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Alpine Pedal Path Circular Hike, Big Bear

Alpine Pedal Path Circular Hike, Big Bear Lake, California USA

Walk Distance: 1.6 miles / 2.5 km

Walk Duration: 1 hour at steady, kid-friendly pace.

Suitable for: All the family. Strollers and scooters/bikes etc. can be used on the first half of the walk as a there-and-back-again route, as this section is on smooth, paved cycle track. The second section is on rough, sometimes wet, ground and at times a little too narrow to comfortably use an all-terrain stroller.

Walk Features: Beautiful views of Big Bear Lake, woodland, lots of pine cones in fall, birds, wildlife, toilet facilities, picnic tables and grills.

Kate says: 

“We have walked the Alpine Pedal Path at Big Bear Lake several times now. It is favourite spot to visit in fall when the kids love collecting the huge pine cones!

The hike goes along the pedal path, returning along the lake shore on a rough, more secluded, footpath.

The outward section is perfect for kids wanting to balance bike or scoot and can be walked as a simple there-and-back again walk, with options to continue further on the pedal path.

If you have time, you can also extend your walk at the end by continuing on the trail under the main road for a visit to the Discovery Center. ‘

Walk Description:

The Alpine Pedal Path Circular Hike can be started from either the Juniper Point Parking Lot or the Meadows Edge Park Parking Lot. The whole circular hike is easier followed in the direction described below, as finding the trail starting point from Meadows Edge parking lot can be tricky when walking it in reverse.

This route assumes you are starting from the Meadows Edge Park end but if you find yourself at Juniper Point, you will be beginning the route from where this route merges onto the footpath at the end of the pedal path (I’ll mark it on the route description below).

Alpine Pedal Path Circular Hike, Big Bear Lake, California USA

From the Meadows Edge parking lot you should easily find the start of the Alpine Pedal Path – it is on your left shortly after you turn into the parking lot from the main road an can also be accessed from the lower parking for Meadows Edge Picnic Area.

Alpine Pedal Path Circular Hike, Big Bear Lake, California USA

Head down the Alpine Pedal Path, ignoring the turn-off to the right (this is the connecting trail Meadows Edge Picnic Area parking. Continue on the pedal path through the woodland before the path opens out onto views of Big Bear Lake near a nature information board.

Alpine Pedal Path Circular Hike, Big Bear Lake, California USA

The route continues on the pedal path, with several scenically placed benches to take a break and enjoy the views along this stretch. After a couple of wooden bridges, you will reach Juniper Point parking lot.

Turn right. At the next bend, you will come to a trail intersection. This is the turn-about point for those walking the route as a there-and-back-again wheel-friendly route.

There is a gate to Juniper Point parking lot on your left (*the starting point of the walk for those using this parking lot). The pedal path continues to the left – an option for those wishing to extend the wheel-friendly section of this hike.

Alpine Pedal Path Circular Hike, Big Bear Lake, California USA

For those continuing on the full loop, take instead the path to your right, down towards the lake shore. This trail is paved (though bumpy) as far as the picnic area on your left as your approach the lake.

As the trail leaves the picnic area behind and bends right to follow the lake shoreline, the path becomes narrower and unpaved. It can be wet in places at some times of year and passes over several wooden plank bridges.

Alpine Pedal Path Circular Hike, Big Bear Lake, California USA

As the trail continues it weaves in and out of trees until it bends back inland a little and reenters proper forest and the track becomes paved once more. You shortly pass Meadows Edge Picnic Area. Ignore the trails to the right hand side that lead to the parking lot.

Pass the toilet block on your right (///nines.hustlers.prime).

A short distance beyond, by the water fountain and picnic area, the paved trail bends to the right. You will see another dirt track continuing straight on ahead past the water fountain (///confuses.afford.squirrel). Take this dirt track.

Alpine Pedal Path Circular Hike, Big Bear Lake, California USA

The trail now winds through a secluded patch of forest. Listen out for woodpeckers – we have seen several on our visits here!

Follow the main trail as it curves up to the right, following along the perimeter of the caravan park. The trail emerges onto an area of scrub adjacent to the Meadows Edge Picnic Area parking lot access road.

Alpine Pedal Path Circular Hike, Big Bear Lake, California USA

Cross over the road and follow the small trail through the patch of scrub directly opposite, emerging back at the start of the Alpine Pedal Path Trail where this hike began.

Map of Route:

Directions:

The Alpine Pedal Path Circular Hike can be access by bus from the Highway 18 Discovery Center/Serrano Campground stop on the OTM 5 service.

Parking is available at Meadows Edge and Juniper Point parking lots, or you can join the trail through an interconnecting trail from the nearby Discovery Center parking lot.

Parking requires an Adventure Pass – find a list of suppliers here.

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