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The Juanita Cooke Greenbelt is a wonderful escape from the often-busy streets and highways of Orange County. This 2.5-mile trail in Fullerton connects some of the area's quiet neighborhoods with the downtown area, making it a great commuter path as well. The wide mulch and dirt surface makes this trail ideal for equestrian, pedestrian and bike use, alike.
The trail is named for the woman who once served as a liaison for the Fullerton Recreation Riders, a local equestrian group that helped get the trail built. A plaque posted at West Valley View Drive gives the history of the trail. Also posted at this location is the route of a 12-mile mountain bike ride around Fullerton. Yet another trail, the Bud Turner Trail, named for another Fullerton Recreation Riders leader influential in making a trail a reality, connects to the greenbelt. Together, these two trails provide a refreshing space for all trail enthusiasts.
Setting out from the northern trailhead at Laguna Lake Park, you will pass through some established neighborhoods. (Although the trail's official north end is at Hermosa Drive near Laguna Lake, the path continues north until it is interrupted by the Coyote Creek channel. A rough informal path goes as far north as Imperial Highway, where the railroad spur still exists, and there is a signalized grade crossing.)
The scents provided by the flowering shrubs, citrus trees and the rest of the surrounding lush vegetation is a delightful bonus. As the trail approaches bustling downtown Fullerton, it crosses high above an active railroad corridor. When you reach Laguna Road and the trail appears to come to an abrupt stop, cross the road and follow Morelia Place (directly across the street from the trail) for a few hundred yards of on-road travel. At the intersection of West Bastanchury Boulevard, cross this busy street and pick up the mulch and dirt trail once again on the other side.
The last stretch of the trail is especially wide. Neighbors on both sides of the trail have put in beautiful landscaping, including lush gardens and high palms. Near Harbor Boulevard, very close to downtown Fullerton, the trail ends. Just to the left of the trail endpoint is a large Orange County courts parking area that can also be used by trail-goers.
The Orange County public transit system offers access to the trail. Visit the OCTA's website to plan your trip.
For those driving, parking is available at a number of locations along the trail. View the TrailLink map for all options and detailed directions. Locations include the northwest entrance to Laguna Lake Park, located at the intersection of Hermosa Drive and Lakeside Drive and the North County Court municipal building trailhead.
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