As city residents, we constantly yearn for nature and are up for any adventure that takes us away from the urban jungle. Fortunately, scenic biking routes within and near Manila are just a short ride away. These trails cater to all types of cyclists, from winding roads with stunning views to challenging uphill climbs. So bring a cycling buddy and prepare for an unforgettable ride.
Bike trails in Manila
1) MOA Seaside Loop
Cyclists in the southern region are increasingly favoring SM Mall of Asia (MOA) as a biking destination. Its smooth, paved roads make for a fun and effortless ride, especially along the Seaside Loop, which offers a refreshing breeze and scenic views of Manila Bay. MOA has been designed bike-friendly by SM, with ample bike parking, bike-centric street signs, and vending machines for refreshments. Plan your ride earlier in the morning to avoid crowds and hot temperatures, as SM MOA is still a public area.
2) La Mesa Nature Reserve
La Mesa Nature Reserve, also called the La Mesa Watershed, is a popular spot for north residents seeking a relaxing break. The protected 2,700-hectare area, which includes the La Mesa Dam, a vital water source for the city, boasts a 52-kilometer trail that appeals to both novice and seasoned riders with its mix of single tracks and dirt roads. It is also a popular venue for bike races, making it a must-visit destination for cyclists. The stunning reservoir and lush greenery only add to the charm. Note that this is distinct from La Mesa Eco Park.
3) Marikina River Park
Marikina River Park is a great starting point if you are a beginner cyclist. The 220-hectare complex offers an 11-kilometer pavement free from motorized traffic, with plenty of shade and benches for rest. You can also explore the park’s other attractions, such as the amphitheater, basketball court, and shopping center.
4) C-6 Bike Lane
If you are from Taguig or looking to bike to the area, you can do so easily by heading to the Laguna Lake Highway, also known as C-6. It has a dedicated 3-meter-wide bike lane that spans 5.8 kilometers and is separated from the highway by a planting strip to ensure safety. It also connects to the mountain bike trails of Rizal, with Lower Bicutan in Taguig linked to Taytay.
5) Antenna Hill
Antenna Hill in Binangonan, Rizal, is a popular biking destination outside the city that is often compared to Timberland Heights’ The Wall. Cyclists should exercise caution, especially if they are new to biking, and consider going with a more experienced rider. Different trails up the hill cater to varying levels of expertise. The reward for reaching the summit is a stunning view of Laguna Lake and the surrounding towns. If you still have energy, you can visit the Angono Petroglyphs, where centuries-old engravings are carved into rock walls.
6) Timberland Heights
Timberland Heights in Rizal is a popular biking destination known for its challenging trail, The Wall. This 5-kilometer uphill paved route is infamous for its steep incline, sharp turns, and challenging ascents. Alongside The Wall, Timberland Heights also offers Wall 2, a milder climb inside a private community, and the picturesque Roxas Basic Trail, which features rows of pine trees.
Nuvali in Laguna is a well-known stopover for those who frequent Tagaytay. This mixed-use complex is known for its shops, restaurants, and outdoor koi pond. However, it is also a hidden gem for bikers and other extreme sports enthusiasts. Nuvali has designated bike paths that are paved and safe for all cyclists, a 50-kilometer off-road biking and running trail filled with twists, slopes, bumps, and single tracks.
Urban dwellers often seek nature escapes. Fortunately, there are scenic biking spots in and around Manila other than MOA Seaside Loop, including Marikina River Park with an 11-km paved trail, La Mesa Nature Reserve with a 52-km trail, C-6 bike lane with 5.8-km dedicated track, Timberland Heights with a famous Wall climb, Antenna Hill with a view of Laguna Lake, and Nuvali with designated paths and off-road trail. These destinations offer varying difficulty levels and breathtaking scenery, making them perfect for biking enthusiasts.