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Running through large Los Angeles suburbs in both Los Angeles County and Orange County, the Coyote Creek Bikeway follows the channelized bank of the creek through residential and industrial neighborhoods. A good commuting or recreational option, it provides access from much of inland Orange County to the Pacific Ocean via the connecting San Gabriel River Trail, as well as to other destinations in the area.
Midway, you'll find one of the trail's gems: Cerritos Regional County Park, where trail users can refresh themselves with water, restrooms and a stroll around the lake. Picnic tables are available for lunch, and many athletic facilities round out the opportunities here: tennis courts, basketball courts, a gym, pool and exercise stations.
At its southern end, the trail connects to the 38-mile San Gabriel River Trail, which continues south to Seal Beach on the Pacific Ocean and north to Azusa at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. Both trails are part of the OC Loop, a regional trail network that will one day span 66 miles throughout Orange County.
A shorter, disconnected segment of the Coyote Creek Bikeway runs from Buena Park through La Mirada to La Habra. Eventually, this section will be linked to the main trail, but first, a challenging crossing of Interstate 5 must be negotiated.
About midway along the trail, Cerritos Regional County Park (19700 Bloomfield Avenue in Cerritos) offers restrooms, water and parking.
Many repaved sections make this a nice trail. From the north end at Foster, it is possible to go up Carmanita to the Whittier Greenbelt Trail, or to Stage Road and the rest of Coyote Creek. It would be nice to see a complete trail to Whittier someday.
Park at Cerritos Regional Park near entrance of this trail. Rough road in the middle of this trail and one switch over to the other side near Cypress. Trail gets much better when San Gabriel River Trail merge. At the end of this trail in Seal Beach is a River's End Cafe with good food and rest.
After reading all the reviews of this trail it wasn't bad at all. not once spotted homeless people at all.. I'm sure there are some at night. we (my boyfriend and his 4year old) started out at Cerritos Regional Park. and continued south. it was a great work out. will definitely do it in the near future again. :)
FYI...The Coyote Creek Trail is still closed at I-5 for construction and requires a large detour through congested streets.
The surface on Coyote is cracked over much of the way but was not hazardous at all. The SGRT trail surface is excellent. The scenery is bland due to the channelized rivers but if I lived here I'd ride it a lot just to avoid riding in traffic. There were many bikers and walkers along the way. The most fun part of the ride was watching a sea lion feeding on huge fish about 3 miles up the SGRT from the ocean.
From Alondra to Artesia. The path is ok only a few switch backs nice to have a long trail.
The alternative route around Artesia and Alondra is horrible down Carmenita.
Trail could use a little maintinance, it;s also closed at Alondra/5 freeway where they are widening the 5. Just a heads up for anybody wanting to start at trail head
TRAILBEAR GOES BRUTALIST : The Coyote Creek Trail
11.6.2010, Cerritios, CA
TrailBear finally rode the Coyote Creek Trail today. It’s the One That Don’t Get No Respect.
His reaction: Hey, it’s not a bad ride at all. Rather nice, in fact.
It is a classic SoCal river ride, said river being a concrete channel in the Brutalist tradition. You can ride both banks and make a loop to the park. Ride = B.
All pure lines, stark and open. It rather grows on you. No messy trees or brush to get between you and the creek – which is over there in that center channel (for now). Come the rains, it will be bank to bank rushing water. Notice the bolts on the banks below each bridge for swift water rescue gear.
The upper trail above Cerritos Regional Park is freshly paved and striped with 5’ lanes. The trail below the park sure could use paving, but, despite that, not a rough ride. Pavement scores ranges from C- to A.
Traillink has only a map with endpoints (and the north one off location), TB’s spring photos of the bottom end and no facilities survey. The survey was easy. There are no facilities on the trail with the exception of the fine Cerritos Regional Park – which is the only park seen along the trail. You can find restrooms, water and parking here. Once outside the park gate, you are roughing it. Facilities (outside the park): F.
If Der Bear Ran the Universe, there would be benches at the trail bridges. Where the side creeks come in there are large aprons – great places for a bench or two. There is not a bench the entire length of the trail. You can see why the riders are over on the San Gabriel, where there is a necklace of parks the entire length.
However, TB did not have the trail to himself. There was a constant stream of riders going up and down. The bikies may not talk about it or photograph it, but they do ride it.
@@@ RIDE PLANNING – WINDS
Consider the sea breeze in planning your ride. It is usually calm or light in the morning and builds in the afternoon, blowing down the coast and up the creek. A Cunning Plan would be to stage out of Cerritos Park or somewhere up the creek and ride to the beach in the morning, then come back upstream with the wind behind you in the afternoon. Fast roadies can be on the trail early and be up and down before the wind builds at all.
TB knows this from doing the downstream bit early on, then back to Cerritos Park and upstream. He arrived at the trail end in Santa Fe Springs as the breeze was on the make. It was making 10-15 knots – whole trees in motion. Not a fun ride back. Grinding into the wind knocked a few knots off the average speed.
