Summary: Lovers of nature, beaches, dogs (six-foot leashes required), bicycles, and free parking-rejoice!-this easy hike beginning in Costa Mesa's Fairview Park has something for everyone to appreciate!! The hike begins along an asphalt trail parallel to the parking lot (travel north along the trail and downhill), and continues through the well-signed Talbert Nature Preserve, which features a variety of coastal and wetland flora native to Southern California. One can continue through the Nature Center (suggested trail is the one that stays to the east of the coastal shrub islands) to reach the Santa Ana River Bicycle Trail, which continues past a beautiful and seasonally bird-studded pond and on to the beach located just at the mouth of the river and at the border of Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. Use care when attempting to reach the beach by crossing underneath the PCH overpass (do NOTattempt to cross PCH!!). Retrace your steps to return to the Fairview Park parking lot.
Trailhead: From the 405 Freeway, exit south on Harbor Blvd. Continue south to Adams, turn right (west), and proceed to Placentia-turn left (south). The park entrance is located west of a stoplight (turn right into the parking lot). The hike begins on the paved asphalt trail-hike north, then follow the pavement downhill (west) to the Talbert Nature Preserve entrance-turn left, and stay on the trail left of the trail junctions. (Lat:33.66305 Lon:-117.93907)
Trail Guides for Santa Ana River-Fairview ParkBanning RanchBeach:
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes,
Ranger Contact: Friends of Fairview Park-714-754-5698, Costa Mesa Community Service-714-754-5300
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Patricia Barnes, who has posted 23 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by vanessaR on 8/16/2011
very nice spot to bike/walk dogs/hike/ easy trails
Reviewed by Celeste on 12/7/2009
Its not really a hiking spot, more like a walking/running area. I go there to workout, there is some good hills. I would not go out of my way to hike here thought. : )
Reviewed by Anna on 6/22/2009
I go here all the time with my dog. Its beautiful. I would mostly recommend it in the spring months Feb-May, or anytime after a rain. Its really gorgeous. Watch out, however, for coyotes and snakes.
Reviewed by gd on 5/24/2009
i would not recommend this hike for scenery at all. it's pretty much dry grassland. i'm not sure if we just went at the wrong time. memorial day weekend 2009.
Reviewed by MHP on 6/10/2007
We went in early June 2007, just for a nice hike/walk. It's not the most picturesque area but we still had a good time. We'll try other areas, but we we would come back again.
Reviewed by Nathalie on 9/7/2005
Talbert Nature Preserve is not so much a hike as it is a walk that you can make long or short. I found a park called Canyon View on one end and a few trails once in the preserve, along with a coyote looking around; always a treat to see. I also found a small BMX area in the center of the preserve. I'd go again just for a local walk outside of the concrete.
Reviewed by EV on 4/3/2005
If I am to rate this hike based upon the official "Localhikes" scale, I have no choice but to give it the lowly grade of a single star. While the surrounding Fairview Park is pleasant enough for a planned recreational facility, the kindest thing that I can say about the Talbert "Nature Preserve" is that it is a poorly titled scattering of trees and rusted benches. Worst of all was the desolate and mind-numbingly dull trail that followed; save for the occasional duck perched upon an abandoned shopping cart in the river, it was without interest. Save your legs for a trip worth taking and pass on this "jewel" of Costa Mesa.
Reviewed by Ginger on 5/12/2004
This is the Talbert Nature Preserve - very enjoyable - Went in May while flowers and trees were blooming. Tennis shoes can be worn.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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