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Best Family-Friendly Bike Trails In OC

family biking 610
(credit: shutterstock)

Nothing brings a family together like a day out together. That day out is even better when all the family members are exercising together. It's a good way to not only to spend time with those closest to you, but also to show your kids the importance of getting some exercise. Bringing kids (depending on their age) obviously have some limitations though. If you're looking for a bike trail that your kids will enjoy as much as you, try these paths throughout Orange County.


Aliso Creek Riding and Hiking Trail
Aliso and Wood Canyon Wilderness Park
28373 Alicia Parkway
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
(949) 923-2200

Stretching 18 miles from Laguna Niguel to Whiting Ranch, this trail is away from the road, and much of it is shady, which makes it good for the kids. Along the way are plenty of places to stop and rest, which not only comes in handy for the kids, but also provides the opportunity to enjoy any food you may have brought for the ride. In addition to the rest areas are kiosks where you and your family can learn about Orange County history.

12-20 Santa Ana river trail-Header photo
(credit: Santa Ana River Trail And Parkway)

Santa Ana River Trail

If you're riding with your kids, you don't want a trail that is going to be too challenging for them. The Santa Ana River Trail is generally pretty level, which means the kids can get some good exercise without overexerting themselves. Stretching from Huntington Beach to Weir Canyon Road, the trail is all away from roads. Along the way are parks (including Moon Park) where the kids can play as well as nature centers where you can see a variety of birds and flowers.

San Clemente
Photo Credit: San Clemente/Facebook

San Clemente Beach Trail

The San Clemente Beach Trail is a good one for the whole family for a lot of reasons. First, it's not a very long path, so even the younger riders won't get too worn out. Next, this is about as scenic a ride as you can have in Orange County, as the trail runs right along the coast. Finally, this is a great trail because it ends at the beach. You can enjoy a great family day if you ride on this trail and spend some time at the beach.

Related: Best mountain bike trails in L.A., OC, and the IE

Upper Newport Bay
(credit: OC Parks)

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
2301 University Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 923-2290

The Back Bay Loop Trail is a 10-mile path that provides a good ride around most of the back bay area of Newport Beach. The path is pretty wide and can easily accommodate the entire family. Along the way are plenty of places to stop - including a number of parks, a nature center, and the Back Bay Science Center.

San Diego Creek Bicycle Path
(credit: Charles F./Yelp)

San Diego Creek Bikeway

Mostly going through Irvine, the San Diego Creek Bikeway starts in the Back Bay area and stretches to the junction of the 405 and 133 freeways. A number of parks dot the trail and provide good places to rest before moving on. One of the parks on this trail is Bill Barber Park in Irvine, which is a great place to enjoy a picnic. The whole family will enjoy the ride on this path.

Related: Best bike shops in Orange County

Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on
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