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March 30, 2004

San Juaquin Hills and Corona Del Mar State Beach

Location: Newport Beach, and Corona Del Mar

Directions to Ride Start:

Various freeways lead south from LA County, Riverside County, and North Orange County to connect with the 55 Frwy. to Costa Mesa, and the 405 frwy comes north as well for anyone traveling from South Orange County.

The 55 becomes Newport Blvd. at 19th Street.

Turn left at 19th. 19th becomes Dover at Irvine Ave.

Turn left at Castaways Lane and take an immediate right into Castaways Park, or a left into Bob Henry Park.

By bus, folks can connect with OCTA 43, south on HARBOR BLVD., anywhere from Brea to Costa Mesa, and transfer to OCTA 55 at Harbor and Wilson, heading south. The 55 stops at Dover & Castaways Lane.

Alternatively folks coming from along the coast, from Long Beach to San Clemente, can take OCTA 1 to Fashion Island, in Newport Beach, and connect with OCTA 55 there.

Castaways is open 6am-11pm.

THE ROUTE:

1. Left on Dover out of the park.
2. Left on PCH.
3. Left on Jamboree.
4. Right on San Juaquin Hills. Rd.
5. Right on Newport Coast Dr.
6. Right on Pacific Coast Highway.
7. Left on Poppy.
8. Right on Ocean blvd.
9. Right on Fernleaf.
10. Left on bayside Dr.
11. Left on PCH.
12. Right on Dover to the park.

Approximate ride distance is 14.50 miles, depending on food stops, beach, and island detours, and bathroom breaks, and while there are some hills, this is an easy ride, the last half of which has a wonderful downhill, and richly rewardling coastal views.

THE RIDE:

I didn't know what to expect of the first part of this ride, when I took it last week, though the Thomas Guide map book showed it was in the hills east of PCH, and was pleasantly suprised.

The ride begins along Pacific Coast Highway, with a glimpse of Newport Bay.

The you begin your 5 mile journey along San Juaquin Hills Rd. by passing the East side of Fashion Island Shopping Center, and San Juaquin Hills Park.

A mile long climb from Marguerite to a hilltop wildlands area brings you to 2 canyon viewing areas known as Harbor Watch and Canyon Watch.

Not long after ward you reach Newport Cove park, and Newport Coast Shopping Center, at Newport Coast Blvd.

Your reward for the hilly ride past empty land, and Gated Communities, is a wonderful 1 1/2 mile downhill that, if you time it right at the 1 light near the bottom, is a 25 mph. coast ( That means NO PEDALING REQUIRED! ) down to PCH that gives you a spectacular view of the ocean, and Crystal Cove.

After a short ride along PCH your reach the outskirts of downtown Corona Del Mar, at Poppy.

A short ride west on Poppy brings you to Inspiration Point at Corona Del Mar State Beach.

The ride along the cliffs on Ocean Blvd. to Fernleaf gives you great views of the beach, Catalina Island, and the entrance to Newport Harbor.

This is a quiet residential area full of fancy homes, and the ride along Bayside brings you to Marine Ave. where, you will be tempted to turn left cross the bridge and explore Balboa Island.

Don't let ME stop you! :-)

Go right ahead! :-)

Back out on PCH it is just a short ride back up Dover to the park.

March 30, 2004 in Riding Orange County | Permalink

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