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December 16, 2007

Rolling, Rolling on the Rivers: Santa Ana River Bicycle Trail 2

Continuing my journey (Late comers can saddle up here!) along one of the three great rivers of Southern California I find myself heading into the urban landscape of Corona, as I leave Orange County behind.

I also leave the river itself behind, for almost 15 miles, as I am forced to navigate the streets of Corona and Norco, in the west end of Riverside County.

I ride up Green River Rd. to where it travels next to the Corona Expressway and the 91 frwy.

At the top, where I turn right, there are a Jack in the Box and a Taco Bell, thus the all important bathrooms! ;-D

At 31.85 mi., with hillside homes on my right, the 91 and a glimpse of the Prado Dam Spillway ( The Dam is actually along the 71, to the north, and Prado Regional Park is way over on the San Bernardino County side of that.), on my left, I ride along Green River until turning left at Palisades Dr..

At 33.57 mi. I leave the nice bike-laned stretches behind for a bit, and turn left onto Serfas Club Dr., passing through residential West Corona on a downhill that goes under the 91, past a McDonalds and In & Out, as Serfas becomes Auto Center Dr..

After passing the Metrolink Station/Riverside Transit Depot, I turn right onto Railroad St., left on Smith Ave. and left onto Rincon St..

To get to Rincon I ride a clearly marked bike lane (There are even white bikes, with arrows, painted into the pavement!) passing through several industrial parks and past a park.

Butterfield Park is on the corner of Butterfield Stage Dr., a short paved road paying tribute to a bit of history (Southern Stage Rte. ran through area between 1858 and 1861. The last part of the Bike Trail out of the OC, from Weir Canyon, and Green River Rd. match part of the route.), that deadends near the Corona Municipal Airport.


Rincon Rd.  is a narrow road through a portion of the Prado Flood Control Basin, just east of the Santa Ana River, a stretch that is closed to traffic (Bars across the road at each end.) during heavy rains that cause flooding.

Rincon becomes Corydon St. and continues out of Corona by crossing River Rd.


Corydon winds its way through the west side of Norco and into what feels like another world in many respects.

I immediately am made aware of the differences by the fact that there is no sidewalk in sight, and there is a sign that warns of a $125 fine for parking "on the trail". ;-D

San_ri13To put it bluntly: There is an aweful lot of horsin' around in this city. ;-D

That's why it is called Horse Town USA.

Being a Horse Community, they love their Horses here and there are no sidewalks anywhere in town, just Horse Trails.

They even have a Posse, so behave yourself as you ride through. ;-D

As Corydon moseys on its way through the hills, becoming Norco Dr., I see that many people have corrals and barns for their animals and as I pass Norco Fire Station 1, at 5th St., I see a parking lot/staging area that leads to some hiking and Horse trails along the Santa Ana River.

San_ri14Norco Dr. becomes 6th St., at Hamner and I ride through the heart of downtown.

As I look across the intersection, toward the Starbucks, (McDonalds, and Jack in the Box are also nearby.), there is a hint of the River in the distance.

I have travelled 41.25 mi.

Yes, there are fast food joints, at first, but as I ride throught Old Town Norco the fact that there are no sidewalks is a reminder that the city is different.

In this town if any cyclists even dare to ride on the trails they must be on Mountain Bikes. ;-D

All the Shopping Centers are over on Hamner, to the south, and soon I am heading toward the east side of the city.

San_ri15 Just before I turn left, at California Ave., and head into another residential area, I see the exemplary example of parking facilities businesses have if your mode of transport is something other than a car. ;-D

Riding along California I encounter what must pass for rush hour Horse traffic, around these parts, as I a pass several groups of riders.

I ask one group about the entrance to the Bike Trail and hit the jackpot.

The 1 guy in the group told me exactly where to go, saying that he had even made it all the way to Big Bear on Horseback once.

I pedal on and turn right at North Dr. (Palm Trees on the right!), which soon becomes Arlington Ave..

As I climb up the hill, past Crestlawn Memorial Park Cemetary, on my left I can finally see the Santa Ana River again... and Chino, Ontario, Montclair, Rancho Cucamonga and the majestic San Gabriel Mountains.

San_ri16 Just past the Cemetary, on the right and hard to miss, is the entrance to the Hidden Valley Wildlife Reserve, a 1500-acre reserve stretching along nearly 5 miles of the Santa Ana River between Riverside and Norco.

