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Big Bear Lake Adventures

Wilderness Safaris, in and around Big Bear Lake

ALPINE PEDAL PATH

Hoffman Websites
Butchers Block
Nottinghams Tavern
Sonora Cantina

Difficulty Level – Easy

The junction of the Big Bear Alpine Pedal Path and the Cougar Crest trail.  Highway 18 is in the background at the upper right.

The junction of the Big Bear Alpine Pedal Path and the Cougar Crest trail. Highway 18 is in the background at the upper right. © Rick Keppler

My job demands that I spend most of my time in front of a computer. When it inevitably reaches the point that I think I am about to go postal, I jump in my car, head over to Big Bear’s Alpine Pedal Path, and start walking. Locals just call it the bike path.

The Alpine Bike Path at Big Bear Lake waunders into the woods just past Juniper Point.

The Alpine Bike Path at Big Bear Lake waunders into the woods just past Juniper Point. © Rick Keppler

The Alpine Pedal Path doesn’t really qualify as a hiking trail. It is a paved two and a half mile, well maintained path/trail that begins at Stanfield Cutoff, and meanders it’s way through the forest and meadows along the north shore of Big Bear Lake. Since it is paved, the path is ideal for bicycles, rollerblades, wheel chairs, or pushing a stroller. Along the way, you will discover strategically placed park benches every quarter mile or so, where you can stop to relax and enjoy the views across the lake. If you bring a camera, you won’t be sorry. Over the years, I have captured some pretty spectacular scenic’s and sunsets from many points along the bike path.

The trail head sign on Stanfield states that the path is 3.5 miles long. Maybe it will be some day. It is actually 2.5 miles long. When it was first built in the 1980’s, it was only one mile long, ending at the bridge at the Juniper Point Marina.

As you head west from Stanfield Cutoff, the first mile is fairly open and hugs the shoreline. At Juniper Point the bike path continues. It leaves the shoreline and begins a gentle climb up into the pine forest. As you continue on you will cross a couple of wooden bridges over streams that run year round into the lake. A half mile further along and you will reach the Meadows Edge Picnic Area and the Serrano Campground. Meadows Edge is on the lake, and has picnic tables, restrooms available for public use. It is a good place to have lunch, or just sit and view the lake.

At the Serrano campground the Bike Path splits. This junction is well marked with signs. Heading north will take you under the highway to the Cougar Crest trailhead. The Cougar Crest trail is another favorite hiking trail that takes you up into the mountains for some spectacular views of the whole lake. You can check it out here.

If you continue walking west, back at the Serrano junction, you’ll remain on the bike path. This stretch of the path continues through the woods another mile until it ends at the lake just past the Big Bear Solar observatory.

The Big Bear Solar Observatory located near the west end of the bike path.

The Big Bear Solar Observatory located near the west end of the bike path. © Rick Keppler

The Big Bear Solar observatory has just upgraded its main instrument to a new 1.6m clear aperture telescope, making it the largest solar telescope in the world. It was originally built by Cal Tech in 1966/1968. The little island that it sits on, and the causeway leading out to it are manmade. Currently it is operated by the New Jersey Institute Of Technology. The small dome houses two telescopes on a single mount that perform various functions which include monitoring earth shine and solar flares. For more info on Big Bear Solar telescope operations, click here

When it comes to relieving stress, just 20 or 30 minutes walking on the Bike Path is guaranteed to give you a whole new perspective on life. It is cheaper than drugs or psycho therapy, and a whole lot more effective. Try it sometime.

A FEW MORE PHOTOS OF THE ALPINE PEDAL PATH:

Late afternoon view of the Bike Path and Big Bear Lake from the bridge at Juniper Point.

Late afternoon view of the Bike Path and Big Bear Lake from the bridge at Juniper Point. © Rick Keppler

Winter is a beautiful time of year on the Big Bear Lake Bike Path.

Winter is a beautiful time of year on the Big Bear Lake Bike Path. © Rick Keppler

View of Sugarloaf Mountain through the trees.

View of Sugarloaf Mountain through the trees. © Rick Keppler

The junction of the Big Bear bike path and the Cougar Crest trail. Highway 18 is in the back ground at the right.

The junction of the Big Bear bike path and the Cougar Crest trail. Highway 18 is in the back ground at the right. © Rick Keppler

The Cougar Crest trail as it crosses under highway 18.

The Cougar Crest trail as it crosses under highway 18. © Rick Keppler

The Meadows Edge picnic area on the Big Bear Lake shore line is a great place for lunch.

The Meadows Edge picnic area on the Big Bear Lake shore line is a great place for lunch. © Rick Keppler

With clean and well maintained restrooms, Meadows Edge picnic area is a good place for a pit stop as you trvel along Big Bear's Alpine Pedal Path.

With clean and well maintained restrooms, Meadows Edge picnic area is a good place for a pit stop as you travel along Big Bear's Bike Path. © Rick Keppler

A Big Bear sunset, looking west towards Juniper Point from the Alpine Pedal Path.

A Big Bear sunset, looking west towards Juniper Point from the Alpine Pedal Path. © Rick Keppler

The point at the Morrison boat launch ramp is a great spot to relax and enjoy the lake. © Rick Keppler

The Bike Path reaches the East Public Boat Launch Ramp a few hundred yards west of Stanfield Cutoff. This little peninsula is a great spot to relax and enjoy the lake. © Rick Keppler

There's still a little snow on the ground in this very early spring view of Big Bear Lake. © Rick Keppler

There's still a little snow on the ground in this very early spring view of Big Bear Lake. © Rick Keppler

If your looking for information on Big Bear’s fascinating history, visit the Big Bear History Site.Com or go to the Channel-6 website program guide.  Here you will find the dates and times for the various historical episodes on Channel-6’s Big Bear History Show.

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If you plan on visiting Big Bear Lake, check out Big Bear Cabins and Coupons .Com.  “Cabins and Coupons” has downloadable discount coupons for Dining Out and Shopping with Big Bear merchants. They also have lodges & privately owned cabins for rent of every size and flavor if your looking for a place to stay.

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Butchers Block
Nottinghams Tavern
Old Country Inn

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