Fairview Park - Mesa Verde Loop

ORANGE COUNTY, ROAD RIDE, FAIRVIEW PARK - MESA VERDE LOOP This bike ride loops through the western portion of the City of Costa Mesa. As the name implies, the city rests on a plateau overlooking Newport Bay, the Santa Ana River and the ocean beyond. As you ride you will pass through a varied landscape of quiet neighborhoods, business districts, beachside property, river beds and finally through a nature preserve before returning to the mesa. The bike ride begins at Fairview Park, a rustic open space with trails that meander through dunes covered in wildflower and natural vegetation all located on a plateau with a spectacular view. Mountain bikers will find fun sections of singletrack here. Shortly after leaving the park, at 0.77 miles, Estancia Park is on the left and is home to the Sepulveda Diego Adobe, the oldest parts of which date back to 1820. Restored in 1966, the building sits on land that has a long history with recent excavations yielding mastodon fossils, evidence of Native American habitation and archeological items from the first European settlers. The Costa Mesa Historical Society maintains a museum and library but check in advance as business hours vary. At 7.13 miles this ride turns onto West Coast Highway. This is the busiest leg of the ride and although most of it does have on-street bike lanes, there is a short stretch that is without painted lanes. An alternative is to cross to the other side of the street which does have on-street bike lanes as well as a bike path. The best place to do this is at Prospect Street. At 8.26 miles the ride moves onto a bike path that runs along the Santa Ana River. Although this is not officially part of the Santa Ana River Trail, it does connect to it at 10.79 miles. Here you will pass a protected river marsh which plays host to a number of bird species from snowy white egrets to osprey to tiny hummingbirds. Just beyond the marsh is Talbert Nature Preserve with miles of gravel trails passing among dunes and marshland. A ride or hike through here will give you a sense of the coastal habitat that was lost during the Southern California real estate boom of the 1970s and 80s. At 10.99 miles there is an attractive green meadow at the foot of the mesa. Water, restrooms and picnic tables are located nearby. Side Trip Besides a picnic on the beach, this ride passes through Talbert Nature Preserve with miles of trails for hiking and cycling. Located near the ride’s start is Estancia Park where the Diego Sepulveda Adobe has been restored. FOOD AND DRINK Along West Coast Highway you find a number of dining options. Spaghetti Bender is a fun, casual neighborhood restaurant that has been around forever and nearby Newport Burger serves quite a bit more than hamburgers. ACCESS By bus, OCTA bus routes 1, 43, 47, 71, 78 and 173 all intersect with this ride. By car, take exit 11, Harbor Boulevard, off of Interstate 405. Travel south on Harbor for 0.5 miles, turn right onto Baker Street, followed by a right onto Mesa Verde Drive. Mesa Verde turns into Placentia Avenue and after 2.2 miles the park will be on your right.
Ride type:
Mountain biking
Road riding
Kid friendly
Rail Trail
Difficulty: Beginner (Green)
Ride Duration: 1-2 hrs
Fitness Level: Medium
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: 19.0
First Aid
Bike hire
Bike servicing
Accessible by bike
Accessible by car
Accessible by public transport
Accessible by shuttle / uber
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