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Find the top rated hiking trails in Santa Maria, whether you're looking for an easy short hiking trail or a long hiking trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a hiking trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
|Trail Image||Trail Name||States||Length||Surface||Rating|
The Avila Beach section of the 2-segment "Bob Jones" City to the Sea Trail is a short but delightful ride down to the ocean along San Luis Obispo Creek. Starting at the Ontario Road park-and-ride lot,...
|CA||3 mi||Asphalt, Concrete||
The Cloister Walk offers just over 2 miles of paved pathway along the northwestern coast of Morro Bay. You'll enjoy views of the ocean and sandy dunes, which you can access at many points along the...
|CA||2.3 mi||Asphalt, Concrete||
The Morro Bay Harborwalk has all the beauty you'd expect from a southern California trail: sparkling surf, sandy beaches and rugged cliffs in the distance. But the best sight is unique to the city:...
Open in two disconnected segments, the paved Railroad Safety Trail parallels active Union Pacific freight and Amtrak passenger lines through the heart of San Luis Obispo. Future plans call for the...
The Santa Maria River Levee Trail offers wide open views of distant mountains and the rugged landscape of the Santa Maria Valley. The partially paved trail follows a levee built by the Army Corps of...
|CA||6.7 mi||Asphalt, Gravel||
The Santa Maria Valley Multi-Purpose Trail runs for more than 2 miles on the southern edge of Santa Barbara County's largest city. The northern end occupies a former rail corridor—and parallels an...
|CA||2.7 mi||Asphalt, Concrete||
Location: San Luis Obispo (North Segment) and Avila Beach (South Segment), CA
Parking: Pardo Road area (SLO segment) and parking area off of Ontario Road for Avila Beach segment. The Ontario Road parking lot is large and well used…a lot of cars parked on Friday afternoon.
Trail Condition: Surface is good throughout the trail. SLO segment had a couple areas of repair work and crack sealing. SLO is wide enough for riding two abreast. The Avila Beach segment trail width varies with two abreast wide and two lane road wide. Trail surface is smooth.
Signage: Usual regulatory signage on both sections. Along the SLO segment there were a number of signs explaining the sewage plant process and variety of equipment used. The Avila Beach segment had interpretative signage explaining geology, plants, and history. The Avila Beach segment had sufficient directional signs.
SLO segment – Don’t be surprised…starting from Prado Road within a very short distance will encounter an encampment right on the edge of the trail. The encampment is up close and in the face. Once passed that the trail follows along the sewer plant fence line (a number of signs on the fence explain the process and equipment used) on one side and the creek on the other. Plenty of trees and greenery away from traffic. Further on the trail twists through grassy area, trees, marsh land and ends at Los Osos Valley Road. We completed this segment and no need to return.
Avila Beach Segment – Many trail users, mostly walkers with a few bikes. Trail is away from traffic, through the trees, along the creek, past some quiet housing developments, and crosses a golf course before arriving about a block from the beach. A lengthy section of the trail is a two-lane road leading to a gated residential area, no cars were encountered on this part of the trail. This was a nice trail and worthy of a visit if in the area.
Location: Morro Bay, CA
Parking: Azure St. Ocean Access parking area north end of Cloister Walk trail.
Trail Condition: This is a “double” trail. Ocean side is walking path and then a separate asphalt surface for bikes. Both are plenty wide enough for lots of traffic and in great condition.
Signage: Informational signs but no directional signs, which aren’t needed.
Comments: Began from town out towards the rock. Short but nice. Stopped to watch sea otters near the shore line. Coming back from the rock took left hand turn on to bike path along Embarcadero to loop back to the Cloister Walk, our starting point. This trail and Cloister Walk trail gave us a short 6 mile ride. Great scenery and fun seeing sea otters.
Parking: Azure St. Ocean Access parking area north end of trail.
Trail Condition: Good asphalt surface, not real wide but wide enough for passing oncoming traffic. Signage: As noted in trail description there is not any directional signage. At first we followed the spur that took us out to the beach, followed another spur into a housing development, and then figured out where the trail would take us into town (through the nice little park).
Comments: Began trail from the north, first sign along trail asks for an unrealistic speed limit of 5 mph for bikes. We got the point, not to race through the trail, which isn’t really our style. This park of the trail winds along the dunes restoration area and some beach homes. Is scenic and quiet. The main portion from the park towards town parallels highway 1 but below highway grade. Lots of trees. South end of trail stops at a major street into Morro Bay. We made a right into the bike lane along the street and followed down to the harbor. Then north again to connect to Morro Bay Harborwalk. Then followed Embarcadero to loop back to the Cloister Walk. Short ride 6 miles overall but did enjoy the scenery.
