Ventura River Parkway Trail
Map showing the location of Ventura River Parkway Trail
Location within the state of California
LocationVentura County, California, United States
Nearest cityVentura, California
Coordinates34°21′1″N 119°18′5″W / 34.35028°N 119.30139°W / 34.35028; -119.30139Coordinates: 34°21′1″N 119°18′5″W / 34.35028°N 119.30139°W / 34.35028; -119.30139
Established1987; 35 years ago (1987)
Governing body
City of Ventura, County of Ventura
Length16.5 miles (26.6 km)
Usecycling, pedestrians, equestrians, on-leash pet walking
Elevation change934 ft (285 m)
Highest point969 ft (295 m)
Lowest point35 ft (11 m)
Surfaceasphalt concrete and unpaved
Ventura River Parkway Trail
SR 33
Hermosa Road
Lorna Drive
Tico Road
SR 150
Woodland Avenue
Willey Street
Barbara Street
Oak View
San Antonio Creek
Casitas Springs
Foster Park
SR 33

The Ventura River Parkway Trail is a southern California rail trail along the Ventura River in Ventura County. Roughly paralleling California State Route 33 for 16.5 mi (26.6 km) from Ventura to Ojai, it follows the route of the former Ventura and Ojai Valley Railroad that was abandoned between 1969 and 1995.


The southern end of the trail, known as the Ventura River Trail, follows the east side of the Ojai Freeway about 3 mi (4.8 km) through the industrialized Ventura Oil Field before crossing under the freeway adjacent to Crooked Palm Road.[1] The trail then follows the west side of highway 33 another 3 mi (4.8 km) through the former Canet oil refinery and the Ventura water purification plant to Foster Park at the south edge of Casitas Springs.[2] The trail known as the Ojai Valley Trail diverges from the highway along the west side of Casitas Springs into riparian woodlands following the east bank of the Ventura River as the highway climbs to Oak View. From 2 mi (3.2 km) of two percent uphill grade, the trail emerges from the woodlands along the west side of Oak View to rejoin the highway from a high fill across Devils Gulch overlooking the river. The trail closely follows the west side of highway 33 north of Oak View about 4 mi (6.4 km) until crossing the highway at the intersection with California State Route 150 into downtown Ojai. The northern end of the trail runs more than a mile easterly from the intersection through Ojai a few blocks south of highway 150.[3]


The Ventura River Parkway Trail was built on an abandoned railroad spur (CA_VEN-1109H) that was constructed by the Ventura and Ojai Valley Railroad in 1898 and acquired by Southern Pacific in 1899.[4] The rail trail, that runs along the easterly bank of the river, was designated a National Recreation Trail in 2014.[5] The "Ventura River Trail" part of the trail (completed in 1999) extends from the coast to Foster Park, and the "Ojai Valley Trail" part (completed in 1987) extends from Foster Park into the City of Ojai. The 15.8-mile trail (25.4 km), with the steady grade of the former Southern Pacific Railway right-of-way, is very popular with bicyclists, as well as walkers and horseback riders (on the Ojai Valley Trail segment). As of 2015, the vision of a "Ventura River Parkway," a network of trails, vista points, and natural areas along the river, is being actively pursued by a coalition of stakeholders.[6][7][8][9]


Most of the trail has asphalt concrete pavement for bicyclists, hikers, joggers, and dog-walkers using leashes. Some portions of the trail have a fence separating a parallel unpaved equestrian path. There are numerous public access points along the trail with parking lots in Foster Park on the south side of Casitas Springs and near the intersection of Main and Peking Streets in Ventura.[2]


  1. ^ "Ventura River Trail". TrailLink. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Ventura River Parkway Trail". NRT Database. American Trails. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Ojai Valley Trail". TrailLink. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  4. ^ MacGregor, Hilary E. (September 18, 1996). "In Search of the Missing Link". Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ Kallas, Anne (June 7, 2014) "On the path to restoring the river: Trail in county gets designation from government" Ventura County Star (subscription may be required for this article.
  6. ^ "The Ventura River Watershed Management Plan". Ventura River Watershed Council. Retrieved 2015-06-15.
  7. ^ Lubin, Theresa, Ventura County Parks (July 29, 2015)
  8. ^ Martinez, Arlene (July 27, 2016). "Plans for Ventura River Parkway, a route of trails from Ventura to Ojai, move along". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  9. ^ O'Neal, Chris (2019-04-04). "VANISHING POINT | Decline in insect population leading to catastrophe, report says; locals fight back". VC Reporter. Southland Publishing. Retrieved 2019-04-04.