santa ana river trail
The Santa Ana River Trail
Beginning in snow capped San Bernardino mountains the 100 plus mile, Santa Ana River has been a life source for both ancient and modern man. Today the river still is a vital source for our watershed and the backbone to a great emerging recreational corridor for cyclists, hikers and equestrians alike.
An artist's glimpse of the fertile watershed that was
portrayed on many fruit crate labels a century ago.
The Santa Ana River Trail began in Orange County in the mid 1960’s as an afterthought to the larger flood control projects. Gradually, as more miles of trail were built, interest grew in expanding the river trail inland to it’s origin, the San Bernardino mountains. Presently the S.A.R.T. trail is divided into three sections; the Lower, Middle & Upper bike/trail ways. The Middle bike/trail, a temporary route is comprised of surface streets through the cities of Corona and Riverside. With the eventual completion of the Prado Dam construction, a new bike/trail way will join the Lower and Upper to make one continuous bike/trailway.
Originating at the Pacific Ocean, the paved Lower Bikeway/Trail traverses the first 22 miles inland through suburban and industrial Orange County. This segment of the trail has many access points providing trail users with opportunities to explore the many neighboring communities. Further inland beyond Imperial Hwy. the bikeway trail embraces two scenic regional parks, Yorba Regional & Featherly, providing a respite from the concrete jungles. After a few more wooded miles you exit at Green River trail head where parking, restrooms and multiple dining experiences are available.
Less traveled, but, the most scenic of the S.A.R.T. trails system, the Upper bike/trail meanders through lush riverside forests resembling what visitor's a century ago might have experienced. The bike/trail way commences at the Hidden Valley Preserve where visitors can learn about the region's abundant plant & wildlife from Park Rangers and self-guided tours.
After 19 plus miles traveling along the natural riverscape, the Upper bike/trail way transitions
back to the concrete canal way to the upper terminus of S.A.R.T. in San Bernardino. Here trail users
can find many restaurants & hotels to chose from providing opportunities for overnight return trail users.
Currently, there are plans to extend S.A.R.T. beyond Hospitality Ln. in San Bernardino to the river's headwaters, permitting a contiguous trail system spanning 100 plus miles from ocean to the sea.