Last month, Cycle California! and Found by Bike explored various areas around California and Southern Oregon where bicyclists can find that pop of autumnal color. This month we peep at leaves at lower altitudes where the colors are just starting to make their appearance.
Lithia Park, Ashland, Oregon
At 1,949 feet, Ashland is one of the places you will find fall colors later in the season—and you don’t have to ride your bike far to find them. The trees in Lithia Park, in downtown Ashland, become vibrant with reds and yellows as autumn leaves its mark on the season.
Lithia Park is a 93-acre urban park that straddles Ashland Creek; you can easily access the park by bike. Once you arrive, you’ll have to find a bike rack and lock your bike. You will find the autumnal colors of the Japanese and Big Leaf Maple trees along the 1-mile long Woodland Trail.
The 93 acres of forested canyonland in downtown Ashland's Lithia Park is a fall color wonderland, intermixing local deciduous trees with ones unfamiliar to Oregon forests, like European beech, Japanese snowbell and eastern flowering dogwood.
Every September, the Plaza at Lithia Park is the starting point for the Mt. Ashland Hill Climb. The event has mountain bike and road bike categories along different courses. It is a steep, as you take your mountain bike up, up, up the trails to the top of the mountain along trails.
Aprés Ride Refreshment
Breakfast/Lunch: The Breadboard Restaurant, 744 N. Main St. (541) 488-0295
Dinner: Taj of Ashland, 31 Water St., (541) 488-5900
Larks Home Kitchen, 212 E. Main St., (541) 488-5558
Stretching more than 400 miles in the heart of California, the Sacramento river offers so many possibilities for bicyclists to observe the transition from summer to fall and fall to winter. In Redding, the river rolls right through it and so does the Sacramento River Trail, which is a paved, five-and-a-half miles with lovely views of the changing colors.
Off-road riders will enjoy the Hornbeck and Lower Sacramento Ditch Trails. The upper Hornbeck Trail, which is four miles one way, has a great lookout point, named Freitas Overlook, that faces Keswick lake. The Lower Sacramento Ditch Trail is a little shorter at 2.8 miles one way, but offers lots of switch backs and turns for the more advanced rider. Make sure to bring lots of water on those hot days, because there are no drinking fountains along the way.
Aprés Ride Refreshment
Drinks: Woody’s Brewing Co., 1257 Oregon St. (530) 768-1034
Breakfast/Lunch: Deja Vu Restaurant, 1590 California St., (530) 244-4272
Dinner: Cinders Wood Fired Pizza, 1415 Market St., (530) 605-0665
Find any bike trail near you!
If getting away to far-flung destinations is too much at this time of year, take a ride on a local bike trail.