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2016-07-15 13:15:22
3 of My Fave Spots: Westside Costa Mesa

Although much of my weekends are spent hosting open houses or showing homes my weeks days are often time to recharge my batteries and get some exercise in. I also love hanging out with my pups of course.

The West side of Costa Mesa is my go to spot. There are miles of trails both dirt and paved and acres of parks. Today I'll be featuring my fave spots: Santa Ana River Trail,  Sheep Hills BMX park in Talbert Nature Preserve and Fairview Nature Park.  

The Santa Ana River Trail: Cardio with a View

 Santa Ana River Trail SoCal

Photography credit: Marc Perkins Photography


The Santa Ana River Trail is an amazing way to get outside and exercise without having to worry about car traffic. The trail begins in San Bernardino County and runs 110 miles all the way to the ocean between Huntington and Newport. It’s the perfect trail for a moderate, weekend bike ride. It’s such a freeing way to spend some time outdoors and see Southern California, while also getting in some good cardio (which is always a plus)!

The Santa Ana River Trail is used by bike commuters and cycling enthusiasts for training purposes and recreation. It’s relaxed atmosphere and minimal amount of distractions definitely makes the bike ride seem less like a work-out and more like a cruise.

Dog Beach end Santa Ana Trail Huntington

When you reach the end of the trail between Huntington and Newport it’s a strange, but beautiful phenomenon. You are standing next to a river jetty and in front of the ocean. Words can’t begin to the view! You have to see it for yourself. There is also a best kept secret on the Newport side of the river jetty, a wonderful dog beach where they can play in the water and run free. Of course bring an extra towel because a wet dog is no fun in the car!


Fairview Park/Talbert Nature Preserve

Fairview Park is great for walking, biking, and fun hobbies like flying model airplanes. It’s connected to the Santa Ana River Trail bike path and by walking trails to Talbert Regional Park Nature Preserve.

Fairview Park Map

Guy flying kite drone airplane


There are several hidden miles of dirt trails in both parks to take a leisurely walk or a run or ride a dirt bike.  Below the bluff off the trail there is secret meadow with picnic tables and restrooms to enjoy a special occasion or enjoy a little time in the solitude of nature. There are lots of trees for shade and room for kids to run and play frisbee, hide and seek or even a game of kickball.

Sheep Hills BMX Park | A World Legend, A Local Secret

It’s no surprise that the BMX enthusiasts around the world know more about Sheep Hills than most of the locals in Southern California. Mostly because it’s such a niche activity, but that doesn’t mean that bystanders won’t enjoy watching the bikers perform amazing stunts. I’m so excited that I learned about this secret spot, hidden inside the Talbert Nature Preserve, very close to the Santa Ana River Trail.

The Sheep Hills Park sits between Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa and attracts the attention of people of all ages from across the world. It has several banks, jumps, and straightaways in a small area. It’s about the size of a baseball diamond…Which makes it even more entertaining to watch, trust me!

I feel so grateful not to have to leave my home town to be one with nature! When you have the time and want to get out and get moving, I definitely suggest taking a trip to either the Santa Ana River Trail, Fairview/Talbert Parks or Sheep Hills BMX park, you won’t regret it.

Pictured above: Another best kept secret in Costa Mesa, this beautiful fishing lake is tucked inside the Talbert Nature Preserve. (It’s also a great spot to watch the sunset, as you can see.)

Want more? Check out this amazing aerial tour of Westside Costa Mesa:

What are some of your favorite places to visit in Orange County? Don’t forget to comment below with your recommendations and follow my Instagram for more inspiring nature pics. 

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