Venta Spur Trail

California

Venta Spur Trail Facts

States: California
Counties: Orange
Length: 3.7 miles
Trail end points: Peters Canyon Trail near Mojave and Pacific Crest and Sable and Emberglow
Trail surfaces: Concrete
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6376473
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

With Unlimited:

  • Export to My Trail Guide
  • Create Guidebook
  • Download GPX
  • Download Offline Maps
  • Print Friendly Map
Upgrade Now

Register for Free with TrailLink Today!

View over 30,000 miles of trail maps
Share your trail photos
Save Your Favorite Trails
Find New Trails Near You
Leave reviews for trails
Submit new trails to our site
Register Now

Venta Spur Trail Description

The Venta Spur Trail travels along the narrow corridor of a former rail spur that began serving the Frances Packing House—a major citrus processing facility—in 1916. Today, the popular trail serves the local neighborhoods. The western portion is shaded and lushly landscaped, while the eastern portion leaves the former rail corridor to parallel neighborhood roads.

The trail cuts across much of Irvine, from the Peters Canyon Trail to State Route 133 near Orange County Great Park. At Jeffrey Road, the trail also connects to the developing Jeffrey Open Space Trail, which extends north to the outer fringes of Irvine.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach parking for the Venta Spur Trail from Interstate 5 in Irvine, take the Jeffrey Road exit and head northeast for a mile to Bryan Avenue (Long Meadow). Turn right and take Long Meadow 0.33 miles to the entrance of Woodbury Park.

Venta Spur Trail Reviews

Not a bad trail. Kind of nice. I wish that they would put crosswalks where the trail hits streets instead of making us go down to the next street to cross. It really kills to flow of the trail when you're on a bike.


THE VENTA SPUR TRAIL, IRVINE, CA.

12.21.09

There was a time and now it’s all gone by . . . when getting an orange in your Christmas stocking was a treat.

There was a time and now it’s all gone by . . . when Orange County had mile upon mile of orange groves instead of mile upon mile of homes, apartments, malls and condos. (And where did those 240 square kilometers of lima beans vanish to?) You can think of those times as you ride the Venta Spur Trail.

In 1916, some 93 years ago, James Irvine, Jr. built a 48,000 square foot citrus packing house, which he named the Frances Packing House after his late wife. The Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad extended a spur line to serve the packing house – the Venta Spur. The packing house packed it up in 1971, the right-of-way was donated to the city in 1988 and in 1997 came the Venta Spur Trail.


THE RIDE… 3.31 miles from Peters Canyon Wash Trail to the 133 Toll road

This is a pleasant, well-shaded, lushly landscaped low speed neighborhood trail. Check out the pix. Great for families and kids. Good place for a walk, with or without the dog. It is not heavily trafficked by high speed bikies. Those on-grade crossings just kill speed; it is too short to provide any distance; it only connects with one express trails. Relax and enjoy. If you get “whushed” it will probably be a kid on a Razor.

One doubts that this is a destination trail for you. You are doing it because you are riding the Peters Canyon Wash Trail – or live locally. If the latter, you know where to go. If the former, stage out of Hicks Canyon Community Park at 3864 Viewpark Ave. or the Woodbury Community Park at 130 Sanctuary. Both have restrooms, water, picnic tables, parking and lots more.

From the Hicks CCP, get on the Hicks Canyon Trail and head west to the junction with Peters Canyon, then left (south) down the PCWT to the Venta Spur Junction. This is a half mile and one under crossing away. There is a water point just inside the junction and another further on at Silkwood Park. Other than that and those nice benches and tables at the junction and more benches along the trail, that’s mostly it on facilities. No pit stops until Woodbury CCP over to the east.

The first park you reach, a quarter mile in, is a very nice private one for the residents of Northpark Square. The next park, Silkwood Neighborhood Park at 1 Mayflower has a water fountain, no restrooms and on-street parking only.

When not diverting down the block to a ped crossing and back, you pass down a green corridor between the neighborhoods with a stone brook to keep you company. It must be a shady delight in summer when it’s Brain Fry Time in Irvine. As you near Jeffrey Rd., note the row of old growth eucalyptus trees. Probably planted along the edge of an orange grove in Days Gone By. Also notice all the back yard gates opening on the trail – a community trail.

There are several miles of bollard lighting, which should encourage pleasant evening walks. It was certainly a pleasant Saturday ride. Sort of a short feature that goes with the main event – Peters Canyon.

When you hit Jeffrey Rd., you might think that it’s over. But wait, there’s more. Across the street is the JOST – Jeffrey Open Space Trail – and an interesting ride in its own right. Some day it will run about 5 miles from Quail Hill Trailhead to Portola and the Great Park. Today it runs a mile. It’s a mile worth riding.

