“Fat tire” mountain biking in and around Stockton and San Joaquin County

Wondering where you could ride your mountain bike in or nearby the Stockton/San Joaquin County area, and go beyond where road bikes with their skinny tires can go? So was I; here are suggestions from local bikers, from Facebook friends and from me:

You never know who you might meet on a mountain bike!

Patrice Perkins offers: Try the levee off of Eight Mile Road next to the park (Tim’s note: it begins where the Pixley Slough paved levee trail ends; get on the paved portion of the trail at Trinity Parkway and McAuliffe, just south of Walmart in Spanos Park, then head west. The gravel trail continues west to Paradise Point Marina and other interesting spots on the Delta). Patrice adds: Lots of Delta water out there and a great view of Mt. Diabolo on clear days. Good spot for dogs, as well.

Patrick Dean suggests: I ride New Hogan Reservoir trail every couple weeks; it’s about a 45 minute drive though. You can also get to Auburn/Forest Hill trail system in about an hour and Napa Skyline Park in about an hour.

Several riders suggest: check with Tyler at Performance Bicycle in Stockton; he leads a mountain bike ride every Wednesday from the shop. He knows many trails and levies to ride on in the area.

I suggest: the  Hammer Lane/Shima Tract levee at the west end of Hammer Lane; go to the west end of Hammer, take a left at the light on Mariner’s Drive then a right and park in Voyager, a little dead-end street up against the levee. The trail, which loops Shima Tract, is about 9 miles, nicely graveled and gets into scenic Delta backcountry on the far side.

Round Valley Regional Park, about 35 miles west of Stockton. Go west on Hwy. 4; just past Discovery Bay, take a left at the light on the Byron Hwy., to the town of Byron, then go west on the Camino Diablo Rd. which becomes Marsh Creek Rd. to the park (19450 Marsh Creek Rd., Brentwood). Large parking area, and access to beautiful trails in the foothills on the east side of Mount Diablo.

Group of riders readying for the Calaveras Trail, near UOP. This trail connects to 'fat tire' mountain bike options both on its west and east ends - taking one to levy-top trails fit just for mountain bikes.

Another suggestion, if you want more trails and real hills, Black Diamond Mines Regional Park, just south of Antioch, CA (the park is also the site of the amazing history of California’s coal and sand mines, that ran from the 1850s into this century).

What other mountain biking treks in the Stockton/San Joaquin County area would you suggest? Send your suggestions to me, tviall@msn.com, and I will share them!

Read more from Tim Viall’s travel blog, follow him on Facebook or Twitter; or, email him at tviall@msn.com. Safe pedaling in the west!

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