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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 around each bend. It's a great route for families with kids, and that is what you will find. The curves and trail traffic enforce a slower pace, perfect for taking in the views on a sunny weekend.
Trail bridges offer safe passage over busy Alton Parkway and Barranca Parkway. The trail is well connected, intersecting both the San Diego Creek Trail and Freeway Trail. To the north, 0.7 mile of bike lanes on Yale Avenue take you to the Walnut Trail, which runs along an active rail line and offers yet another connection to the Peters Canyon Trail.
Parking for the Woodbridge Trail is available at Mike Ward Community Park (20 Lake Road) in Irvine. Drinking fountains and restrooms can also be found here.
The trail is very pretty but I would try to avoid it on a nice Sunday morning. We made the mistake of riding it in that situation and it was very crowded. I didn't mind taking it very slow and enjoying the view, but even at less than 3 miles an hour pedestrians were yelling at us to slow down.
Trailbear gives a great and detailed review of connecting loops in the Irvine area. Since he is the expert, I will advise others to read his review. As for us, we parked at the Mike Ward park, went north on the Woodbridge trail, returned and went west at what I believed was the San Diego Creek Trail. We followed the trail to Sand Canyon. (as of this date 11/8/15) the trail is closed at this point due to construction, so we rode in the bike lane on Sand Canyon south to the Freeway Trail. We crossed the freeway, followed University to end end of the trail. Wasn't sure where to go from there but a very kind man showed us the way to a beautiful trail that ran along University and ended at Harvard. There we traveled to Barranca and followed the trail back to the park. We finished our ride by doing the southern loop of the Woodbridge Trail which was just a pretty as the northern loop.
We had a wonderful ride which was about 18 miles and will definitely do it again! Sorry I didn't get the names of all the trails but as Trailbear says - adventure is part of the fun of biking!
THE WOODBRIDGE LOOP
The Woodbridge Trail is very scenic – a new vista around every corner – but it’s short. Three miles, give or take. I want some miles. I get them by riding it as part of a loop. You do have a number of loop options.
The upper end is 0.7 miles of bike lane away from the Walnut Trail. The upper third of the trail is bisected by the San Diego Creek Trail. The lower third is bisected by the Freeway Trail and the bottom end joins the University Trail. This adds up to a fair number of choices for some sort of loop ride to the west or east. Check out the map and count ‘em up.
I elected to loop to the west of the trail. I parked at the Woodbridge mall on Barranca Parkway. The wife headed to the book store and I headed up the trail along North Lake. It’s not a fast trail. Too many people and too many distractions. The camera was busy at the vistas unfolded. All too soon I was at the top of North Lake.
1.12 miles, 79’ elevation.
Trail end at North Lake. From here it’s the bike lane up Yale Ave. to the Walnut Trail.
The Walnut Trail overpass on Yale has some nice views over the county. I was parked up there taking pix when the first flock of roadies came chugging up the grade. Then another flock, and another. Club ride to somewhere?
When they finish that Jeffrey Rd. underpass for the cars, I can loop to the right, over to Sand Canyon and down. Someday. However the Walnut Trail is closed and barricaded off there on both sides.
Turn west toward Tustin and head down off the overpass. Allright! 23 mph and better. All too soon that flats out. Head towards the Harvard Trail – which runs up … Harvard. The Walnut – otherwise known to Google Earth and TrailLink as the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Trail – dies into the top end of the Harvard Trail at the Incredible Edible Park. This is a Second Harvest farming operation under the powerlines and a parking only trailhead.
Flagstone Park – good shade, water, bike rack, tables, BBQs – no restroom.
Edible Park. Turn onto the Harvard Trail and follow its winding curves down to Bill Barber Park at Barranca and Harvard.
At the Frog Fountain in the loggia at Bill Barber Park, eating a trail bar.
Bill Barber, in the bend on San Diego Creek is a delightful park and full service trailhead for bikies. If you sit long enough at the water fountain by the bike bridge at Bill Barber, you will probably see every bikie in Irvine go by. It’s also an interesting place in a big storm.
During Rain Week (back to back fronts) San Diego Creek was a torrent there. Probably doing better than 15 kts. Just beyond the corner it met the torrent coming down Peters Canyon Wash – where the underpasses had four feet of roiling water in them. An interesting and seldom seen sight. If you do see it, remember the creek’s Personal Best – 12/7/1997 when it was gauged at 43,500 cubic feet per second. Normal is 15 cfps.
From Bill Barber I tried the bike lane down Harvard to the Freeway Trail. Bike lanes are not for me. Not enough good vision to the rear to tell what is coming down on me when the bike lane becomes a right turn lane. When I meet a lady on the cell phone, I rather it be on a bike trail vs. in a bike lane. The difference is that she doesn’t have the Lexus. Better odds.
Taking the Freeway Trail back to the Woodbridge Trail is the short loop. I took the short loop. For more miles, continue on down San Diego Creek Trail to the University Trail and ride that east to the Water District Junction where the Woodbridge Trail ends.
The western part of the Freeway Trail is not bad. It is tucked behind a sound wall and landscaped. There is even a bench. Then you hit Culver Crossing and the two part cross walk. You take your chances getting from the bike trail across the on ramp to the freeway to the island. There you can wait for a WALK signal to get across Culver and back on the trail. Now you are on the pure Freeway Trail and the roar of the traffic overcomes the music in the earbuds. However, it’s only a mile to the Yale Overpass.
Junction of Freeway and Woodbridge Trails at the Yale Overpass.
Turn left, head up the ramp and you are back on the Woodbridge Trail, just below the bottom of South Lake. Cross E. Yale Loop (no signal or crosswalk) to get on the trail at the viewing plaza there. Wend your way up the lake, pass the tennis club, inland around the lakefront community, up over Alton Parkway, through Woodbridge Community Park (nice trailhead), over the bike/ped bridge at San Diego Creek and you are back in the mall parking lot.
Loop milage = 10.07, Moving time: 1:31. Stopped time: 1:00. Max speed 23.7 (off the Yale Overpass)
This is a pleasant little loop. Good pavement. Scenic to very scenic along the lakes. It would make a nice family ride. You do all the Woodbridge Trail and get some riding in on the rest of the loop.
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The Freeway Trail, as its name implies, parallels the San Diego Freeway (Interstate 405) on its brief route through Irvine. With power lines overhead...
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