Notice the barrier along the median strip to discourage you from dashing across, which is both naughty and foolish. Turn right and take the bike/walk for 0.25 miles down Jeffrey to Bryan Ave. The bike/walk continues along Bryan on the south side to Woodbury Community Park (0.33 miles) and beyond.

Start at the north end of the JOST and follow the history of the Irvine ranch from the Rancho Days to World War II. There are intaglio panels set in the bike/walk thru the park and each one deals with a bit of Irvine Ranch history. You can actually see them from space – just can’t read them. GE: 33.703309° -117.754537°

The Venta Spur finally ends at in a new subdivision, Woodbury East, at the junction of Towngate and Crosspointe. This is close aboard the 133 Tollroad. As you look over the new construction and the model homes and the traffic rushing by and the private community recreation facility, remember that there was a time, and now it’s all gone by, when there were 971,820 orange trees on the Irvine Ranch.

CONNECTIONS AND RIDES…

If you would like something of a loop ride in this part of town and don’t mind a bit of bike lane, try this. Park at Woodbury CCP and ride the Venta Spur to Peters Canyon Wash Trail. Take the PCWT upstream to the Hicks Canyon Trail and up the Hicks to Portola Parkway. A quarter mile along Portola puts you at the top of Jeffrey Rd. Take the bike lane downhill to the JOST (0.89). Ride the JOST. You can get back on the Venta Spur at the Bryan underpass or take the JOST to the bottom at Trabuco and double back to the VST and head back to your car at Woodbury. This works out to around 6.9 miles.

Credits where due: (“There was a time, and now it’s all gone by. . . “ is from the Zuhalterballade from Die Dreigroschenoper)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VzMHmO_Ztg&feature=related



TRAIL RATINGS… * to *****

Trail surface = **** to *****. It’s a nice concrete bike/walk and you don’t notice it under tire.

Facilities = ***** There are full service park/trail heads close to both ends. There is water on the trail in various places. There are benches and tables. There is shade and a lot of nice landscaping. What is not to like. (Well, those diversions down the block at the on-grade crossings.)

Scenery = ***** It’s a delight to slowly pedal along, enjoying the views. (TrailBear has been up surveying the San Gabriel River Trail. Power plants, oil fields, concrete river beds. Enjoy Irvine. They landscape it.

Do it again? Sure. Probably as a loop trip which includes the JOST.

Ride on!

TrailBear

Trail Events

This trail does not have any events yet.
Be the first to add one!

Add an Event

Nearby Trails

Peters Canyon Trail

California - 4.6 miles

The Peters Canyon Trail, currently open in two disconnected segments, runs northeast from Bill Barber Community Park to Portola Parkway, with a small...

West Irvine Trail

California - 1.7 miles

To the trail user, the West Irvine Trail and Peters Canyon Bikeway are one continuous trail with two names in three cities. The northern component of...

Hicks Canyon Trail

California - 2 miles

The Hicks Canyon Trail is a short but scenic blacktop trail along the landscaped Hicks Canyon Wash. It starts at the Peters Canyon Trail near Hicks...

Accordion

Peters Canyon Bikeway

California - 2.9 miles

To the trail user, the West Irvine Trail and Peters Canyon Bikeway are one continuous trail with two names in three cities. The northern component of...

Walnut Trail

California - 3.1 miles

The Walnut Trail shares a wide corridor with an active railroad line, a BNSF route, through a section of Orange County known for producing oranges and...

Harvard Trail

California - 1.5 miles

The Harvard Trail is a short sidepath along Harvard Avenue in Irvine. Beautifully landscaped, lit and featuring smooth concrete, the trail is a much...

Jeffrey Open Space Trail

California - 4.1 miles

Irvine's Jeffrey Open Space Trail, currently open in three disconnected segments, has won awards for its landscaping and innovative design...

Tustin Branch Trail

California - 2.2 miles

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...

Woodbridge Trail

California - 2.2 miles

The Woodbridge Trail, while short, is one of the most scenic in Irvine's extensive trail network. Views of two lakes and surrounding mountains unfold...

San Diego Creek Trail

California - 9.3 miles

The San Diego Creek Trail is the spine of the City of Irvine's extensive system of trails and bike lanes. It begins in Newport Beach, joining the...

Freeway Trail

California - 3.7 miles

The Freeway Trail, as its name implies, parallels the San Diego Freeway (Interstate 405) on its brief route through Irvine. With power lines overhead...

Juanita Moe Trail

California - 1 miles

The Juanita Moe Trail—formerly known as the Quail Hill Trail—is a short path along Interstate 405 south of downtown Irvine. Forming a link between the...

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews
OR

Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 30,000 miles of trail maps and more!
OR