Ballona Creek Bike Path


8 Reviews

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Ballona Creek Bike Path Facts

States: California
Counties: Los Angeles
Length: 6.4 miles
Trail end points: southeast corner of Syd Kronenthal Park (3459 McManus Ave, Culver City) and Marvin Braude Bike Trail adjacent to Ballona Creek, 0.1 mile southeast of Fiji Way (Marina del Rey)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6452802

Ballona Creek Bike Path Description

The Ballona Creek Bike Path follows Ballona Creek along its meandering banks through the residential neighborhoods of western Los Angeles. Beginning at the mouth of the creek overlooking the Pacific Ocean and ending in bustling downtown Culver City, this trail provides users with a unique recreational experience that combines an exploration of the iconic concrete channels of Los Angeles’ watershed with unparalleled opportunities for wildflower viewing and bird-watching.

At its western end, the Ballona Creek Bike Path connects to the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, a 22-mile trail that travels along Los Angeles’ coastline. You can take that trail to catch a glimpse of whales, dolphins, and sea lions frolicking in the Pacific Ocean, or explore the nearby neighborhoods of Venice Beach, Marina del Rey, and Playa del Rey. The western end of the Ballona Creek trail is also your best opportunity to view waterfowl in the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve, the last remaining wetlands habitat in Los Angeles. Keep your eyes peeled for herons, egrets, godwits, pelicans, cormorants, and ospreys, among other wetlands species.

At its eastern end, the trail connects to the Exposition Line Bikeway, which travels through downtown Culver City and follows the Los Angeles Metro E Line light rail (formerly the Expo Line) west to downtown Santa Monica. Exit the trail at Syd Kronenthal Park to observe a pick-up baseball game, grab a bite to eat at one of the streetside cafés along hip and historic Culver Boulevard, or hop on the E Line and enjoy a relaxing ride to a completely different part of LA.

If you plan to travel the whole trail in one fell swoop, be sure to use the restroom and stock up on water and other provisions beforehand, as there are few restrooms or concessions along the trail. That said, the trail is well--connected to the LA street grid, so there are ample opportunities to peel off and find a local coffee shop or grocery store to restock. The endpoints of the trail are your best bet, although there are several streets along the way that may also have what you’re looking for, including Centinela Avenue, Sepulveda Boulevard, and Obama Boulevard.

Along the Ballona Creek Bike Path, there are several paid parking lots at both ends of the trail, as well as parking opportunities in adjacent parks and ample street parking throughout the neighborhoods in between. Water fountains, seating areas, and shade structures can be found sporadically throughout the trail, becoming most prevalent on the eastern end of the trail, east of I-405. 

Parking and Trail Access

Culver CITYBUS provides access to the trail at multiple points along the route.

Parking is available at Syd Kronenthal Park (3459 McManus Ave, Culver City), in the small Culver Slauson Park parking lot (5070 S Slauson Ave, Los Angeles), and at a public pay lot (13745 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey) about 0.3 miles north of the southwest end of the trail.

Visit the TrailLink map for all options, available transit lines, and detailed directions.

Ballona Creek Bike Path Reviews

Rough Start - Great Finish

The views aren’t pretty when you leave out of the Culver City entrance to the trail, and it doesn’t particularly smell great either, but the views quickly get better, especially when you get closer to Playa De Rey beach. The beach itself is a sweet reward for a semi challenging, sometimes hilly ride. If you drive there, set your GPS to Syd Kronenthal Park for 4 hours of free parking. There’s also a rec center there with bathrooms and a fountain to refill your water bottle before your start. The entrance to the path is a steep slope, so save some energy for your exit back up it. Also, be mindful of what hour you head out as I encountered a large group of students on the path during school dismissal hours. The students were nice enough to clear a path (with some heavy bell ringing).

fun ride

Great trail, can get busy but it’s one of my go to trails for a pleasant ride

My Go To Ride

Good bike trail from Culver City to the Beach. Go early to beat the crowds. It is becoming very popular. Enjoy!

nice ride, not crowded

Once you pass the marina, the path is pretty open so you can pick up some speed while riding your bike. You just have to be careful going up and down the little hills on the underpass


Nice path that goes the distance

I have done this section several times from MDR to Culver and back. It is fine on a bike, hilly as you go up and down for the overpasses. It is not so great on roller skates as and jogging.

Bring your own water as the water fountains there are often in disrepair. As you go you will find a park accessible - the park has working water fountains.

Good trail.....for experienced riders

On this trail, there are many elevation gains and decreases. Going down is fun, but going up can be tiring. There is also a lack of shade on this trail. For those reasons, this isn't a very family friendly trail. However, you never have to stop, making it a great trail if you want to break a sweat and get some good exercise in.

I use this trail frequently to commute to work. Not exactly scenic, but functional. The security warning above was interesting to me. I've never had any issues or felt unsafe as there are plenty of other cyclists on this trail making their way to and from the beach from the early morning through the evening but I'll keep it in mind nonetheless.

Urban waterway trail

I rode the Ballona Creek trail from the eastern trailhead in Culver City to then end point at the Playa Del Rey beach. The trail is paved and in good condition, and has numerous openings to enter/exit on city streets. The first couple of miles are on a typical LA concrete storm drain channel. However, as you get closer to the beach there is more vegetation inside and along the channel. The last few miles open into the Ballona Creek Wetlands area which is much more scenic. As you near the west end of the trail, you can turn off to the north to enter Marina Del Rey, or you can continue another half mile to join the Santa Monica Beach trail at Playa Del Rey.
For me the most interesting thing about the trail is its location in the heart of urban Los Angeles. The concrete channel has considerable graffiti art, which adds to the urban character of the trail. There are also homeless people living under some of the overcrossings, so be aware and exercise appropriate caution. I rode in a group of 2 on a Sunday afternoon when there was considerable traffic on the trail and encountered no security concerns.

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