CERRITOS REGIONAL PARK, GE: N33.85127 W118.05482
Check it out on Google Earth. The Wife pronounced it “a nice park.” There are soccer fields, ball diamonds, a swim center and tennis center. You want to park at the tennis center adjacent to the trail entrance: Restrooms, parking, water and Asians playing tennis. The demographic here is Asian. Head over to the trail gate at the bottom of Shoemaker Ave. Here it turns to 195th St. – which was recommended by a local roadie as the way to get over to the San Gabriel River Trail at Liberty Park.
Out the gate, past the handsome trail monument, pause to admire the fresh blacktop, then turn right and head downstream 1.44 miles to…
THE LINCOLN/CARSON CROSSING, GE: N33.83152 W118.06297
Here the trail changes sides of the creek. No signs announce this. They just locked the gate beyond the bridge and trust you to take the hint. Take the hint and the ramp to Carson/ Lincoln, head down to the cross walk, over and back across the bridge. It’s a rather nice bridge and the period lampposts are very attractive. You pick up the trail on the east bank, but now the pavement is old and cracked. In .56 miles you reach …
THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE, GE: N33.82359 W118.06489
What was this all about? The bridge is gated off. The old sign says “Bike Rest Area” and you were to ride over to find it. On the far bank is an elementary school and Lee Ware (pocket) Park. Perhaps that e was also the rest area once upon a time. But why close it off? It’s not like the trail has so many facilities that one less will not be noticed. Whatever. Your next stop is a confluence where…
CARBON CREEK ENTERS AT LOS ALAMITOS HIGH SCHOOL, GE: N33.81513 W118.07080
Here is a logical rest stop where the Carbon runs into the Coyote and there is a large apron just waiting for a bench or picnic table. Take a break and watch the riders go by. Carbon Creek runs about six miles across Cypress then goes underground. There is a paved service road along it. Make a nice bike trail? There is a whole network of gated-off flood control channels that could become bike trails with a little investment. Saddle up and head down this one to…
TRAIL END AT THE SAN GABRIEL BRIDGE, GE: N33.79505 W118.08896
This is the end of the trail. Coyote Creek runs into the river here. It was 5.10 miles down from Cerritos Park to here. At the TrailBear’s comfortable pace, that was 35 minutes riding time. The downs and ups were 91’ and 86’ – all those underpasses. You could just keep on going beyond the bridge on the San Gabriel River Trail. In about 4+ miles you would be at the ocean.
On a sunny Saturday you will see a lot of riders coming up the SGRT. Most riders turn at the bridge, but enough head up Coyote Creek. The CCT at this end, with the old pavement and no signage whatsoever looks a bit shabby. However, up past the Carson Bridge it becomes an attractive ride. North Coyote Creek and the industries of Santa Fe Springs remain to explore, so forget the beach, kick it about and ride the east bank to see where it goes. Yes, you can do a loop here with a bit of work.
LOOPING BACK ON THE EAST SIDE…
Head back upstream. When you reach the Carson Bridge, just keep on going on the east side. In 0.2 miles you are crossing Moody Creek with Forest Lawn (one of them) just over the fence. In 0.8 miles you reach…
THE RR BRIDGE LESS TRAVELED BY, GE: N33.84527 W118.05842
This bridge is just below Cerritos Park. Take a look at the unused Right of Way. This is one of the old Pacific Electric RR lines from Days Gone By. It runs 19 miles from the LA River down to the Sana Ana River. Metro controls it now and has penguin dreams of light rail. We had over a thousand miles of light rail here a century ago. What killed it was increasing car traffic. What has changed since then? More traffic?
Ride on a bit to Del Amo and discover the Horrid Truth. The trail is gated just beyond there. Time to get back across the river. You can walk over the bridge or back up and try the RR bridge. TB naturally went for the historic RR bridge. It is not decked and not gated.
He walked the bike on the cat walk while he walked on the open ties. On the far side they still have the rails laid down. The next thrill was getting across the highway. No cross walk here, nor did he expect any California driver to stop for a pedestrian not in a cross walk. Find a hole and make a frenzied dash.
A time out to resupply at the van by the tennis courts, then back on that nice blacktop and off to explore the Brutalist flood channel design of upper Coyote Creek. Notice that here they have mile stations stenciled across the trail at 0.25 intervals. That works. Head upstream 1.8 miles to the confluence of…
NORTH COYOTE CREEK & LA MIRADA CREEK, GE: N33.86676 W118.03483
Here you begin the North Coyote Creek Trail with mile stations reset to 0.0 and a new name on the pavement. Here you begin to ride through the industrial Santa Fe Springs. It has a charm of its own: the broad clean channel, the mountains ahead in the distance, the grey and white warehouses lining the banks, the fine pavement gently curing into the distance. Ride on.
