Two Bridges: Benicia Martinez-Lake Herman-Zampa Carquinez

Saturday, August 9, 2014

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Today’s clock wise loop goes across the Benicia-Martinez Bridge for a roll out to Lake Herman Recreation Area. It continues through the city streets of Vallejo to the Carquinez Bridge Trail on Zampa Carquinez Bridge. The return to Martinez includes a climb up Cummings Skywy and a fun rolling descent on Franklin Canyon Rd.

We head north on Morello Ave to the outskirt of town on Pacheco Blvd towards the refinery on Shell Ave.

The Bike/Ped path on the Benicia-Martinez Bridge crosses Carquinez Strait with scenic views of the blue waterway and Franklin Hills. The path climbs for about a mile with an average grade of 4% followed by a quick descent onto Park Rd in Benicia.

Park Rd goes pass the Benicia Historical Museum and drops down through Valero Refinery to Benicia’s Industrial Park area on Industrial Way.

While riding along Industrial Way, you can catch a whiff of the sugary goodness from the Cytomax sports nutrition products being manufactured at Cytosport-it smells like artificial cotton candy! The road does offer great views of the diminishing Mothball Fleet at Suisun Bay.

Lake Herman Rd takes us across I-680 onto rolling terrain to Lake Herman Recreation Area. This back road runs 5.5 miles from the east end in Benicia to the west end in Vallejo with views of the soft golden rolling hills and a glimpse of the local refineries.

We make a brief stop at Lake Herman; there are porta-potties and NO WATER.

Lake Herman Rd continues west for a short half mile climb up to the ranch at Sky Valley.

The road levels out for a short bit before climbing up for the next 0.6 mile with gradient ranges of 4-6%.

Lake Herman Rd eases up with lesser grades of 3-4% up to the quarry at Syar Industries.

The road continues to the outskirt of Vallejo onto Columbus Pkwy.

We head south on Columbus Pkwy for the descent onto Benicia Rd.

Benicia Rd goes pass St Patrick-St Vincent High School to All Souls Catholic Cemetery at Glen Cove Rd.

Glen Cove Rd crosses over I-780 to the Beverly Hills residential neighborhood on Fulton Ave and Magazine St in Vallejo. We take 5th St to Sequoia and Maritime Academy Dr.

The Carquinez Bridge Trail off Maritime Dr leads us across the Zampa Carquinez Bridge to the Vista Point.

Take the time to enjoy the views of the bridge, San Pablo Bay, Mare Island and Crockett. At Semple Point near the foot of the pier, look for the huge osprey nest sitting atop of the light pole!

We continue across the bridge into Crockett.

The climb on San Pablo Ave takes us up and over Crockett Hills to Cummings Skywy. Check out the views from the lookout point!

Cummings Skywy goes 4.2 miles along Franklin Ridge to Franklin Canyon Rd. The first half mile climb up to the Hwy 4 overpass has gradient ranges of 7-10%. Don’t forget to look for the horse mural on the side of the hill!


The climbing continues for the next 1.5 miles with an average grade of 4.7% up to the traffic light at Crockett Blvd.

The road eases up and gently climbs for another 0.7 mile before descending along the ridge to Franklin Canyon Rd.

The rolling descent on Franklin Canyon Rd goes on for 4.4 miles to Alhambra Ave.

We head SE on Alhambra Ave to the short climb up Vine Hill Way and make our way back to Holiday Highlands Park on Center, Glacier and Arnold Dr.

This scenic ride gets you out across two bridges with fabulous views of Carquinez  Strait and San Pablo Bay! Depending on your pace, this ride can be done in 2.5-4 hours and still give you plenty of time left in the day to do something else. It’s one of our favorite back yard routes-give it a try!

Garmin Stats:
36.06 Miles with 2533′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 648′
Max grade: 9%
Terrain: Moderately hilly

Weather: Sunny and warm with temps ranging from the mid 60’s to the low 90’s. Brisk SW winds with 68% humidity.

Click here to view the interactive route map & elevation profile


Follow this route for today’s ride:

One Comment

  1. Lovely pics as usual. I especially like the Osprey in the nest. Thank you for chronicling your rides.

    Melarie, Thanks for following the blog-it’s greatly appreciated! Hope all is well with you and Mike. Nancy


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