Ojai Valley Trail


16 Reviews

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Ojai Valley Trail Facts

States: California
Counties: Ventura
Length: 9.3 miles
Trail end points: Ventura River Trail at Casitas Vista Rd. (Foster Park) and east of Bryant St. (Ojai)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015273

Ojai Valley Trail Description

The Southern California town of Ojai (pronounced OH-hi) is known as a destination for wellness tourism, so it’s fitting that those visiting via the Ojai Valley Trail are already practicing a healthy lifestyle. The 9.3-mile rail-trail climbs a river valley into the Topatopa Mountains from the outskirts of the seaside town of Ventura. It gains about 500 feet as it enters the Los Padres National Forest from the trailhead in Foster Park, where the Ventura River Trail heads downhill to the coast.

Two paths comprise the Ojai Valley Trail—one paved, one wood chips. They are separated by a fence to give horse riders a lane to themselves. The trail generally follows CA 33, the main route into Ojai, which is known as a haven for artists, musicians, and outdoors enthusiasts. The Chumash people were the first residents of the town, whose current name is derived from their word for moon: ‘awha’y.

The trail follows the route of the former Ventura and Ojai Valley Railroad, which was launched in 1899. It soon became a branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad, which rolled through Ventura. Heavy rains in the winter of 1969 washed out the railbed north of Foster Park; trains never returned, and the trail opened in 1989.

The Foster Park trailhead has parking (for a nominal fee), restrooms, and a campground. It’s located in a wooded valley alongside the Ventura River, where the Ojai Valley Trail and Ventura River Trail meet. The trail is mostly shady as you head north by CA 33 and pass through several communities.

The first of these is Casitas Springs (country musician Johnny Cash lived nearby for a time), which you’ll pass in a mile. A bridge spanning San Antonio Creek a half mile north replaced a low-water creek crossing that occasionally got trail users wet. The trail veers west away from CA 33 for the next 3 miles as you pass the western side of Oak View, the largest community between Ventura and Ojai.

After a short excursion through Devils Gulch, known locally for its hiking trails, you’ll find yourself back alongside CA 33 as you enter the community of Mira Monte. One mile past the busy CA 150/Baldwin Road intersection, you’ll arrive in the town of Ojai. Crossing CA 33, you’ll pass a sweeping golf course, spa, and resort complex on your right, and then in 0.3 mile, you’ll pass the rear entrance (on your left) to Topa Mountain Winery, one of about half a dozen wineries or tasting rooms in the city.

In another 0.6 mile, you reach promised shade in Libbey Park, which offers parking, restrooms, a playground, and the Libbey Bowl amphitheater, site of early June’s Ojai Music Festival. An easy path leads through the park to downtown Ojai, where you can explore many locally owned shops—chain stores are prohibited by law—in a setting reminiscent of a whitewashed hacienda. The trail ends a half mile past the park.

Parking and Trail Access

In Ventura, parking is available at Foster Park (Ventura River Area entrance, 0.4 mile north of Casitas Vista Rd).

In Oak View, park at the Community Center (18 Valley Rd).

In Ojai, parking is available at the intersection of N. Carillo Road and Maricopa Hwy (2-hour parking, 9am–6pm), at the Rotary Community Park (1199 W. Ojai Ave/CA 150), and at Libbey Park (521 S. Montgomery St).

Visit the TrailLink map for detailed directions.

Ojai Valley Trail Reviews

Awesome rail trail!

I’ve been riding this trail a couple times a week since I found it. With very few interruptions or vehicle crossings, this is a great trail for settling in and peddling away.

Nice Way to Get to Ojai

I started at the Foster Park trailhead. At least on a Wednesday afternoon there was plenty of parking under the bridge just before you get to the trailhead. I was on an ebike and it was an easy uphill cruise, with a gentle slope, all the way to Ojai. When reaching Ojai I would recommend turning around at Montgomery Street. Trail gets pretty junky for the few hundred yards after that. Few

Great for kids too!

I did this ride with my girls, 14 and 10 years of age, —very doable. The incline is slow and gradual so it’s easy to take in the beautiful scenery around. We enjoyed it.


