This bike ride connects one of Orange County’s oldest cities, Orange, to its smallest, Villa Park. The bike ride begins in Orange historic district, one block from the city’s center. From there you will move from old to new as you travel quiet roads that were once blanketed in orange groves.
Villa Park is a cycling’s paradise with a bucolic atmosphere and nearly every thoroughfare in the city lined with bike routes. In a county where ‘new’ is the order of the day it is unusual to find a place that feels old.
Originally christened Richland, the City of Orange was incorporated in 1888 during one of its earliest boom periods. Laid out around a plaza, many of the surrounding buildings are from that era, lending the historic district its small town charm. On the corner of Chapman Avenue and Plaza Square you will find the county’s oldest bank building, still home to a bank as well as a Starbuck’s. Pop in and check out the beautiful marble floors and walls and the inlaid ceiling.
Not only is Villa Park Orange County’s smallest city, it is the most affluent and you will find evidence of this as you pass lovely homes along streets with wide, well maintained bike paths. Originally known as Mountain View, this ride is seemingly surrounded by peaks, although this route is relatively flat.
At 10.98 miles, just before reaching Santiago Creek Trail, is Pritcher Park, a pocket park that is exquisitely maintained. This is not a place to ride, or play in, but more of a quiet, peaceful space to stop for a picnic or to take in the beauty. There are flower and vegetable gardens, a honey house and barn house that feature historical exhibits. This gem of a park will put you at ease.
By bus, OCTA routes 54, 56 and 59 make stops close to the start. By car, take CA-22 to exit 16, Glassell/Grand. Turn north onto Glassell Street and travel for 0.8 miles until you reach the roundabout. Turn right at the first exit onto Chapman Avenue, then a quick right onto Orange Street. Public parking is available here. By train, Amtrak and Metrolink lines stop at the nearby train depot, located on the opposite side of the roundabout from the ride’s start.
Food and drink
When the ride comes to an end, you will have to make some tough decisions concerning where to dine as there is an almost endless selection in Orange’s historic district. Located at the ride’s start and established in 1899, Watson’s Drug and Soda Fountain is a local favorite that serves up burgers and shakes and is a fun place to dine. If you are looking for something a little more health-conscious, try Citrus City Grille located just north of the circle on Glassell Street.
Antiquing in the historic district is serious business and there are plenty of shops to peruse, be prepared to part with your money. North of the start is Chapman University which has a beautiful campus worthy of a stroll.
13.846 km / 8.604 mi
79 m / 259 ft
78 m / 255 ft
92 m / 302 ft