By Kathleen Mest
Living in the 908, we have easy access to LA county and OC trails (yes...beyond the Orange Curtain). We’re always looking for some great, easy trails on which to bring/drag the family along and get our bodies moving! Here is a short list of hikes we have enjoyed that are less than an hour’s drive away.
Colorado Lagoon Loop
Colorado Lagoon, 5059 E Colorado St, Long Beach, CA 90814
Parking: Free parking lot on Appian Way and Colorado St. Pay parking lot at Colorado Lagoon.
What you’ll see: This easy 1-mile loop begins with a bridge crossing over the lagoon. The trail is great for viewing native plants and birdwatching. Finish your hike at the sandy swimming beach or extend it 0.6 mile (out and back) by taking the Red Car Greenbelt trail at 4th St. and Park Ave. To enter the Greenbelt, continue past the bridge when you finish the loop.
For more info: www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/colorado-lagoon-loop
Long Beach Shoreline Pedestrian Path
Ocean Blvd and Bay Shore Ave.
Allowed: Dogs on pedestrian path. Bikes on bike path
Parking: Free and metered street parking. Pay parking lot on Ocean Blvd. and Bay Shore Ave.
What you’ll see: This 7.3-mile out & back beach path takes you from Alamitos Bay to Shoreline Village. Grab breakfast at Chuck’s Coffee Shop or lunch at The Plunge for awesome views. Public restrooms are available along the path.
Naples Canals Inner Loop
The Colonnade Park, 10 The Colonnade Canal, Long Beach, CA 90803
Parking: Free street parking
What you’ll see: Start at Colonnade Park and walk along the canal. Breathe in the ocean air and take in the awesome bay views, beautiful homes, and interesting boats. Once around the island is 0.7 miles. To extend the walk, cross over the bridges and check out Treasure Island.
To view a map of Naples Island: www.longbeach.gov/park/park-and-facilities/directory/the-colonnade
West San Gabriel River Parkway Nature Trail
Monte Verde Park, 4626 Shadeway Rd, Lakewood, CA 90713
Parking: Free parking lots at Monte Verde Park and Mae Boyar Park
What you’ll see: Head south towards Carson Street for beautiful tall trees and native plants. Head north for lush plants and wildflowers. This is a very easy 3.4 mile out & back trail. Note: Street crossing at Del Amo Blvd.
Bolsa Chica Inner Bay Loop Trail
Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, 18000 CA-1, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Parking: 2 free parking lots
What you’ll see: Start at the South Parking lot for this very easy 1.6 mile loop. You’ll encounter wildflowers, birds, rabbits, native plants, ocean views from overlooks, bridge crossings, open water, and coastal dunes. Lengthen your hike by trying out additional trails in this beautiful area.
For more info: www.bolsachica.org/faqs
Gum Grove Park Trail
Gum Grove Park, Crescent View & Avalon Drive, Seal Beach, CA 90740
Parking: Free parking lot
What you’ll see: On this very easy 2.1 mile loop, you’ll see wildflowers, native plants, and don’t miss the trail down the middle of the park shaded by the large eucalyptus trees. The trees are surprisingly grand.
For more info: www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/gum-grove-park
A LITTLE FARTHER
Thousand Steps Beach
31972 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 (9th Avenue and PCH)
Parking: Free and metered street parking (read parking signs)