Orange County bike paths make cycling around Los Angeles and the OC a worthwhile hobby and present a functional road addition that makes biking to work a real possibility. With ample Class I, II and III paths, there is a biking adventure for everyone.
Coyote Creek: A Favorite among the Paved Orange County Bike Paths
Starting at the juncture of Buena Park and La Palma, this Class I paved bike path follows the San Gabriel River past Cypress, Los Alamitos and finally ends in the industrial section of Seal Beach, near the marina. According to the OCTA map, it has about 16 bike access points. Recreational cyclists appreciate the occasional parks that border the trail – most notably the Cerritos Regional Sports Park – while the serious cyclists treasure the long straight stretches and the sometimes less than picturesque (and therefore distracting) setting.
Aliso & Wood Canyons Park Features Orange County Mountain Bike Paths
This is a wildlife sanctuary open for day use. Park the car (the cost is $3 per vehicle) and familiarize yourself with the trail map. First-timers enjoy the trail that travels along the Aliso Creek and – after 1.5 miles – crosses over onto the Wood Canyon trail toward the Cholla Trail, which loops back to the parking lot. Total travel distance is about 9.5 miles. Ride in excess of 10 mph, and you are sure to be stopped by a friendly park ranger.
Be aware that hikers and occasionally horses do not know how to read and may cross the bike paths. Do not plan on riding after a rainfall on these beautiful easy bike paths. Southern California park authorities close the trail system for recovery until the soil is dry. Drink in the picturesque beauty of the locale, but do not plan on lighting a BBQ or dropping a fishing line into the rivers; this is strictly a ‘look but don’t touch venue.’
Two Lanes of Pavement All Along the Santa Ana River Bike Trail
Originating in the San Bernardino Mountains, this is one of the relatively level Orange County bike paths that reach the ocean. Granted, there are a few changes in elevation, but it is nevertheless an excellent venue for the newbie and the pro alike.
Of particular interest is the stretch from Yorba Linda Boulevard to Lincoln Avenue (Anaheim), which is about eight miles in length. It shows Orange County at its best: horse properties, white picket fences, a glimpse of a few McMansions and the river.
Bolsa Chica Bicycle Path in Huntington Beach
The three-mile beach starts at Warner Avenue and ends at Seapoint Avenue. At that point Bolsa Chica beach actually becomes Huntington city beach. One of the OC’s multi-use bike paths, it runs adjacent to the sand all the way along Huntington city beach.
A speed limit of five mph is strictly enforced. Take it all the way down to where the Pacific Coast Highway becomes West Coast Highway. Remember that multi-use makes this a premier venue to encounter joggers with dogs, children, enthusiasts on roller blades and also leisurely pedestrians who do not necessarily realize that you are coming up behind them. Take your time riding this Orange County bike path: the scenery is gorgeous and you are likely to meet some nice folks along the way.
OCTA. “Bike Ways Map” (accessed June 12, 2010)
OCTA. “Complete Bike Ways Map” Available in English/Spanish (accessed June 12, 2010)