This trail is a 12-foot wide path following the famous Santa Ana River, a waterway that’s line cementer through most parts of Orange County but flows freely in San Bernardini and Riverside counties. This well-known and popular trail, currently open in two disconnected segments, links shopping districts, neighborhoods, and businesses with the beach.
The Santa Ana River Trail begins at the Huntington Beach Bicycle Trail intersection in Orange County, providing access to the city’s two state beaches and busy beach and pier. Extending north, this trail skirts the Costa Mesa and Fountain Valley-s edge before emerging into a Santa Ana industrial section.
Continuing to the City of Orange, you’ll see the gigantic “A” that marks Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim stadium right across the Santa Ana River from Orange. Sports lovers will be pleased with this stretch, as the next landmark is home to the National Hockey League’s Anaheim Ducks.
Anaheim is next; this is where the river and trail turn east. Views of the meandering river and the Chino Hills make this stretch of the trail uniquely scenic. The course itself becomes a bit hillier here – a challenge for those coming from Huntington Beach. In Corona’s far western reaches, the continuous trail finishes just south of the Green River Golf located on Green River Road.
There’s a gap between this endpoint and the resumption of the Hiden Valley Wildlife Arena trail, so the second segment is best tackled in a separate trip. The trail continues east through Riverside’s residential from Hidden Valley and industrial sections, with beautiful views of the Santa Ana River.
Next is Colton, the entrance point to San Bernadino County. Views of the dry river are punctuated by the active industrial properties and the busy train tracks surrounding the river along this stretch. The trail ends at S. Waterman Av, shortly after it crosses the city line of San Bernandino.
Plans call for the path to eventually run for 110 miles from Big Bear Lake in San Bernandino Mountains to the Pacific Coast in beautiful Huntington Beach, with the gap between the Corona to Norco. There are numerous access points along the Santa Ana River Trail’s route.
This 20.6 km out-and-back trail near Riverside is generally considered an easy route and takes around 4 hours to complete. The Santa Ana River Trail is perfect for hiking, birding, and mountain and road biking. This trail is dog-friendly, but pets must be on a leash.