Tustin Branch Trail


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Tustin Branch Trail Facts

States: California
Counties: Orange
Length: 2.2 miles
Trail end points: Fairhaven Ave. and Esplanade Ave. and El Camino Real and Newport Ave.
Trail surfaces: Concrete, Dirt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015323
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

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Tustin Branch Trail Description

If you are looking for a quick escape from the smog and traffic of Southern California, take a trip along the Tustin Branch Trail. Currently open in two disconnected segments, the trail runs on the former Tustin Branch, a Southern Pacific line used to deliver oranges from the Tustin Packing Company to markets from 1905 until the corridor washed out at Santiago Creek in 1969.

The older northern trail segment winds through quiet, palm-tree filled neighborhoods of Tustin. Feel the Santa Ana winds as they blow your worries away on this pleasant trail. The path, also known as the Esplanade Trail here, occupies a wide strip of land, providing much more park space than a traditional trail. One reason not to miss this Southern California gem is the landscaping: the colorful flowers and shrubs that line the trail make for a serene experience. The hard-packed clay trail surface is comfortable for all types of trail use. You are likely to meet friendly locals out enjoying the trail.

The trail parallels Esplanade Avenue for its entire route and has two busy road crossings: the first at E. 17th Street about 0.5 mile from the start and the second at Vanderlip Avenue, about 0.25 mile from the southern end of the trail. Just beyond Vanderlip Avenue, the trail runs past, and serves as a wonderful outdoor outlet to, urban Guin Foss Elementary School. A short distance beyond the school, the trail ends at Warren Avenue.

The southern trail segment begins at the intersection of Irvine Boulevard and Newport Avenue after a short gap that can be bridged via sidewalks on Warren Avenue, Holt Avenue and Irvine Boulevard. The trail here is a concrete sidepath along Newport Avenue that leads to shopping centers and some residences. Several major streets with signals interrupt the flow of the trail.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking for the Tustin Branch Trail is available in a public lot between the trail and Guin Foss Elementary School on Vanderlip Avenue.

Tustin Branch Trail Reviews

The City of Tustin has replaced one half mile from Main to Irvine Blvd with smooth concrete. Took out the trees and placed new landscaping with sprinklers. Noel Keller

This trail has been upgraded the 0.5 mile from 17th St. to Warren Ave. Graded, with a petro-liner under a clay surface, landscaping and a marked crossing at Vanderlip Ave with curb cuts, Noel Keller 11 Dec 09

GPS track now shows full trail. Parking also available at El Camino Real end of trail, behind office buildings parallel to the trail. Noel Keller 24 May 08


The interactive Map depicted here for Tustin Branch Newport is only half of the Trail. It extends southwest for another 0.4 mile to El Camino Real. By Noel Keller 2 May 08

This is really a “Town” trail. A sidewalk between the “rail trail” and Newport Ave is not well utilized by pedestrians, they like to use the bike trail, therefore this is a slow ride. Six restaurants, one fast food, five banks, two shopping centers, a gas station with car wash, flower shop, an ice cream parlor, and a tax service are just some of the businesses on the side of the trail. Seed Pods from the Magnolia trees clutter the trail after “Santa Ana” winds. Five cross streets with Traffic lights. Some root heaves and some drainage problems from irrigation.
Cyclist may cross Newport Ave and continue Northeast from end of this trail N33.74807 W117.81240 Elev- 131' on Newport Ave bike lanes, or connect to the Esplanade Trail by crossing Irvine Blvd and turning west on Irvine Blvd, no marked lanes but wide street for 0.1 mile to Holt Ave. Pedal North on wide Holt Ave, (no bike lanes), 0.4 mile to Warren St, Right on Warren 0.12 mile, Esplanade trail starts North side of Warren N33.75344 W117.81214 on the west side of culvert. This is packed adobe soil, 0.45 mile to 17th St. High curbs, no cuts, crossing Vanderlip Ave. The combined trails with connecting streets total 3.0 miles.
South end at El Camino Real N33.73833 W117.82219 Elev-120'. By Noel Keller

Esplanade Trail is a curvy wide clay/sand surface, well landscaped, Park Trail, well used by walkers. No restroom & 1 drinking fountain. One street crossing at Dodge Ave. Some dry weather cracks to avoid. Street parking on Esplanade Ave. The north end is N33.77344 W117.81076 Elev-228’. South end at Warner Ave N33.75344 W117.81214 Elev 120’. See review of Tustin Branch Trail- Newport Ave for connecting route.
The Esplanade photos are #‘s 6,7,8,9,10,11, 14,16,18, Photos #1,2,3,4,5,12,13,15,17,19,
Are on the Newport Branch. By Noel Keller

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