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Costa Mesa, CA, USA
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Travel Costa Mesa Blog

Costa Mesa Bike Routes

Posted on August 31, 2012 | 11:52am | Travel Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa is home to miles of auto-free bike lanes and picturesque parks.  With its close proximity to the beach and great year-round weather, Costa Mesa is one of the best cities in Orange County for cycling.

The best bike trail is the Santa Ana River trail.  The Santa Ana River trail lies on the western border of Costa Mesa and runs parallel to the Santa Ana River.  It is accessible only to cyclists and pedestrians.  From Costa Mesa, the beach is just minutes south along the river trail.  Two of Costa Mesa’s largest parks, Talbert Regional Park and Fairview Park, have easy access to the river trail.  Coastal access is less than 2 miles from the Talbert Regional Park access point at Victoria Street.  It’s only a short ride to the beach from Costa Mesa, however, the Santa Ana River trail offers much more.  The trail extends all the way past the northern border of Orange County, allowing cyclists to enjoy over 26 miles of auto-free biking within the county.  The bike trail is currently being extended even further.  Once completed it will stretch 110 miles, from the Pacific Ocean to Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains.

santa ana river trail image

Cyclists can also access the Upper Newport Bay trail on the east end of Santiago Drive.  There are two trails in the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve.  One trail runs along the border of the reserve, north on Irvine Avenue and continues onto Campus Drive and the University of California, Irvine campus.  The other trail wraps through the Back Bay into Newport Beach.

Other cities in Orange County have pushed for creating a more bicycle friendly community.  Irvine and Huntington Beach host miles of bike lanes, while Anaheim has recently implemented 10 Bike Nation kiosks throughout the city.  The kiosks allow people to rent an mtb under $300 and drop them off at other locations throughout the city, all with the swipe of a credit card.  The current program in Anaheim is a one year program and is privately funded by Bike Nation, a Tustin, CA based company.

Costa Mesa has made great strides to become one of the most bicycle friendly cities in Orange County.  The multiple bike lanes are not only beneficial for leisurely rides and exercise, but for commuters as well.   The city has created a significant infrastructure on many major roadways throughout Costa Mesa to make commuting by bike more popular amongst residents.  The city limits are all within 16 square miles and because of Costa Mesa’s relatively small size, and high gas prices, commuting by bike has risen in popularity in recent years.  With bike lanes on major thoroughfares like Fairview Road, Placentia Avenue, South Coast Drive and Red Hill Avenue, commuters can access many different parts of the city without having to ride on sidewalks or worry about riding within inches of speeding cars buzzing by.

Be sure to take advantage of all the accessible bike lanes and trails throughout the city.  The next time you’re looking for a fun activity, or forgot to grab the milk at the store, leave the car in the driveway and go by bike!

Costa Mesa Bike Routes image

The city of Costa Mesa provides free bicycle maps and safety guides that are available at City Hall in the Clerk’s Office.  The map is a great resource for finding the different trails throughout the city, safety tips, best riding practices and shop locations.  Download the PDF version of the bike map by clicking here: Costa Mesa Bike Routes.

The Orange County Transportation Authority has a map that shows all of Orange County’s existing bikeways.  Visit www.octa.net/BikewaysMap.aspx to access the interactive map or to download a PDF version.

If you’re looking for another biking trail to explore, you should check out mountain biking through Idaho.