Ride on under the Southern Pacific RR Bridge. Ride on past Norm Thompson’s RV Super Store. Ride on under the I-5 freeway, past the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet. Ride on beneath the AT&SF RR Bridge. Ride on until you can’t ride any more. Yes, the ride has ended at …
THE TRAIL END AT FOSTER ST., GE: N33.90966 W118.04090
Here is the northern end of the North Coyote Creek Trail. Across Foster the gates are locked shut. There is no trailhead here, but there is a sign. From Cerritos Regional Park it is about 5 miles to here. That growing sea breeze which made the ride up so nice is now a head wind and the ride back will be a grind. Before heading back, check this out…
FRONTIER PARK, LA MIRADA, GE: N33.91059 W118.03702
Just a block east on Foster, hidden behind that warehouse is Foster Park at 13212 Marquardt Avenue. There is parking, trees, a tot lot and a community building, probably holding restrooms and water. TB discovered it back home when he was working up the ride data. It looks like it will serve nicely as a trailhead on the upper end of the ride. Perhaps even a full service trailhead (parking, restrooms, and water).
TRAILHEADS ON THE SOUTH END…
Your choices down where the CCT meets the SGRT are limited. There is El Dorado Regional Park, just up the SGRT. That is a fee park, so you will never find the TrailBear there. Backtrack a mile up the creek and you find a bridge leading into Oak Academy Park and running past Oak Middle School. There is parking there and on the streets in the ‘hood beyond.
TB staged out of Liberty Park, Cerritos, on one ride down. Liberty makes a fine trailhead. Roadies could make a triangle ride from Cerritos Regional Park down to the SGRT, up the SGRT to Liberty Park and then across town on 195 St. back to CPR. Roadies can also work out how to connect the top of the Coyote Creek Trail to the Whittier Greenway and that to the SGRT for a larger loop ride.
Bucking a head wind back.
I posted a request for Coyote Creek info to the SoCal discussion at Bike Forums. Rick@OCRR gave permission to post his reply. Here it is.
@@@ A COYOTE CREEK RIDER...
I ride the Coyote Creek Trail all the time, getting on from Foster Road in La Mirada, where it starts (North End), and taking it to the junction with SGRT, then on to Seal Beach (15 mi.). I live in South Whittier, so easy for me!
Overall, not too bad, but in far worse condition than SART, for example. There are some rough spots, there are occasional gangs of kids on skateboards or with jump-bikes, plus homeless (some in tents!), but I've never had a problem with anyone.
There are two places where it crosses small (paved) creeks, so you have to go over a little bridge, which acts as a chicane if you're trying to go fast. Then there is one place where the path switches from the west side of Coyote Creek to the east side, but it's well marked and now you can ride the whole transition (they've taken out the little poles that used to require a dis-mount).
Of course, like most similar MUP's you go down then up under all the cross streets (23 times if you go all the way to Seal Beach). There are a few pedestrians, some with dogs and some with kids (with and without child buggies), but overall fewer per mile than SART.
So, overall, not bad but not wonderful either. Any questions?
Rick / OCRR
Poor Coyote Creek - it don't get no respect. It has no reviews. It has no photos, so here goes. A bit of both. If you ride it, write it up and take some pix.
I was out scouting trailheads on the lower San Gabriel River Trail for map updates. My route took me south from Liberty Park, Cerritos. (Nice SGRT trailhead, BTW.) At the confluence of creek and river I decided to take a spin up the creek to see what was there. It was not a very long ride - just up to the Oak Junior High, then back down to the bridge and up to Liberty Park and off home.
It's a rather bland and/or stark flood control channel with the trail on the levee. It's a rather narrow trail. The pavement is old and not good in places. Lot of alligator sections of cracks dividing the pavement into scales. It was getting some traffic on a Sunday afternoon. Local? If you live up that way, it is probably your way out on a bike. Down to Long Beach and the shore, PCH, beach rides, up the SGRT.
I can't rate the facilities because I did not go far enough to find any - or there are none. Compared to the middle SART above Katella (Santa Ana River Trail), it got left out. Mid SART has one flushie rest area at Katella, three portapotty pitstops along the way, several waysides with water, assorted benches and nice landscaping the length. I think the mangers could have at least placed a bench or two on the plaza at the confluence bridge.
Looking over the map and overflying the trail on Google Earth suggest that linking trailheads to this trail is going to be a very interesting project. Unlike the SGRT or the SART, there is not a chain of riverside parks along the trail to work with. Cerritos Regional Park might work. Other suggestions are???
I did trace a side path at the Oak Jr. High that leads out to Oak St. and one could park in the 'hood and do the trail. Another trailhead option would be El Dorado Regional Park (fee).
I plan to drop a note on Bike Forums and see if there are any CCT riders who want to post pix and reviews. Perhaps we can scare up some action here.
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