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Good Paved Trails in Irvine

Old 07-10-15, 10:16 AM
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Good Paved Trails in Irvine

Where would you go if you had a 9 year old with enough legs to do a 10 mile ride? Gotta be flat though, maybe less than a 2% grade. .5 to 1% is fun for them actually because they don't notice the slight incline if you do it first, then fly "down" on the way back.

I'm going to be in Irvine coming up, and am looking for trails near the Woodbridge plaza area, would like to just take the bikes from there if there are good trails. Although I would throw bikes in the back of the truck and drive a bit to get to better trails.
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Old 07-10-15, 11:02 AM
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San Diego Creek trail runs right thru Woodbridge and you can take it all the way to the Newport Beach back bay. It is slightly downhill heading toward Newport. If you ride from Woodbridge to back bay and then back, you should have a tailwind coming back until you make the turn from Northeast to Southeast at Bill Barber park. Wind is usually light in any event.

Also you can get on the creek trail in Woodbridge, get off and go North on Harvard, (wide bike lane and wide sidepath/sidewalk) up to Peters Canyon trail and then ride up Hicks Canyon trail (Hicks is more uphill, maybe 2%).
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Old 07-10-15, 11:03 AM
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The San Diego creek trail runs right through that general area (look at google maps and turn on the bicycle path layer). Another good option for long and flat is the Santa Ana river trail - you can park in one of the adjacent parks and have direct access to the trail. The "mountain to the see bikeway" or whatever it is runs along side Harvard Ave.
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Old 07-10-15, 11:56 AM
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The City fo Irvine is covered with lots of exceptional bike trails. If you check the City's website, you will find a map of the trails. The San Diego Creek or Mountains to Seas trails are excellent except... there are numerous over and under passes... hopedly that works for you. Another issue is gradient. Many of the rides start "down" towards the ocean and that leaves you an uphill and headwind back. Think of that when you start a ride.

Right out of the Woodbridge Plaza are lot of choices for trails as the Creek Trail runs along side. I would take it East to Spectrum, connect to the new trail that runs into Moulton. Lots of interesting things to see and do and if going east/west or vice versa, less of a headwind problem. If you go east first, the west will be downhill.
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Old 07-10-15, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Pamestique


The City fo Irvine is covered with lots of exceptional bike trails. If you check the City's website, you will find a map of the trails. The San Diego Creek or Mountains to Seas trails are excellent except... there are numerous over and under passes... hopedly that works for you. Another issue is gradient. Many of the rides start "down" towards the ocean and that leaves you an uphill and headwind back. Think of that when you start a ride.

Right out of the Woodbridge Plaza are lot of choices for trails as the Creek Trail runs along side. I would take it East to Spectrum, connect to the new trail that runs into Moulton. Lots of interesting things to see and do and if going east/west or vice versa, less of a headwind problem. If you go east first, the west will be downhill.
Yeah I like the idea of the SD Creek Trail but ideally I would like to do the ascent first then coast back.

"East to Spectrum, connect to the new trail that runs into Moulton."

How many miles is this part of the trail running into Moulton?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 07-10-15, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jimincalif

San Diego Creek trail runs right thru Woodbridge and you can take it all the way to the Newport Beach back bay. It is slightly downhill heading toward Newport. If you ride from Woodbridge to back bay and then back, you should have a tailwind coming back until you make the turn from Northeast to Southeast at Bill Barber park. Wind is usually light in any event.

Also you can get on the creek trail in Woodbridge, get off and go North on Harvard, (wide bike lane and wide sidepath/sidewalk) up to Peters Canyon trail and then ride up Hicks Canyon trail (Hicks is more uphill, maybe 2%).
That tailwind might help the slight incline, which shouldn't really be a big deal except that we will probably turn around when the youngster says he's cooked.
Maybe east / with west downgrade is better.

Thanks for your help, may still ride toward Newport.
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Old 07-10-15, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse



The San Diego creek trail runs right through that general area (look at google maps and turn on the bicycle path layer). Another good option for long and flat is the Santa Ana river trail - you can park in one of the adjacent parks and have direct access to the trail. The "mountain to the see bikeway" or whatever it is runs along side Harvard Ave.
Will do goog maps. Looking into Santa Ana.
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Old 07-10-15, 02:45 PM
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The slope of the Santa Ana river trail is negligible. It's definitely "downhill" towards the ocean but you'd be hard pressed to notice. As Pam said, the numerous underpasses will provide an occasional incline, but they're short.

