If you and your pooch find yourselves looking for a place to stretch your legs in the San Bernardino area, you’d be barking mad not to stroll a section of the Santa Ana River Trail! Re-opened in spring of 2018, the trail runs for ruffly thirty miles from San Bernardino all the way to the Pacific Ocean. You’ll find many trailheads along the route; most of them have parking, though capacity varies. The trail is fairly high-use, so those seeking solitude should probably search elsewhere, but if you don’t mind dodging cyclists, the Santa Ana Trail can be a grrrreat spot for an urban walk.
Running as it does through Orange County’s urban sprawl, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Santa Ana River Trail is more of a trail for exercise away from traffic than a place to see serious scenery. While quite a lot of the route along the slow-moving river is some shade of suburban, the trail also passes through some pawesome parkland -- the family-friendly Yorba Regional Park and Sycamore Park, as well as the lush, green wilderness of Featherly Park, are all along the route. Plus, you might find that what you sacrifice in terms of natural beauty is more than made up for by the amenities -- there are restrooms at most parks and trailheads, so there’s no risk of you needing to make like a bear, and there are a couple of coffee kiosks along the way, too.
The Santa Ana River Trail is accessible to almost all ages and abilities, from the fittest furry friends to the most committed couch pup-tatoes! One side or the other of the river is always paved, and the way is mostly flat, though there are some inclines outside Anaheim. You can even bring a wheelchair or a stroller! Keep in mind that quite a lot of the trail isn’t shaded, so try to go early in the day and bring plenty of water to avoid your fur-ball overheating in the California sun. Remember to bring waste bags with you, and have a furrific walk on the Santa Ana River Trail!