Cycling along the beach is a way of life in Orange County thanks to the 9-mile span of the Huntington Beach Bike Trail. Whether you’re new to the area or simply haven’t gotten around to taking this breathtaking seaside jaunt, grab your cruiser bike and get ready to enjoy ocean breezes and unmatched views of the Pacific Ocean.
What To Expect
The Huntington Beach Bike Trail is a wide, paved path that attracts joggers and hikers as well as cyclists. Along the way, you can stop at a few key scenic areas and take the time to explore, include a municipal pier at Huntington Beach City Beach with direct trail access. You’ll start at the southern end of the trail at Huntington State Beach, which is renowned as a West Coast surf spot. When you reach the northernmost point, you’ll be at beautiful Bolsa Chica State Beach, where you can choose to connect with the Santa Ana River Trail. Although dogs are welcome on this trail, they must remain leashed at all times.
Parking and Trail Access
You can park at either the Huntington Beach City Beach, Bolsa Chica State Beach, or Huntington State Beach. Check the parking fees for the date and time of your visit, since you’ll have to pay for access to these lots. The average reported cost ranges from about $10 to $15 for the full day. The starting point of the trail is at Warner and North Pacific avenues, while the other end reaches the Santa Ana River Trail at the Pacific Coast Highway.
When you head off at Huntington Beach, you’ll be cruising right along the sand for about two miles. This area gets pretty busy around the pier, so keep a watchful eye for comfort bikes for seniors and families using the trail to get to the ocean. Then, you’ll cross a 1.5-mile bridge. Although you’ll be right next to the road, the path is completely separate so you’ll be safe from traffic. When the bridge connects with 36th Street, it winds back onto the beach for more sun, sand and surf views.
Points of Interest
We recommended popping off the trail at the City Beach to watch the surfers in action and enjoy the views of the towering cliffs above. During the summer, you might also catch an impromptu percussion performance by street musicians at the pier here. Free open air concerts are also quite common, so keep your ears open and make sure you have some time to spare.
If you want to stop for a snack, you’ll have tons of options. In Huntington Beach’s downtown area alone, you’ll find everything from award-winning burgers to sushi, acai bowls and smoothies.
When you reach Bolsa Chica, don’t miss a stop at the wildlife preserve. Bring your binoculars or just have your eyes peeled to glimpse blue herons, falcons, owls, ospreys, egrets, gophers, coyotes, raccoons and reptiles.
City bikes, hybrids and mountain bikes are all equally appropriate on this trail, and you’ll quickly find that anything goes at this popular recreation spot. On a pleasant day, there’s no better way to experience this distinctive area of coastal California.