I don't know about the winds over by the San Diego trail but for SART, they're generally tame before 10 am and then the sea breeze picks up and blows generally inland, so ride towards the beach, see some waves, turn around and enjoy the tail wind.

For example, you could park at Centennial regional park (I've never been there, I assume they have public parking), cruise down to Huntington beach, use the restroom, get more water, head back... something like this:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/33.7...a=!4m2!4m1!3e1

That's almost 15 miles, so it would be pushing it a bit but I bet your son can handle it. My son's 12, and I like to trick him into riding further than he thinks he can go but he's wising up to my game and gets pretty cagey when I ask him if he wants to go for a ride.
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Old 07-10-15, 03:06 PM
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Wind in Irvine is usually minimal if any before 10-11 am. If there is a strong coastal eddy it will blow from the southeast in the morning, usually veering to blow from the south or southwest in the afternoon (the sea breeze that blows in off the ocean as the land warms up). So the wind usually blows up the Newport Back Bay, so even though you are going uphill it is usually downwind.

I just checked on ridewithgps.com. From the upper bay trail right where it crosses under Jamboree to the intersection of the trail and Lake in Woodbridge is 5.8 miles with 126 feet of ascent, so pretty flat. So a round trip would be under 12 miles.

As Pam said there are undercrossings below streets that you will have to go down and come up, but that keeps you and him out of traffic.
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Old 07-13-15, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Calder Benson
Will do goog maps. Looking into Santa Ana.
My BF rode last night and informed me the Walnut Trail (starts on Havard just north of Irvine Center Drive and goes out to Sand Canyon and has been closed for 3 years) is now open. This would make an excellent Loop for you. If you take the trail to Sand Canyon (it goes along the train tracks) then stay on the sidewalk and turn left. Continue past the Freeway (easy crossing - not bad) and look for the Jeffrey Open Space Trail. Turn left and take that all the way up to Portola (along there are tons of bail out options. At Portola, stay on the south side of Jeffrey/Portola and connect to the new trail that takes you behind the houses on Portola and will connect back to the San Diego/Mountain to Seas Trail. Then if you turn south, it's a fun downhill all the way back. Probably just at 10 miles and the uphills are really minor.

This would be an excellent route. I will see if I can find a map and the name of the sport park on the corner of Walnut and Harvard where you can park.
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Old 07-13-15, 12:40 PM
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OK LOOKED IT ALL UP...

Park at the HARVARD SPORTS PARK. Out of the back of the park is the SAN DIEGO CREEK TRAIL (or you can just go out the front of the park and cross the street to the Wast side of HArvard and go South). It will come around back to Harvard. Cross that and connect to the WALNUT TRAIL. The trail (now with new overpasses over the busy streets so great for kids) ends at Sand Canyon. Come down to the sidewalk andd turn left (Stay on the sidewalk - it is meant for bike travel). Just past the freeway (only bad part so watch the kids) Connect to the CYRPRESS VILLAGE TRAIL. It continues West and then turns North to become the JEFFREY OPEN SPACE TRAIL. I love this trail. Very interactive; lots to see plus WOOD BRIDGES!. Take that North to Portola. Yes there is some climbing but then after the little bit of climbing (about a 1 - 2% grade) there is a ton of downhill. At Portola stay on the sidewalk, cross Jeffrey and then connect to the HICKS CANYON TRAIL. A really fun downhill. If your bikes have knobbys lots of dirt to ride as well. Stay on this trail (there are some minor residential street crossings) until it connects with the SAN DIEGO CREEK TRAIL. Turn left and blast downhill South back to the Sports Park. I can't wait to do this ride myself!!!

City of Irvine Bikeway Map
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Old 07-16-15, 08:58 AM
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Thanks to all who helped me out.

Ended up going on two rides while we were there.

