Monday, February 20, 2017

The Santa Ana River Trail Bike Path

The Santa Ana River originates in the San Bernardino mountains and winds its way south to the Pacific Ocean. It passes through San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, then flows through Orange County to end at the beach. These pages are divided into sectuions and filled with pictures and descriptions of the bike trail that runs along side the river throughout the length of Orange County. Some people refer to it as the Santa Ana River Bike Trail.

The bicycle trail is paved and well-maintained for the entire length. It's fairly level for most of the way, but there are many underpasses throughout and a few uphill challenges towards the northern end of the trail. The northern half has nice scenery with more trees, wild birds, grass along the trail and water in the river. I have even spotted an American Bald Eagle hunting for fish near the Lakeview underpass. The southern portion becomes a concrete riverbed starting at 17th Street in Santa Ana and is flanked by houses and industrial buildings. The scenery changes once again as you get closer to the beach.

The length of river trail spans about 29 miles from one end to the other, but it doesn't end completely. One can venture along the beach and the Pacific Coast Highway on the southern end, or you can ride north into Corona and beyond on the northern end.

We'll start from the north end of the trail, at the Orange County line, and head south toward the beach. The trail starts near the entrance of the Green River Golf Course near Corona and continues south towards Huntington Beach. The trail skirts the river along the entire route. There are many parks and rest stops along the way for the rider.

Section 1 - Green River to Gypsum Canyon - 3.06 miles
Section 2 - Gypsum Canyon to Yorba Linda Blvd - 2.76 miles
Section 3 - Yorba Linda Blvd to Lincoln Avenue in Anaheim - 7.35 miles
Section 4 - Lincoln Avenue to Edna Park in Santa Ana - 5.73 miles
Section 5 - Edna Park to Suburbia Park in Costa Mesa - 5.30 miles
Section 6 - Suburbia Park to Pacific Coast Highway - 4.77 miles
Pictures of the Huntington Beach Bike Trail
Pictures of the Newport Beach and Balboa Beach Bike Trail

Map of the Santa Ana River Trail

View The Santa Ana River Trail of Orange County in a larger map

Recommended items to take on the trail:

  • Take plenty of water on hot days
  • Some fruit, snacks, or energy bars
  • Glasses to shield your eyes from bugs - highly recommended
  • Some money in case you need to stop for food or beverages
  • Some bandages and first-aid cream, in case you get scraped or cut yourself
  • A bicycle helmet - there are some parts of the trail that ride very close to embankments
  • Spare inner tube, tire replacement tools and tire pump
  • Some kind of identification, in case you get hurt and are riding alone
  • A cellular phone - there is phone coverage throughout the entire path
  • Do Not Ride Alone At Night - portions of the trail may not be safe at night and you should be very careful. The bike trail is not lit and there are many dark areas that are desolate.