Way back in June of 1998, the Los Angeles Times had an article entitled "Joy Rides - 10 scenic bike trails for real people." Coming in at #8 was "The Milk Run." It was a 16 mile round trip through the Ojai Valley starting at Foster Park. Being the real people that we are, my wife and I rode it a year or two later during a vacation to Ventura.
Today that trail is known as the Ojai Valley Trail, and from the photos on the Rails to Trails site it looks just as beautiful as twenty years ago and appears to have had some nice upgrades added too.
I recall lots of trees, a rural atmosphere, a gentle incline, and being able to pretty much coast much of the way back to Foster Park!
(BTW: I've racked my brain and done some research, but I can't remember or find why it was referred to as The Milk Run)


Always a great ride

We live in Ventura and ride this trail at least once a month. It is always fun and a great ride. Even in the heat of the summer if you start early in the morning you can ride up to Ojai have breakfast in one of the many great places to eat then be going back down the trail in the shade with the coastal breeze in your face and dropping almost 20 degrees by the time you get back to Ventura.

a treat of a ride

beautify scenery with some hills. portions of the trail there are stop signs and a few roads to go over, slight up hill to Ojai from Ventura, ends a Libby Park. a great ride back, there are some bumps as the tree roots cause the paved path to shifts. a must ride.

Uphill Ride

We started at Foster Park (weekend entrance fee is $4) and rode 7 miles towards Ojai. Foster Park has plenty of parking and restrooms, noted that some folks parked outside of the park at the underpass. The ride towards Ojai is uphill, a bit more uphill than initially anticipated and would like to say grade is a little steeper than remember other rail-to-trail trails to be. However, not so steep as to make it difficult and does make for a nice return trip. There are some cross street intersections that need to be negotiated, none that delay the ride significantly. This was a nice ride and recommend a look.

Ojai Valley Trail

I started my ride in Ventura at the Rex rd & Olive rd entrance. The first 3-5 miles are industrial wasteland (not a very safe part of town, either: If you need to park your car, make sure you park closer to Main street & lock up your belongings)
The trail got a lot more scenic about 5 miles towards Ojai! theres a beautiful shady park that would have been a nicer place to start but I didnt take note of the name of it. The trail is well cared for and separate from traffic- got a great ride in at 21 miles today!

On 28 June 1983, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors passed and adopted the naming of the Ojai Valley Trail, which is composed of the Ken MacDonald Bike Path, and the Southern Pacific Equestrian/Hiking Path. Before the 1969 floods, which washed out much of the tracks, a freight train would come up to the old packing house for a load of valley produce. My wife and I enjoy walking the path while visiting the Ojai Valley. Highly recommend the experience.

Nice beach trail

The beach trail is nice. You can ride all the way up to Ojai on this trail, but that is for endurance riders. When riding to Ojai, I start half way up the trail so it is more manageable. The road is pretty close so the noise and smell of the cars/motorcycles is noticable. Its separate from the road, though, so you don't have to worry about getting hit.

Construction Until April 2012

There is construction on the trail until April so it is closed (heading North) from @ Nye Road to East Old Creek Road. You can cut out to the 33 and then get back to the trail by going down a rock/dirt road across from East Old Creek Trail. But beware, both our riders (and a few others) got flat tires either from the glass and rocks on the 33 or on the dirt road. Make sure to have a pump and patch kit, or catch the trail a bit North of this point and avoid the closed area. Other than that the trail itself is well maintained and a fun ride!

Make it a 40 miler

If you start at Sanjon rd. in Ventura, park next to the Pierpont Inn, you can hook up with the trail via the beach bike path. You will have to take a short street path under the 33 fwy and past the Vons market. The path then follows the 33 up into Ojai. It is just under 20 miles to Boccali's restaurant located at the far end of town, E. Ojai rd (150) and Reeves rd.

Bring cash because they don't take credit - found out the hard way. If you go during the tomato season, their tomato and basil pizza is outstanding.

After the pizza you can take a quick nap in the lawn area next to restaurant and then head on back to Ventura.

Ventura River Trail

The description in the R to T California Guidebook was helpful in locating the parking lot for the trail on the South side of Main Street just west of Hwy 33 overpass, (my GPS- N34.28131 W119.30630 at 56‘ MSL.) 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 peddle upgrade to Foster Park at N34.35217 W119.30684 227’ MSL and return. The pictures I have posted will give some details."


Parked my Van in the shade under Hwy 33 overpass on Casitas Vista along with other vehicles.
Started at Foster Park N34.35217 W119.30684 227’msl.
The trail surface is in excellent condition for half of the trail with a recent slurry coat, the upper half and in Ojai, there are root or other upheavals that make it very rough for a Tadpole Cycle above 10 mph. Maintenance appears to be programmed as signs indicate parts of the trail will be closed starting 16 Nov 06. The trail is within 10 yards to the entrance for eggs”n”things Restaurant as you arrive in Ojai, excellent Spanish Omelet. In Ojai, the trail goes past Fox St to Bryant St with on street parking, N34.44548 W119.23763 742’ msl. My pictures tell more of this great trail.

Not that hard

If you start from Foster Park it is a good uphill climb to Ojai but the return trip is all downhill. Great fun.

Now complete

"Starting at the beach in Ventura the trail is now nearly 20 paved,scenic miles with 900 ft gain which makes for a wonderful ride back down after lunch."

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