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Closure Notice: A major rehabilitation project on Ocean Drive will impact the Corpus Christi Bay Trail. Construction will be going on for a year, starting October 2020. See Corpus Christi website for updates.
The Corpus Christi Bay Trail connects many of Corpus Christi's tourist attractions along its nearly 9-mile waterfront route, including the Art Museum of South Texas, Museum of Science and History, and Corpus Christi Marina. The trail begins in the north at the city's American Bank Center arena, where residents and visitors can take in a sporting event or convention. At the southern endpoint, the trail passes directly through the campus of Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi.
The Corpus Christi Bay Trail also links the city's six parks along Ocean Drive on Corpus Christi Bay. While the trail's concrete surface makes it popular for bikers, walkers, and inline skaters seeking space for exercise, the Corpus Christi Bay Trail also has a reputation as a superb spot for bird watching. Threatened and endangered species—such as the brown pelican and American peregrine falcon, among others—often can be spotted from the trail along Oso Creek and Oso Bay.
Trail users should be advised that a significant portion of the Corpus Christi Bay Trail is actually a sidewalk or bike lane, and not a dedicated off-road route. Please be aware that the bike lanes are only divided from traffic by a painted white line. For those interested in biking only on the non-sidewalk off-road sections of the trail, here are the bike-friendly off-road portions:
From the Art Museum of South Texas (northern end of the route) running parallel to N Shoreline Blvd and then S Shoreline Blvd on the coastline/east side until the intersection with Furman Ave, where the two segments of Shoreline Blvd merge together.
There are on-road bike lanes until Ocean Blvd intersects with Ayers St, where a bike-friendly off-road path picks up. Here the paved trail is marked with a dashed yellow line down the middle and it continues for about a mile until the Memorial Garden of Peace (3102 Ocean Dr) where on-road bike lanes take over.
Ropes Park (3102 Ocean Dr), Doddridge Park (3814 Ocean Dr) Swantner Park (5102 Ocean Dr), Palmetto Park (5440 Ocean Dr), and Poenisch Park (5602 Ocean Dr) each briefly provide bike-friendly off-road paths, but the rest of the route along Ocean Dr is composed of sidewalks and/or bike lanes.
The southernmost section of the trail, also known as the Texas A&M Hike & Bike Trail, is completely off-road and curves along the coastline of the peninsula home to the Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi campus. This 1.25-mile segment can be accessed from numerous points around the campus. Its northwest endpoint is located on Oso Dr behind Conrad Blucher Institute and across the street from the Institute's parking lot. The southeast endpoint can be reached from either Hammerhead Parking Lot on Sand Dollar Blvd or from Ocean Dr via a short road marked by a sign for Stark College & Seminary (7000 Ocean Dr) and a sign for the Newman Catholic Student Center.
The Corpus Christi Bay Trail parallels S. Shoreline Boulevard/Ocean Drive for most of its route. Corpus Christi's public transit system (CCRTA) provides access to the trail. Visit the CCRTA website to use their trip planner tool and refer to the TrailLink map to find the most convenient transit stop for your adventure.
For those traveling to the trail by car, parking is available at Bayfront Park and the American Bank Center at the northern trailhead. Parking can also be found between Sherrill Park and McCaughan Park near the city's marina. Cole Park likewise has its own parking lot farther south or consider parking at the campus of Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi at the trail's southern endpoint. Visit the TrailLink map for all options and detailed directions.
The northern part of this route can be done on a segregated roadway away from vehicles, but you will move to roadway riding along the ocean side street. It’s been re-paved along major stretches, and has good bike lanes. Drivers are considerate of cyclists and give a good leeway for driving safety. The Texas A&M camper has a cycling pathway that goes around the campus and serves as a good way to reverse course and head back to the truck. Plenty of coastal parks to visit, as well as places to eat.
This is not a trail, it is merely a white line separating the rider from heavy, speeding fast traffic. There are no rumble strips or other safety measures for the biker. The small part closer to downtown has lots of foot traffic, people with dogs, kids etc.. that one has to be very careful off. It shouldn't be listed as a trail when its not.
1/226/21 Don’t do it. Major road construction underway, uncertain completion date.
started at the north end near the American Bank Center. dedicated bike/walking path along the waterfront until the southern end of Cole park where it ends at a 4 lane road. no sidewalk or protection from traffic so we turned around. total ride is about 10 miles round trip.
We parked in the southernmost parking lot & biked north. The 1st 3.5 miles is a bike lane with a few pull offs at parks. The northern part of the trail was much nicer. The bike lanes are fairly wide, but if you're like us & don't care for road riding i suggest you start at the North end.
I began a run at a North Beach hotel and ran over the the John F. Kennedy Memorial Causeway to link up with the Corpus "Bay Trail." I ran it for about 7 miles and will say that most of my time was spent on the asphalt of the bicycle lane. If I rated this a "trail" I'd give it as low scores as the others. But love the sights, sounds, smells, and "feel" of the ocean, even the unique urban/suburban qualities of this trail. True, the city and it's life is to one's immediate left or right (running to or from), but then the Gulf and it's wonders are on the other side. I love this town! I would hope I could one day live in Corpus, so naturally I'm biased. I did a 14 miles total today that brought me nothing but pure joy.
Just a heads up, this really isn't what I would call a "trail". It is going to be mainly sidewalk, some of it along the seawall, and some asphalt bike lanes. You will have the bay on one side and a busy/major, 4-lane thoroughfare on the other side the whole ride.
The portion from American Bank Center, all along the seawall, to the beach is quite busy and crowded, being mostly commercial. But it will thin out after Cole Park. Where it turns into Ocean Dr. and is residential, with lots of VERY nice, upscale homes. This is the nicer part of the "trail" to me.
I used to roller blade this area a lot years ago, but I don't visit the area often anymore. It is worth noting too, that this area is currently undergoing major changes. Shoreline Blvd., the street paralleling the first half of the ride, has been re-aligned and moved away from the "trail" for a stretch near the beach. Ocean Dr. is also being reconstructed, as it was in bad condition. Once all of this construction is clear, the area will be much nicer.
Still, I prefer to get out of the city-scape for my rides & runs. So, this is too urban for me to really enjoy.
We started this "trail" at the Northern End (Art Center). Things were fine along that stretch. However, once out of the park we were directed across a 4 lane, divided highway (Ocean Drive) to the bike lane. Although the car roadways were pretty smooth, the bike lines were like riding on rumble strips all the way. Road maintenance along Ocean Drive is only for cars, nothing is done to improve the bike lanes.
This "trail" shouldn't even be called a "trail" it's a "bike route", out in traffic for the majority of the miles. We drove all the way from Rockport and it WASN'T worth the trip!
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