Day 1 (@12 miles)- First entered the trail at West Yale Loop and headed east but stopped less than a mile when we hit a stoplight. We turned around because we wanted trails away from traffic. If there was an under/overpass here I missed it.
We rounded West Yale Loop but did not reach Harvard on our route (as was suggested). We did ride on West Yale loop for a good spell. There is a nice "lake" called South Lake with ducks, people in paddle boats, and tennis courts (with spectators) from an adjacent community right off the water that makes it a fun somewhat scenic ride. There weren't so many people out that it was cumbersome to get around; just enough to seem like we could have a social outing/ talk to others if we wished.
Caught the trail again from West Yale Loop, then Went back west and crossed the bridge (instead of continuing to Peters Canyon Trail) and rode past the baseball fields but stopped some distance from the 405. My son, who I had worried about taking inclines on his fixed bmx-y, had a blast bombing down the downs and mashing up the inclines.

Day 2 (9 miles)- Avoided any eastern path and took Peters Canyon trail as far as we could, which isn't very far. I don't know if they are going to extend the trail or are fixing something, but the trail is closed beginning 7/15/15. Turned around when we hit the cyclone fence and crossed the bridge. Rode the trail up to the 405 and turned around at Boomers and headed the distance back. As a personal victory and a great way to end the ride, my son made it all the way up the very last hill up to West Yale that had defeated him the day before.


Both fun days.
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Old 07-16-15, 11:25 AM
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Routes I would love to try in the future, and these are all from suggestions from BF'ers in this thread:

1. San Diego Creek Trail to Newport - would like to take the boy with me, but still not sure the total mileage or effort needed , so I will probably do this myself first.

2. Santa Ana River Trail ( SART): According to Pamestique, "Park in one of the adjacent parks and have direct access to the trail."

3. "Mountain to the Sea bikeway" (Under/ Overpasses) runs along side Harvard Ave ?
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Old 07-16-15, 11:31 AM
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4.

Originally Posted by Pamestique

Right out of the Woodbridge Plaza are lot of choices for trails as the Creek Trail runs along side. I would take it East to Spectrum...
Are you referring to the Spectrum Center at 5/405 intersection?


Originally Posted by Pamestique
...connect to the new trail that runs into Moulton.
On the map I see, the Spectrum Center is adjacent to Irvine Center Drive, which turns into Moulton Pkwy. Is that what you mean?
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Old 07-16-15, 11:40 AM
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5

Originally Posted by TrojanHorse

For example, you could park at Centennial regional park (I've never been there, I assume they have public parking), cruise down to Huntington beach, use the restroom, get more water, head back... something like this:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/33.7...a=!4m2!4m1!3e1

That's almost 15 miles, so it would be pushing it a bit but I bet your son can handle it.

This looks like it's a bit west further than we were, but I'd like to do this one too. Anyone (Pam?) know if there are under/overpasses on Harvard or another parallel road? I like to avoid the traffic, no lights to wait at and safer for kids.

6. Walnut Trail

This one sounds really fun. Thanks Pamestique for the research! This might be moved to the top of the list...
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Old 07-16-15, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Calder Benson
4.



Are you referring to the Spectrum Center at 5/405 intersection?




On the map I see, the Spectrum Center is adjacent to Irvine Center Drive, which turns into Moulton Pkwy. Is that what you mean?
Yes and yes... this is a bit tricky... the San Diego Creek Trail comes to an end at a street that is closed to traffic. If you jog right, at the end of the street (dead ends at the 405) is another bike trail. That is the new trail that takes you to the Los Alivos community.

If you want to do some exploring, just as you cross under the 405 freeway (and just before Los Alivos) , there is an offshoot that goes right. Take that... it turns to direct for a very short time (steep uphill) and then you are in a new exclusive community in Laguna Canyon. There are trails to explore but basically you want to end down by Laguna Canyon Rd and then cross over to Quail and take that out and eventually along the freeway (after Sand Canyon). Not for the boy because of traffic but maybe good for you to explore. That trail goes everywhere.

For the boy, there is another area to explore but involves some street crossing (at lights). Look on a map... these trails connect to the San Diego Creek Trail just before UCI. I would take the creek trail down and then just before BCI (just before Jeffrey) is a connection that takes you to Jeffrey/University. Cross the street into Mason Park. The bike trails there are fun. Just past Culver (the other side of Mason) is the UCI Nature Trail. Also fun to ride.