It is here, at the 44.90 mi. point of my journey, that I return to the Santa Ana River Bicycle Trail.

It is 130pm by now and what I came to call the "Back to Nature" portion of the journey is about to begin.

It is this section that will give you a Bikeasm, if you haven't had one by now, that warm and fuzzy feeling you get inside from having experienced a very special cycling experience.

After an exhilirating downhill I come to a fork in the trail: Go left and you head down into the riverbed to an eventual dead end to the west, so I stay on the straight-away.


Mother Nature is in total control of the environment here.

The paved trail briefly ends, but soon starts up again after a brief dip and climb.

Where the pavement ends is a rest stop/viewing area and here I meet Mike and his 2 young sons, on their own cycling adventure.


The river, in all its natural glory, has come from those mountains in the distance and that is where I am headed.

Along this first stretch I share the trail with walkers and Horseback Riders, but other than those few encounters there is nothing out here but me and the river.

After winding its way past a staging area for Horseback Riders that also has a collection of Bike Racks and a Porta Potty (Not for the Horses, so don't worry!) this only recently opened new stretch of the River Trail joins an older section and turns left at 47 1/2 miles.

At this spot, near Jurupa Ave. and Tyler St., are 4 Bike Racks.

This is a nice bail out point, if needed, as Tyler will take you south to the Galleria Mall, and Bus Connections.

Along the Riverside/San Bernardino trail you will encounter a few bollards (rigid posts that can be arranged in a line to close a road or path to vehicles above a certain width.), but they are easy to navigate past, so be watchful of the trail ahead of you,

Area Cyclists have led a campaign to rid the trail of them completely, but some still remain.


At just over 49 miles the trail goes under Van Buren Ave., but you have to first walk your bike around a fence just past the turn you see in the backround of the above photo.

San_ri20 Now, as I pass the water reclamation plant on my right and the heavily vegitated river on my left I find myself on a really old stretch of the trail.

By now I have been in Riverside for quite some time.

That Municipal pipe in the picture takes water from the relamation plant to the communities on the other side of the river.

It is so peaceful to ride along the trail, with little sign of the urban world  to distract you from the fun of the ride.

This whole area of river, from Norco to near downtown Riverside, is part of the Santa Ana River Wildlife Area.


Just before reaching Martha MClean-Anza Narrows Park I ride under a very old bridge across which a railroad track travels.

This walking/cycling trail filled park is on an historical piece of ground:

It is part of the Juan Bautista Anza National Historic Trail.

Both Anza expeditions crossed the river here, and it was the New Year's Eve campsite for the 1775-76 expedition. Riverside County Regional Parks offers two Anza-related sites. The Camp #59 and river crossing sites are both within the Martha McLean-Anza Narrows Park (5759 Jurupa Ave.) in Riverside. At their Jensen-Alvarado Historic Ranch and Museum (4307 Briggs St. off Rubidoux Blvd.), living history programs describe how Anza expedition descendants lived.

Because of my love of history this is just one more reason why I absolutely love the Santa Ana River Trail: Your body isn't the only thing getting a workout, so does your brain. ;-D


Passing the park the trail becomes secluded again for a while until, at 53.79 mi. it goes right on an abandoned street a short distance, then turns left back on track.

This can be a tricky maneuver, in either direction, as the surprise of 1 cyclist I encountered, miles later, indicated, when I explained how he could actually go beyond the point he thought was the end of the westbound trail.


At 55.13 mi. I reach Carson Dog Park, at the Mission Blvd. underpass, at the majestic Mt. Rubidoux.

It is almost 4pm and needing to be sure of catching a bus back to Orange County I call a halt to my ride just in front of the yellow "8ft." sign next to the Dog Park fence.

It, and the fact the coller of the pavement changes there, makes it an easy reference point for tracking my mileage on my return a week later.

I exit the trail, turn right, and pedal a mile into downtown Riverside to the Bus Depot on Mission Blvd./Mission Inn Ave., spend an hour for dinner, at a nearby Carl's Jr., to the south a few blocks, on Market St., then catch the bus.

Continue on to Part 3!

December 16, 2007 in Riding Riverside County | Permalink


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Great site!

I'm going to do the Green River to the beach trip next month.

I really liked the pics.

If you plan on doing it again let me know.

I live in Riverside but I am an amateur weekend warrior when it comes to riding.

Posted by: Art Centeno | Mar 21, 2008 1:37:48 AM

Are you really Macedonian lineage?

