Lake Herman-Benicia

Saturday, February 1, 2014

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Today we’re heading out for a short ride that crosses the Benicia-Martinez Bridge for a counter clockwise lollipop loop along Lake Herman Rd to Columbus Pkwy. The route continues along the Bay Area Ridge Trail to Downtown Benicia and the waterfront area down 1st St. The path through the Marina leads back to the bridge crossing to Martinez.

From Holiday Highlands Park, it’s a quick 3.3 miles through the city streets of Martinez to the Bike/Ped path off Mococo St.

The mile long incline across the bridge has an average grade of 4.5% up to the center of the path before dropping to the other side onto Park Rd in Benicia.

Park Rd takes us pass the Benicia Historical Museum and the multiple car lots before the descent along the pipe lines to the Valero Oil Refinery.

We head north on Industrial Way under the Benicia Trestle through the industrial area along Suisun Bay. There are marvelous views of the Mothball Fleet, Mt Diablo and the surrounding marshes and wetlands along Goodyear Slough.

We head west and cross I-680 to the rolling climbs on Lake Herman Rd. This two lane back road has minimal traffic with views of the gentle golden hillsides and of course the backyard refineries!

The rolling terrain leads us to the stop at Lake Herman Recreation Area; there are porta-potties but no water-the water fountain is dry.

We continue west on Lake Herman Rd to the cattle ranch and farm structures around Sky Valley.

From the Sky Valley, there is a short climb towards quarry at Syar Industries; it’s 0.4 mile with 6-9% grades. Lake Herman Rd ends at the outskirts of Vallejo at Columbus Pkwy.

The descent on Columbus Pkwy winds down through the residential subdivisions along the edge of Vallejo to the strip malls at Rose Center in Benicia.

We hop onto the sidewalk off Rose St and take the path across I-780 to the Bay Area Ridge Trail through Benicia State Recreation Area.

W K St leads us along the residential neighborhoods to Benicia’s downtown waterfront area on 1st St.

We ride out to the end of the road on 1st St and stop at Benicia Point Pier. This is a great place to take in the views of the Carquinez Bridge and Benicia-Martinez Bridge, the blue waters of the Carquinez Strait and the Franklin Hills.

We meander along the path around Benicia Marina to the exit at Turnbull Park.

E 5th St and Military E take us back to the bridge crossing off Park Rd.

From the Benicia-Martinez Bridge, there are fantastic views of the ports in Carquinez Strait, Franklins hills, regional shoreline and open space preserves.

At the other end of the path in Martinez, we simply reverse our route back on Shell Ave, Pacheco Blvd and Morello Ave to Holiday Highlands Park.

Not every ride has to be arduous and long, this short scenic ride allows for an later start time and earlier return with plenty of time in the afternoon to do other things.

Garmin Stats:
28.52 Miles with 1509′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 423′
Max grade: 9%
Terrain: Some Hills

Weather: GREAT! Sunny, cool and breezy with temps ranging from the mid 40’s to the low 60’s. Breezy NW winds with 66% humidity

Always find time for things that make you feel happy to be alive.


Click here to view the interactive route map & profile


Follow this route for today’s ride:



  1. Amazing how the smallest amount of rain can “green up” the hills at least just a little.

    Yes, indeed! I saw some yellow mustards along the median on Hwy 4. Nancy


  2. The picture of Park Road where Michael is riding is about 40 feet from where I crashed going downhill direction. Dawn Tso had a blow-out right in front of me and when she went down I had nowhere to go but over the bars at 16mph. Tore my tendons in right shoulder and was off the bike for 5 weeks. All healed up now! jim

    Jim, Good to know you’ve recovered and back on the road! Be safe. Nancy


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