Ventura River Trail

California

Ventura River Trail Facts

States: California
Counties: Ventura
Length: 5.5 miles
Trail end points: Ojai Valley Trail at Casitas Vista Rd. (Foster Park) and Rex St. and Dubbers St. (Ventura)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015327
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

Get Your Guidebook!

Support Trails and Pick Your FREE Guidebook Today!

When you make your gift of $35 now just $30 or more to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, we’ll be thrilled to send you your choice of one of our 11 great guidebooks—FREE!

Ventura River Trail Description

The Ventura River Trail follows the former Ventura and Ojai Valley Railroad right-of-way, from just north of Ventura to Casitas Vista Road at Foster Park northeast of town. Here the trail continues to Ojai as the Ojai Valley Trail. The Ventura River Trail has a distinctly industrial feel to it, and it gives trail users a close-up look at the many businesses (both past and present) that have fueled the region's growth. Opened in 1999, the trail links the Ojai Valley Trail and the Omer Rains Coastal Bike Trail (via a short, signed trek on sidewalks or bike lanes) for a spectacular 17-mile urban bike ride that extends from historic Ventura Pier to downtown Ojai.

The Ventura River Trail parallels State Route 33 and Ventura Avenue, but the roads are not always visible. Beginning at the southern end and heading north, you pass a variety of features from the area's natural and industrial heritage, including an impressive wall of sedimentary layers exposed by the Ventura River, active and abandoned industrial sites and the occasional oil derrick. It may not be the most scenic stretch of trail you've experienced, but it is certainly interesting.

The route is marked by a series of curious art installations that incorporate various themes related to Ventura. Installations include "A Delicate Balance," bronze great egret and brown pelican sculptures; "Orange Trace," clusters of painted bronze oranges arranged to look like they just fell from a freight car; and "Win*Pin," a windmill/pinwheel hybrid sculpture that incorporates the poinsettia, Ventura's official flower.

By the time you reach the trail's midpoint, the scenery transitions slightly as it winds along pastureland and an equestrian path, with the Ventura River on one side and Ventura Avenue on the other. The trail is paved and in good condition, crossing roads occasionally. Bicycle and pedestrian traffic on the trail is fairly light in the springtime but picks up in the summer.

Like most rail-trails, the Ventura River Trail is a very comfortable ride, though there is a slight uphill grade from Ventura to Foster Park. Foster Park is a lovely linear park along the Ventura River and a popular spot for family barbecues on weekends. (It gets very busy on holidays!) The park has restrooms, water fountains and parking, which makes it a good starting point, though there is an entrance fee.

If you're visiting Ventura for the first time, you may want to check out any number of interesting sites. Ventura's City Hall (the town is officially called San Buenaventura), a 1912 marble and terra-cotta Beaux Arts building, provokes memories of a long-gone era in the Central Coast. The Ventura Pier, built in 1872, is Southern California's second-oldest pier and a great place to watch the local surfers catching waves.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the southern trailhead, take exit 71 from US 101 onto W. Main Street and head east. Take a left (north) onto N. Olive Street. Turn left again (west) onto Rex Street. The trailhead is at the intersection of Rex and Dubbers streets. Street parking is available nearby.

Ventura River Trail Reviews

The trail is kept up, but until you reach the Ojai trail, which is essentially an extension of this one, you go through some typically ugly southern California terrain, past oil derricks, storage depots, and scrub.

Next time, I'll skip this trail and just about five miles up at the Ojai trail.

FYI, there is no exit 71 on the 101 if you're going north (there is if you're going south). Instead, take the 33 and get off the first exit.

Also, Rex St has no street sign; it's just past the 33 entrance as you drive up Olive.

its a short trail, narrow at times but well maintained, I did not start at the beach, I started at the trail head off of a side street. If you are familiar with Ventura and its oil hayday then this portion of the trial will remind you of it. the trail links nicely with Ojai Valley trail

For me, the two previous times that I have used the path, parking on Main St and riding up Olive Ave is the best way to go, Main St has a bike shop right there near Olive and it is a short ride up Olive to Rex to access the bike path.
There is also a strange park right as you enter the path. Lawn bowling on steroids. The bike shop is Ventura Bicycle Depot 239 W Main St Ventura 93001

Accordion

To start from Ventura, the parking lot for the trail is on the South side of Main Street just west of Hwy 33 overpass, ( GPS- N34.28131 W119.30630 ) Go east 0.14 mile on Main to N Olive St. North 0.14 mile on Olive to & left on Rex St. Trail starts end of Rex St N N34.28339 W119.30384. elev 26’ Bike lanes are wide on Main. The trail surface is in fine condition, and there are numerous cyclists and walkers for a Friday mid afternoon ride with a nice tailwind to pedal upgrade to Foster Park at N34.35290 W119.30771 elev 227’ and return. By Noel J. Keller on November 06, 2006

Trail Events

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

Add an Event

Nearby Trails

Ojai Valley Trail

California - 9.3 miles

A favorite among rail-trail enthusiasts, the Ojai Valley Trail extends about 9.5 miles north of Ventura from Foster Park to the heart of Ojai....

Omer Rains Coastal Bike Trail

California - 4.1 miles

The Omer Rains Coastal Bike Trail, named after a popular local politician and environmentalist, is an incredibly scenic route along Ventura's Pacific...

Rincon Bike Trail

California - 3.6 miles

The Rincon Bike Trail offers both beautiful views of the Santa Barbara Channel and an important alternative to US 101 for bicyclists. The trail begins...

Accordion

Santa Paula Branch Line Trail

California - 2.5 miles

Stretching through the heart of the small city of Santa Paula, the Santa Paula Branch Line Trail provides an important off-road means of getting...

Calleguas Creek Bike Path

California - 3 miles

Callegus Creek Bike Path winds along the east side of Camarillo, a bedroom community on the outskirts of Los Angeles. The paved pathway serves as a...

Santa Barbara Beach Trail

California - 4.5 miles

The Santa Barbara Beach Trail, occasionally signed as the Coast Route, begins at Shoreline Park, a long but thin area encompassing the bluffs just...

Fillmore Bike Path

California - 3.8 miles

The Fillmore Bike Path consists of two distinct but connected trails, each offering its own unique experience for trail users. Both portions are paved...

Atascadero Creek Trail (Obern Trail)

California - 3.5 miles

Starting at Goleta Beach State Park, the Atascadero Creek Bike Path travels east toward Santa Barbara's center, following a flood-control channel. The...

San Antonio Creek Trail

California - 0.5 miles

The San Antonio Creek Trail runs only 0.5 mile from the Maria Ygnacio Bike Path near Matorral Way east to University Drive near San Marcos Road. A...

Maria Ygnacio Bike Path

California - 1.9 miles

The paved Maria Ygnacio Bike Path follows the creek of the same name, from the Atascadero Creek Trail near Patterson Avenue north to Pintura Drive at...

Goleta Beach Trail

California - 0.9 miles

The Goleta Beach Trail is popular among students of the University of California, Santa Barbara, who use it to travel between campus and Goleta Beach...

Bouquet Canyon Trail

California - 3.6 miles

The Bouquet Canyon Trail is open in two disconnected segments—both along Newhall Ranch Road—in Santa Clarita. The western segment runs along the south...

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