Diamond Lake bike trail

July 9, 2023.

11.2 mi. | 550′ ele. gain |2.5 hr.

Photo album

On a warm, sunny summer day, Aaron and I took our bikes out on a lovely paved bike trail around Diamond Lake. While clicking and zooming around my favorite mapping app, I found the Dellenback Trail, which encircles Diamond Lake in the course of about 12 miles. This was perfect for a casual outing. Most of my memories of this area involve fighting crowds; this goes for winter and summer! It’s a popular destination for a number of reasons, and therefore it’s rarely on my shortlist for places to visit.

Since most folks head to Diamond Lake in the summer for pizza, ice cream and water sports, I thought maybe the trail would be a little less crazy. And I was right. We chose to start the loop at the South Shore picnic area and rode clockwise. This was strategic, since that would mean we’d finish our route at the ice cream shop!

We started pedaling as the day was heating up. Soon, we reached a wooden bridge crossing Silent Creek. We hopped off our bike to admire the pretty water and wildflowers. But in that short pause, the mosquitoes found us. Back on the bikes, we rode just fast enough to prevent them from biting.

The trail is generally fairly flat, but it does gain a few hundred feet over the loop. Therefore, we had to ride up and down some hills as we circumnavigated the lake. As we rode, we made sure to take many different kinds of breaks: wildflower, view, breath, and snack, to name a few. The purpose of the ride was to spend Sunday afternoon together, not to break any speed records. So we traveled at the pace of Sunday. At the north side of the lake we pulled out our picnic lunch and relaxed in the shade of a large Ponderosa pine. From there, we watched the numerous folks on watercraft traverse the lake.

The east side of the lake was a little less scenic since much of the trail crossed through one of the biggest campgrounds I’ve ever seen. It was packed with RV’s, trailers and massive tents. Enormous trash cans overflowed with garbage. As in, people walked up to a full garbage can and decided to pile their trash on the ground next to it instead of find another can or bring it home. I could not believe that even those huge containers were not enough for the amount of trash produced by campers. What do people bring camping?! We fill a couple tiny bags each week. It was disturbing.

But I knew we had ice cream ahead, so I put my head down and kept pedaling. We couldn’t have arrived soon enough. We were both feeling pretty hot by the time we rolled up at the ice cream window at South Shore Pizza. Aaron found us a shady picnic table while I ordered us a couple of cones. It was cold, refreshing and delicious. We were among only a handful of people there. After that, it was only another half mile or so to the parking area.

All in all, we saw maybe a dozen people riding all day. The route was well-marked, well-graded and accessible to beginner riders. With plenty of options for starting and ending, as well as services on the south and east sides of the lake, I can recommend this bike ride for just about anyone. You can even rent bikes at the lake if you’re traveling without bikes. Glad we made this stop during our travels.

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