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Paralleling the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) for 2.5 miles, this route provides pedestrian and bicyclists with a connection between Capistrano Beach and North Beach.
The Coast Highway Protected Trail runs south from the intersection of the PCH & Beach Road to the intersection of the PCH & Camino Capistrano. This section is protected and separated from traffic by concrete barriers. Following a section of the highway known as N El Camino Real, the last third of the trail—continuing seamlessly from PCH & Camino Capistrano to Avenida Estacion—is somewhat more scenic, but no longer has the concrete barriers.
Capistrano Beach Park (35005 Beach Rd, Dana Point) at the northern end has portable restrooms, a basketball court, beach volleyball, and easy beach access. North Beach is easily accessible from the southern end of the route, and you can continue south on the San Clemente Beach Trail, a much more scenic trail.
Be sure to pack water as the route has very little shade. Although Coast Highway Protected Trail is not particularly scenic, it provides a useful commuting link between the San Clemente Metrolink Station and the southern neighborhoods of Dana Point, including Capistrano Beach.
Public transit provides easy connections with the Coast Highway Protected Trail. Check out the TrailLink map to find the most convenient transit system and stops for your adventure.
Orange County's transit system (OCTA) has several bus stops along the route. Refer to the OCTA website to plan your trip. During the summer, Dana Point's Summer Trolley Service provides access to the northern end of the route.
The San Clemente Metrolink Station (1850 Avenida Estacion, San Clemente) is conveniently located at the southern end of the route. Visit the Metrolink website for more information.
For those driving, parking is available at Capistrano Beach Park (35005 Beach Rd, Dana Point) and at Avenida Estacion Parking (1850 Avenida Estacion, San Clemente).
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