What could be better than a long, scenic ride on your comfort bicycle, followed by an amazing brunch at one of the best spots in Orange County? These are the best local bike routes for cyclists who want to work up an appetite before digging into an incredible weekend morning meal.
Back Bay, Newport Beach
The Back Bay Loop Trail highlight one of the most interesting ecological regions of Southern California. Take this 10.5-mile ride to enjoy views of Upper Castaways Park, Big Canyon and Upper Newport Bay. For a more expansive workout, connect to the Mountains to Sea Trail, a national recreation route that spans 22 miles to Irvine Regional Park, with vistas of Weir Canyon and Peters Canyon Reservoir along the way. As for brunch, consider Back Bay Bistro at Newport Dunes Resort for waterfront dining featuring award-winning California cuisine spotlighting the freshest local produce, seafood and meats.
Fullerton Loop Bike Trail, Fullerton
This mountain biking trail is easy to access and provides a variety of terrain that will challenge new riders and please those who are more experienced. Park at the Fullerton Courthouse and take the bridal trail to Hiltscher Park Trail. Along the way, you’ll be able to check out Laguna Lake and Brea Dam. This area also offers a few easier loop trails if you’re looking for a more relaxed trip. Once you’ve made it back to your starting point, head down the street for a homey breakfast at Black Bear Diner. This small California chain is known for all-day breakfast as well as classic American comfort food for lunch and dinner. You’ll appreciate this nostalgic experience after a morning on the trails.
Santa Ana River Trail & Parkway, Huntington Beach State Park
For a longer ride, try this trail spanning nearly 30 miles along the Santa Ana River. Named the best local bike trail by the Orange County Register, this National Recreation Trail is 10 feet wide and mostly free of cars, with an adjacent hiking and running trail. With varied urban terrain from mountains to meadows to cityscapes, you’ll never get bored along the way. Located just feet off the trail in Orange, Pepito’s Mexican Restaurant is a local institution. Brunch offerings here include breakfast burritos and quesadillas as well as egg plates, not to mention strong, dark coffee laced with cinnamon.
Shady Canyon Trail, Irvine
Grab your friends and tell them to bring their best beach bikes for this scenic four-mile route. Start at the Quail Hill trailhead and reward yourself with panoramic views of Bommer Canyon and the breathtaking real estate in the Newport Beach area. The mixture of paved and dirt trails gives riders the challenge of varied terrain. The dining spot of choice after this short and sweet ride is Two Left Forks, where you’ll find upscale California cuisine and an impressive wine list. Brunch is served here on the weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features eggs, omelets and other breakfast favorites alongside salads and savory entrees.
Whether you prefer mountain bikes or streamlined Dutch style bikes, coffee or tea, pancakes or a sandwich and fries, you can craft your perfect weekend day on any of these scenic trails offering beautiful weather and some of the most jaw-dropping views in America.