Santiago Creek Trail

ORANGE COUNTY, SIGHTSEEING RIDE, SANTIAGO CREEK TRAIL The Santiago Creek Trail is a smooth bike path that meanders through the Cities of Orange and Santa Ana following the creek bed. At times it passes through wild natural spaces then manicured, green parks, until ultimately delivering you to a gigantic shopping center. Along the way there are plenty of diversions on this family ride including two museums, a number of playgrounds and two long, oldfashioned steel slides the kids will love to zoom down. You just might be tempted too! Beginning at Grijalva Community Park at one end of the Santiago Creek Trail. From there the route will travel alongside Santiago Reservoir and then into the City of Villa Park, greatly extending this car-free ride. After passing through Hart Park, Santiago Creek enters a wild phase with a natural stream bed teeming with sycamores, live oaks and brush. This is the Santiago Creek Nature Preserve and here you will find a nature center where hikes are organized and interpretive displays provide information about the flora and fauna of the area. Before reaching the nature center there are two steel slides almost hidden in the hillside. Pick up a patch of rug, sit down and hold on tight as you zoom down at high speeds. The ride’s highlights are the two museums located near the turnaround point. On your left before you pass under Main Street will be the Bowers Museum. The permanent collections here focus on art of Native America, Africa and the Asian Pacific among others and the museum has a reputation of offering highly interesting special exhibits. Also at the Bowers is the Kidseum which offers multi-faceted art and cultural experiences for children. On the other side of Main Street is the popular Discovery Center Museum complete with the giant black cube that towers over it, the cockpit of the Endeavour Space Shuttle, lift rockets and space capsules. Inside the center, kids of all ages will wander through the giant digestive system of a dinosaur, learn how weather systems function, what happens to buildings during earthquakes and how water can reshape mountains. The Discovery Theater offers fun educational movies as well. And finally, if shopping is your thing, Santiago Creek Trail ends at Mainplace Shopping Center. At this point you will find yourself on busy city streets, passing through a crowded parking lot so exercise caution here. Side Trips In addition to four distinctly different parks to explore, this ride passes through the Santiago Park Nature Preserve, past the Bowers Museum and the Discovery Science Center, as well as having a turnaround point at the Mainplace Shopping Center in Santa Ana. FOOD AND DRINK The ride turns around at Mainplace Shopping Center which has a number of eateries located within. The Discovery Science Center has two fast food restaurants inside if you plan on visiting. Otherwise, pack a lunch and stop at one of the many parks to enjoy a picnic. ACCESS By bus, take OCTA 54 to the intersection of Chapman Avenue and Prospect Street. Grijalva Community Park is 0.3 miles to north of bus stop off Prospect Street. By car, take exit 14, Chapman Avenue, off of California Highway 55. Travel east on Chapman for 0.6 miles then turn left onto Prospect Street. Grijalva Community Park will be on your left.
Ride type:
Mountain biking
Road riding
Kid friendly
Rail Trail
Difficulty: Easy (Blue)
Ride Duration: 1-2 hrs
Fitness Level: Low
Shared Bike Path - Paved
Shared Bike Path - Dirt
On-Road Bike Lane
Off-Road - Fire Trail
Off-Road - Rail Trail
Off-Road - Single Track
Off-Road - Downhill
Estimated Distance: 20.0
First Aid
Bike hire
Bike servicing
Accessible by bike
Accessible by car
Accessible by public transport
Accessible by shuttle / uber
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