Ventura River Trail

Trip Description:
Submitted by Scott Hanssen

I started this trip near the Patagonia store in Ventura. From here, head north on Olive St., cross Main St., making a little jag, continue on Olive until you pass the on/off ramp for Highway 33, then turn left on Rex St. Pick up the trail at the end of Rex St., about 200 feet. The first half of this trip passes through mostly industrial areas. There’s not a lot of interesting or beautiful sites to see, unless you consider the artwork that has been placed along the trail in the form of metal sculptures. Also, if you’re into geocaching, there are plenty of caches here. In about six miles, you reach Foster Park. This is a good place to rest, with restrooms and water available. Shortly after Foster Park, you begin climbing in earnest, though it’s never really too bad, since the path follows the line of a former railroad track. There are some beautiful views along the way, and even a place to jump in the river for a swim, if you’re so inclined. The trail goes all the way to Ojai, but I cut it about 3 miles short to stop at my final destination: Full of Beams coffee shop. This is a great place, with a nice, shaded patio in the back. The return trip is downhill all the way to Foster Park, but after that, the last 6 miles to Ventura can be a little trying if there’s a strong ocean breeze against you. All in all, a great bike ride.

The beauty of this trip is that it’s on a dedicated bike/pedestrian trail, so mixing with car traffic is minimal. There are a few cross roads where you need to be alert however, especially Stanley Avenue, which is unbelievably busy, though I have found that most drivers are courteous and will give bikes the right of way.

Resting Place along Trail, Foster Park
Swimming Hole Beside the Trail
Old Debris Dam at Foster Park
Unsanctioned Art Along Ventura River Trail
White Ledge Peak in Distance
Getting Close to the Top
Full of Beans Patio

Ventura 1/2 Marathon & 5K on this trail:
Sunday February 13th, 2010
Please join us on Sunday, February 13th for the 10th annual Ventura 1/2 Marathon & 5K. This race takes place along the Ventura-Ojai bike path and has a great atmosphere. Features a fast course on a bike path, technical running tops, great post race food, and a reasonable entry fee.