And make sure you check out the trails I mention in Post #11 ...
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Old 07-16-15, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Calder Benson
5




This looks like it's a bit west further than we were, but I'd like to do this one too. Anyone (Pam?) know if there are under/overpasses on Harvard or another parallel road? I like to avoid the traffic, no lights to wait at and safer for kids.

...
No over/under passes on Harvard but it can be a busy street. You can however, ride on the sidewalk (designated a MUP) on the east side of Harvard. You will have to cross some residential streets...
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Old 07-16-15, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Pamestique
Yes and yes... this is a bit tricky... the San Diego Creek Trail comes to an end at a street that is closed to traffic. If you jog right, at the end of the street (dead ends at the 405) is another bike trail. That is the new trail that takes you to the Los Alivos community.

If you want to do some exploring, just as you cross under the 405 freeway (and just before Los Alivos) , there is an offshoot that goes right. Take that... it turns to direct for a very short time (steep uphill) and then you are in a new exclusive community in Laguna Canyon. There are trails to explore but basically you want to end down by Laguna Canyon Rd and then cross over to Quail and take that out and eventually along the freeway (after Sand Canyon). Not for the boy because of traffic but maybe good for you to explore. That trail goes everywhere.

For the boy, there is another area to explore but involves some street crossing (at lights). Look on a map... these trails connect to the San Diego Creek Trail just before UCI. I would take the creek trail down and then just before BCI (just before Jeffrey) is a connection that takes you to Jeffrey/University. Cross the street into Mason Park. The bike trails there are fun. Just past Culver (the other side of Mason) is the UCI Nature Trail. Also fun to ride.

And make sure you check out the trails I mention in Post #11 ...
There's a paved trail that connects SD Creek Trail to Laguna Canyon Road?
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Old 07-16-15, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Elvo
There's a paved trail that connects SD Creek Trail to Laguna Canyon Road?
I take the peter's canyon trail from the 261 and Portola to the SD Creek Trail to Jeffrey and ride the Jeffrey Open space trail. However you can stay on the SD creek trail all the way to Laguna Canyon road and even further. I think it breaks off around the spectrum, but starts up again until it eventually ends around Irvine center drive.

Or you can stay on the SD creek trail and go south to you get to the FWY trail by the 405. The Fwy Trail goes to Sand Canyon and then heads North and turns into the Sand Canyon trail, but keep in mind it does connect back to the SD creek trail just before Barranca that does take you to Laguna Canyon Road.

It's a nice trail because it goes both N/S AND E/W and eventually they all connect together.
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Old 07-17-15, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Elvo
There's a paved trail that connects SD Creek Trail to Laguna Canyon Road?
No... well sortof... there are bike trails but some residential street riding... The San Diego Creek Trail ends at the Los Olivos development. You can take that to Moulton and then turn right on Lake Forest. That dumps into and you can cross Laguna Canyon or... just before Los Olivos is a paved then dirt trail that dumps into a neighborhood off Laguna Canyon... there are bike trails to ride through there but takes some doing to figure it out. If you do the Moulton to Lake Forest, just before Laguna Canyon is a bike trail that takes you into the residential neighborhood. The trail will take you to the crossing of Laguna Canyon onto Quail... if you ride through the neighborhood you connect to the trail in the other direction - it still takes you across Laguna Canyon....

Yes I like to explore trails alot...
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Old 07-17-15, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Pamestique
No... well sortof... there are bike trails but some residential street riding... The San Diego Creek Trail ends at the Los Olivos development. You can take that to Moulton and then turn right on Lake Forest. That dumps into and you can cross Laguna Canyon or... just before Los Olivos is a paved then dirt trail that dumps into a neighborhood off Laguna Canyon... there are bike trails to ride through there but takes some doing to figure it out. If you do the Moulton to Lake Forest, just before Laguna Canyon is a bike trail that takes you into the residential neighborhood. The trail will take you to the crossing of Laguna Canyon onto Quail... if you ride through the neighborhood you connect to the trail in the other direction - it still takes you across Laguna Canyon....

Yes I like to explore trails alot...
You definitely know these trails really well!
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