I was looking up history on Alexander the Great the other day & found out more info on the entire area of Yugoslavia (Serbia, etc, and their connection to Greece).

Anyway, I once was engaged to a Serbian American who should be about 85 years old by now.

He was older than me. :-D

However, today I was looking for Ike Clanton, decendant of the Clantons of Tombstone as I know he was/is an actor and lived in Norco, CA.

As it turned out, your page on Norco and horses held my interest.

I was born in San Bernardino but my family moved to Chino when I was 7.

Although we moved away to live up near Yosemite/Mariposa way for 8 years, we later returned to Chino.

Growth in Chino came after the 1950's.

You mentioned Prado dam and the Santa Ana River.

My family and I used to swim there all the time.

In the early 1940's, there were tomato farms down there before there was so much water going by.

My aunt once found some confederate bills hidden in the bushes.

She folded the money and made little paper boats out of it and sent them down the river.

When you mentioned Butterfield Road - my friends, the Abacherlis, originally from Chino, owned all of them thar hills where the Butterfield Homes were built on Hwy 71.

As for Rincon Rd., the Yorba-Slaughter Museum is nearby.

Mr. Slaughter, from Missouri, married one of the Yorba daughters.

As for the Prado Regional Park, I wrote and exhibited a play there for the dedication of the Laguna Moreno at the Park in 1982.

The Prado Country Club w/Golf Course is also nearby.

That little creek across from it was where I used to gather watercress for my family when I was a little girl.

We loved to eat it.

Now I have some growing in my back yard.

I am presently writing a historical book as my Spanish ancestors came to the New World back in the latter part of the 1500's.

They ended up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they settled around 1640.

Captain Pedro Cedillo Rico de Rojas was born in 1611 and a member of the Conquistadores Sociedades. He had 8 children who were later raised in Albuquerque as in 1680 the Pueblo Indians attacked the family home and they fled.

They were living on the northern side of Albuquerque for 26 years when the town was founded and given its name in 1706.

There is a cemetery by the name of Sedillo (Cedillo) and a town by that name, as well as a long road by that name.

I recently discovered a mountain there also of the same name.

We have only been in California for 208 years.

The old town of Chino also has a lot of descendants of old California families, such as, Yorbas, Villa, Lugo, Flores, Alvarez, Olivas, etc., and I am indirectly related to most of them.

Thanks for your information on Norco.

My aunt Loretta was born in Corona in the early 1900s and married a Frank Olivas of the Olivas Adobe (the museum up in Ventura).

In fact three of my mom's siblings married into that family.

By the way, we have a ranch up in Aguanga and pass by Norco and most of western Riverside County on the 15 often.

I don't mind the growth along the 15 except for the traffic.

I love horses.

Historically, Mrs. Rose Halopoff

Posted by: Rose Halopoff | Jul 4, 2008 3:26:59 PM

Yes, Rose, I am of Macedonian lineage. ;-D

The Inland Empire has sure changed a lot since the 1930's. ;-D

Posted by: Kiril The Cycling Dude | Jul 5, 2008 1:53:19 PM

I really enjoyed this section and the posts here, especially those of Ms. Halopoff.

I can relate to the feeling of joy / inspiration of riding on the trail and finding something new that is beautififul and a trail section not yet traveled before.

And I enjoy learning about California history.

I read tonight that a new 19 mile section was opened in May 2008 which extends the paved trail from Hidden Valley to Waterman Avenue in San Bernadino.

I'm thinking of giving it a shot either this weekend or in a couple weeks when I have some family visiting for Thanksgiving.

On a quasit-related note, it appears there may be new life in the development of trail sections along Santiago Creek in Orange;

Supposedly, the trail will eventually be developed all the way to the Santa Ana River trail at the River View Golf Course in Garden Grove;

That will be wonderful if and when that ever happens.

Posted by: John Elwood | Nov 10, 2008 11:38:42 PM

Kiril - It's me again. Sure enjoyed your pictures regarding the bike trail. It appears that you really get to see the countryside; something one would miss while driving a car because cars don't go there. Did Santiago Canyon ever open their added trail? Do let us know what other trips you have taken on your bike. However, be careful of remote areas where mountain lions dwell as they like to surprise people when they are alone. So far, your bike trip to Riverside seemed safe enough as you were close to everything.

Posted by: Rose Halopoff | Aug 6, 2009 9:58:02 PM

Cycling Dude, I'm considering a ride along the Santa Ana river bike path, beginning at the Amtrak station in Fullerton.

