National Recreation Trails Database


Trail Description Continued

The Aliso Creek Regional Riding and Hiking Trail is a well-maintained class 1 bikeway and soft recreational trail extending from foothills of Orange County to the boundary of Laguna Beach. The continuous fifteen miles of asphalt bikeway designed for multi-use travel through five south county cities. The soft trail mirrors the asphalt bikeway path on either side of the Aliso Creek traveling from the mountains to the sea. The ten-foot wide bikeway was originally designed in the 1970's when the old El Toro Road was abandoned during the construction of a much larger and safer road. The County of Orange added the Aliso Creek Riding and Hiking Trail to the Master Plan of Recreational Trail Opportunities adopted by the Board of Supervisors. The County has employed a full time dedicated team to inspect and maintain the trails and bikeways throughout the County of Orange. The team keeps the trail open year round, responds to service requests, and plans routine repairs to long term maintenance projects.

The bikeway begins at El Toro Rd Santiago Canyon below Ridgeline Drive and parallels
El Toro Road for a short distance then enters the Aliso Creek open Space. The bikeway connects to Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park continuing south passing the El Toro Community Golf Center and passing through the El Toro Community Park where the bikeway crosses the creek utilizing a low-water crossing.

A historical site of an adobe house built in the 1840's by Jose Serrano whose Rancho Canada stretched to the north and is featured at Heritage Hill Historical Park. This hacienda was a welcomed spot for travelers following the old Spanish “El Camino Real” during the late 1800's and was recognized 1n 1996 by the Historical Society and the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

This bikeway links six public and private schools together to a community center, a large community church, two skate parks, and ten community parks. The participants using the Riding and Hiking Trail have increased dramatically over the past fifteen years from the City's connecting into our bikeway, increase in bikers commuting to work and recreation, increase in home development along the bikeway promoting healthy lifestyles.

The soft trail side of the Aliso Creek Riding and hiking trail is a ten foot wide compacted soil trail that mirrors the asphalt bikeway path and travels on either side of the Aliso Creek home to native plants and wildlife. The highlighted amenity on the soft trail is a large equestrian/picnic area complete with trailer parking, horse corrals, and drinking water located inside the Saddleback Church parking lot.

This Regional Riding and Hiking Trail continues to the entrance of Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park extending to the southerly boundary in Aliso canyon. The recommend planned improvement will add an additional mile to the Regional Riding and Hiking Trail connecting the route to the Pacific Ocean.

This Regional Riding and Hiking Trail offers a variety of geography and a wide range of recreational activities including, but not limited to, hiking, bicycling, walking, running, bird watching, and horseback riding. The well-maintained rest areas are provided along this fifteen-mile bikeway and trail with water and places to rest for commuters and recreational trail users.


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This website provides access to the National Recreation Trail (NRT) database, a collection of information on the various trails which have been designated as NRT's. These trails are located throughout the United States and U.S. territories. The amount of information may vary from trail to trail. If you need more information than is available on this site, please use the contact(s) listed for that trail. (If no contacts, are listed, you may request help from American Trails at

The on-line database has details on the currently designated National Recreation Trails. The NRT Program online is hosted by American Trails: