“Life is like riding a bicycle—in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.”-Albert Einstein.
A breath of fresh air and an opportunity to immerse ourselves in nature are two things most urban dwellers crave.
Unfortunately, concrete jungles and metropolitan cities barely provide enough milieus for a quick hike to the mountains or forest bike trails. Luckily, you do not have to go very far just to get your dose of nature. There are plenty of places near Manila that can take you away from the megacity and do whatever outdoor adventure or intrepid exploits you are seeking—even for just a short while.
Admittedly, most of us are itching to get away from the city and seek scenic views and panoramic vistas. However, you do not have to leave Manila just to get your much-needed dose of adventure. Unbeknown to many, the metro actually has quite a lot of picturesque views that are just a bike ride away. That said, pedal away from the cemented and paved roads and streets of the places you are so familiar with and visit the nearby biking routes in and around Manila listed below. Do not worry about the distance; most of the trails listed below are reachable within an hour or two. More importantly, these trails cater to all types of cyclists. You can experience everything from winding roads with majestic views to thrilling uphill climbs that will eventually lead you to mountain peaks.
So, if you are ready for an incredible ride without venturing too far, take a gander at the list of bike trails below:
a.) Marikina River Park
Novice bikers who are still trying to find their pace or footing can start their journey at Marikina River Park. Just a few hours away from Manila, this 220-hectare complex comprises trails, parks, and playgrounds surrounding the Marikina River. Cyclists will also enjoy their 11-kilometer pavement for free (and without the distractions of other vehicles). For those who wish to rest, there are plenty of shady areas and benches offering ample opportunities for relaxation. What makes Marikina River Park such a compelling place to visit is that the place also comes with a shopping center, an amphitheater, and a basketball court—all of which ensure that your visit is peppered with plenty of activities to enjoy.
b.) C-6 Bike Lane
Biking enthusiasts and residents of Taguig can rejoice as they need not go far if they wish to go cycling. The C-6, also known as the Laguna Lake Highway, has a dedicated lane for bikers. Hailed as the first of its kind along a national highway in the country, the bike lane has a 3-meter wide track that can stretch for 5.8 kilometers. The distance of the track gives cyclists a long ride and that much-needed exercise. So, if you wish to visit the mountain bike trails of Rizal, the C-6 connects Lower Bictuan in Taguig to Taytay, Rizal, which makes it the perfect biking route.
If you have visited Tagaytay anytime in the past few years, you may have already heard of Nuvali in Laguna. The mixed-use complex is a popular stopover with visitors dropping in for photos, dining, and shopping. Nuvali has an array of restaurants, shops, and an outdoor koi pond. While it may seem like the typical afternoon hangout, the place is also a haven for extreme sports aficionados and cyclists. Leisure bikers will feel welcome inside their complex, where they can find plenty of designated paved biked paths safe for any type of cyclist. Alternatively, Nuvali also has an off-road biking and running trail that spans 50 meters for seasoned runners and bikers. Cyclists are sure to enjoy what is in store for them in Nuvali’s bike tracks as it is filled with bumps, slopes, twists, and single tracks that will make the trip here very much worth it.
d.) La Mesa Nature Reserve
Also known as the La Mesa Watershed, La Mesa Reserve is a stomping ground of choice, especially for those who are living up North and looking for a momentary break. It also houses the La Mesa Dam, which is one of the city’s major sources. Coming with a 52-kilometer bike trail consisting of fire tracks, dirt roads, and single tracks, La Mesa Nature Reserve is sure to entice newbies and seasoned experts. It is a frequented area for bike races which signals the place as a top-tier destination for cyclists. Even better is that the verdant greenery and majestic forest can spice your ride in the nature reserve.
e.) Timberland Heights
Both beloved and dreaded by many cyclists, Rizal’s Timberland Heights is known for its paved bike trail called The Wall. Upon entering the area, you will be greeted by this steep, uphill inclination that is around five kilometers long. Moreover, the trail is also peppered with sharp hairpin ascents and turns, which makes it one of the rather challenging bike trails in this list. Beyond the Wall, however, Timberland Heights also features Wall 2, which is a more manageable and bearable version of the first Wall’s climb. Do not make the mistake of underestimating it, though, as it is still a challenging climb inside the private community of Roxas Basic Trail, where you can pass by rows of pine trees and more.