Can you recommend a bike friendly route from the station to the river path?


Adam from West Adams

Posted by: adam Janeiro | Oct 23, 2009 6:45:50 PM

Hello Adam!

The route east to the river is a simple one:

Leave the station by going north on Pomona Ave., and then turn right onto Commonwealth.

1. East on Commonwealth Ave.

Commonwealth passes State College, and approaches Chapman Ave.

2. Turn right onto Chapman Ave., enter the city of Placentia.

Chapman dead ends at Orangethorpe Ave.

3. Turn left onto Orangethorpe & head east.

4. Turn right onto Imperial Highway (AKA Richard Nixon Parkway), and enter the city of Anaheim.

Almost there! Not too far, now!

5. As you pass La Palma Ave. you approach the Santa Ana River, & will see where you can enter the trail.

The Riverside (91) Freeway can be seen South of the River.

Posted by: Kiril The Cycling Dude | Oct 24, 2009 11:54:29 AM

Hi, Kiril, The Cycling Dude.

It was two years ago on July 4th that I left a comment, here, re: a litte history.

I will be sending you another history article in the next few days re: Santiago Canyon and the early settlers there who as soldiers passed by that area along with Gaspar de Portola, the Spanish explorer on his way to Northern Caifornia (1769).

They camped nearby and later one of those soldiers was granted more than 62,000 acres in Orange County.

I know most of the descendants of early California explorers and settlers who came here under the Spanish Crown and have a lot of fun giving walking tours at El Pueblo de Los Angeles, telling tourists all about the founding of Los Angeles.

This year, I will be personally touring all of the Missions from San Diego on up El Camino Real.

Also hope to go to the August Spanish Fiesta Days at Santa Barbara for the first time with members of the Sepulveda, Yorba & Peralta family whose last grant ownership was what they now call "Anaheim Hills."

Before Hwy 91 appeared, one could distinguish all of that area that ran all the way up to the Butterfied area and up to Rincon Rd. where the Yorba-Slaughter adobe still stands as a museum.

Stop by there should you be passing by on your bicycle.

When you see the large cast iron rendering kettle there, keep in mind that I saw that kettle abandoned on the Richard Gird property next to the Los Serranos Country Club in Chino Hills in the 1950s.

Richard Gird is the man who plotted the town of Chino in the 1800s and the first owner of the Chino Champion Newspaper.

He must have taken that kettle from the Lugo rancho, which adobe was located near Pipeline Avenue where the fire station is located now.

Or, Gird could have taken it from the Bernardo Yorba property (Yorba-Slaugher House) and it was returned there many years later.

Historically, Rose Halopoff

Posted by: Rose Halopoff | Jun 28, 2010 5:43:53 PM

Whats up Cyclingdude, Just took a friend down the path, he loved it!

Do you have any updates on the connection to Eastvale River Walk and past down to Prado Dam?

Posted by: Joseph | Jun 3, 2011 10:37:09 PM

Howdy, Kiril, the Cycling Dude!

What's you latest cycling experience?

Found any hidden trails?

Remember me raised in southern and northern California?

I now have a URL which I'm starting.

Yes, I was afraid of cyberspace somewhat.

It's just like in the 1970s when computers came out - I wouldn't accept them.

Now, I cannot live without the internet.

Posted by: Rose Halopoff | Jun 18, 2011 10:38:24 AM


Here I am in May 2015. We are still here but a little slower due to more years added on to our lives. In fact, today I decided to browse the net once more and was surprised another relative (Tim Halopoff) has just passed away on 4/28/15. It was a year ago last Christmas that another Halopoff cousin passed on in his sleep due to bladder cancer and a heart condition. He was Bill Halopoff of Paso Robles, an artist and art teacher, after having worked and retired from the Ford Motor Company in Pico Rivera as an auto designer. He and his wife Nancy who just passed away were lovely people. It's a long story but Bill and Nancy left us some art drawings which I need to pick up soon. I am in touch with their lovely daughter.

We hope that your health is holding up. We are constantly seeing our doctors and doing a lot of follow-ups to keep going. However, I am behind in my exercises. I should do more for myself. Are you still riding the trails? That should keep you in shape.

Posted by: Rose Halopoff | May 16, 2015 7:55:22 PM

Howdy, Kiril. Still around but at the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 had several relatives and friends pass away.
Hope things are fine with you and your family.

Posted by: Rose Halopoff | Feb 10, 2016 3:39:15 PM

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