With an extension dedicated in 2010, the Penn Valley Bike Trail now runs 1.7 miles from the Penn Valley Village Center all the way to the Park & Ride lot at Highway 20 and Pleasant Valley Road. Traversing much of the community, it offers an easy and enjoyable way for locals and visitors to bike or walk between neighborhoods and to access Western Gateway Park.
Place: Penn Valley, CA
Season: Year around
Land: Right of way on public and private land
Trail signs: Start/End sign at trailhead; “stop and walk” signs at public road crossings
Length: 1.7 miles one way
Altitude change: Slight
Trail surface: Paved
Environment: Commercial and residential areas with some areas of oak woodland and pines
Rules: Posted “stop and walk” at public road crossings; keep right of center line
Trailhead: To reach the main trailhead from Grass Valley, take Highway 20 west 5.6 miles and turn left at the light onto Penn Valley Drive. Follow it 0.6 mile to the center of town. Just before the stop sign, turn right into the Penn Valley Village Center (shopping center).
The trailhead is in the shopping center. Look for the paved path and a “Bike Path – Begin” sign in the most southerly part of the shopping center parking lot — close to the intersection of Penn Valley Drive and Spenceville Road (N39.19731 W121.17710). The path goes out to and across Penn Valley Drive where it turns west and follows Penn Valley Drive.
It is possible, of course, to access the bike trail at any point along its length. The farthest point west on the trail is at the intersection of Penn Valley Drive and Pleasant Valley Road by the Pleasant Valley Park & Ride lot along Highway 20. Western Gateway Park, at about the mid-point of the trail along Penn Valley Drive, is another good place to start or end. There are bike racks in the park near the restrooms at the top of the central landscaped green.
Note: For a description of trails in Western Gateway Park, see separate entry on this website under Trails > Trails Portal.
Trail Tips: Starting at the Penn Valley Village Center, the path stays along the south side of Penn Valley Drive for 0.4 mile then crosses the road to the north side. The pathway then continues for another 1.3 miles to its end at Pleasant Valley Road. (The main entrance to Western Gateway Park is 0.9 miles from the trailhead in the Penn Valley Village Center.)
While separated from the main roadway, this bike trail crosses more than a dozen driveways and several streets along its 1.7 mile length. Watch carefully for vehicles that might be crossing the trail from either direction. Take particular care where the bike trail crosses Penn Valley Drive. There is no crosswalk painted on the road and the crossing is not clearly posted for motorists who are using the roadway.
There are plans, as yet not implemented, to extend the Penn Valley Bike Trail at both ends — toward Lake Wildwood and toward Rough & Ready. In the meantime, cyclists have many options for rides on Penn Valley area roads that adjoin or are accessible from the Penn Valley Bike Trail.