This trip is 9 miles each way, so you should plan to be biking for about two hours and bring water and snacks. There are not a lot of places to stop and pick something up if you need it.

Start at Fourth Street East, take 3rd street towards the Bay Bridge, then use Mandela Parkway to switch to 7th street. Turn right on Maritime Street and look for Burma Road, which takes you right to the access point for the Bay Bridge trail. From there, it’s a straightforward ride along the bridge with magnificent water views. Once you reach the Treasure Island area, you can turn around and do it again backwards to come back to Fourth Street East.

What we like about this trail is the ability to really appreciate the beauty of the Bay Bridge and the Bay itself — when we’re driving across in traffic, we’re too stressed to notice.

Route 3: (Advanced): Ride to Point Pinole (36 miles total)

The Bay Trail can take you all the way to Point Pinole from an access on 3rd street just a few blocks away from Fourth Street East. Mind you, this is an 18 mile ride each way, so if you are not prepared for three to four hours in the saddle, you might want to arrange for a pickup at the end point.

A lot of this trail is paved, but some parts are gravel or dirt paths, so you will want to bring out your hybrid or mountain bike for this one.

Point Pinole is worth the trouble — this peaceful, overlooked park and shoreline is less developed than the rest of the waterfront, so you get to enjoy the grasses, flowers, and trees. It’s a hidden oasis just outside our city with some gorgeous mountain views. There is also a fishing pier where you can just enjoy the water or perhaps fish if you strapped a rod to your bicycle.