The Bob Jones City to the Sea Trail is a nice, pretty, easy ride but sadly too short! Be prepared to do a bit of on street biking if you want to go all the way to Avila Beach and the pier.
For beautiful panoramas and photo ops, the Morro Bay Harborwalk is tough to beat. The path is usually full of tourists, but that's OK. It makes you slow down to enjoy the majesty of Morro Rock, the shimmering waters of the bay, and the antics of frolicking sea otters.
To make this into a lengthier and more substantial bike ride, we parked and unloaded our bikes up the coast a bit at the Morro Bay Sunset parking lot on Azure Street. We then enjoyed a leisurely ride down a Class I bike path for maybe a couple of miles. You'll pass through a park and go by Morro Bay High School.
Eventually you'll come to quiet Atascadero Road where you'll turn right. The road will dogleg into Embarcadero which leads straight to the Harborwalk. Yes, you have to ride on the road for a mile or two, but the roads had little to no traffic.
All in all, a fun time was had by all on these mini bike paths, perfect for a couple of sixty year olds.
BTW: If you're looking for something a bit more substantial near Morro Bay that's not on R-T-T, then go down the coast to Montana de Oro State Park and hike or ride your bike along the bluffs on a wide, hard packed dirt path overlooking the ocean. Talk about spectacular photo ops!
I just rode the entire trail and found that the western end of the trail is gated off at N. Blosser Rd. A sign on the gate shows "No trespassing" on the levee. Trail is mostly hard packed gravel.
There's good parking at the East end of the trail. Exit 101 and go toward Avila. Turn right at the first road (about 1/4 mile) and go over the bridge. The beginning of the trail is on the left and the parking is on the right. There is now a camera on a pole and the parking lot is patrolled due to thefts last year.
The trail itself is fairly well maintained except for an area where roots have affected the asphalt.
The trail gets very crowded on the weekends and holidays between 9 am and 3 pm. There are dog walkers, joggers, kids and families riding bikes, and people walking. It's a good idea to have a bell.
At the end of the trail, you can continue out to the port, an extra 1.1 miles or just ride up to the town of Avila. There's a nice coffee shop across from the beach at the South end of the shops that also sells boxes of water. :-)
Parking and starting in Avila is more difficult as beachgoers will take up the parking, especially between 9 am and 2 or 3 pm. It is possible to park on Winter weekdays.
The County is extending the trail to connect it with downtown.
I walk this trail on the weekends with my dog, and I see so many people out there. The view of the land is BEAUTIFUL and so worth the walk. It's peaceful and safe. I am so glad I walked this trail. It's good for bikers too with more than enough room for everyone. Come out and enjoy this trail!!
At the south end of the trail you will come upon Waller Park. This is not a trail, but the ride throughout the park is far better than the trail itself, which has no real draw, except that it is a designated two lane bike trail.
Riding through the park, which is full of beautiful pines, lush green lawns, a small pond, and minimal, 10 mile per hour, traffic. At keast that was the case when we rode in the late afternoon. A great place to stop for a picnic lunch. This is a day use park, so there are bathrooms, tables, etc.
I understand that the trail starts on SLO. I took the shorter southern route starting from the 101 to Avila beach. Very shady as it winds alongside SLO creek. There is some kind of resort about halfway through that has some resting areas. On a hot summer day, this ride is cool, shady and nice.
I drove to Santa Marie from Buelton just to ride my Tri-Cruiser on the Trail. I found all the east entrances had very tight turns that would not let my Tri-Cruiser through. Noel Keller 28 Nov 2015
TrailBear is headed up US 101, on the way to the San Juan Islands. Slow down to check out the new intersection in San Luis O - where his son in law is the engineer. 35.243425° -120.681557°
Something new in addition to the intersection - a bit of trail at the bottom of the sewer plant. Gotta check this out. Come about, park and walk up to see.
It extends the trail from the triangular settling pond at the south end of the sewer plant (or - waste water treatment facility) down to the intersection.
Here you pick up a bike lane for the ride down to the Johnson Ranch trailhead. From there you share the frontage road down to the upper trailhead at the Avila Beach section of trail.
The new section features a bridge over a small creek, an info kiosk with map and a parking stall for maintenance vehicles. Short, but nice.
Now you can ride from sewer to the sea. Enjoy.
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