Routes for Jog Strollers in Orange County

Dog may be man’s best friend, but jog stroller is mama’s. I have a double and single Bob Gear jogger that I use several times a week. Whether I’m walking or running, I can count on my jogger for freedom and endorphins, not to mention the wonder of a 5-point harness. I’ve shared my tips for a successful baby jogging experience before. Today, I’ve rounded up a few jog stroller friendly routes in Orange County.

I have personal experience with all of the trails included on this list. All are paved with either asphalt or concrete. All are within populated areas and safe, during the daytime at least. Most have beautiful views and lots to keep the kiddos visually entertained. Some even include parks and play structures along the way. A few are missing a key benefit, a public restroom – look for these in my notes below.

So, get that jog stroller tuned up and hit the trail!

Jog Stroller Friendly Routes in Orange County

Back Bay Trail

This 3 mile section of the Mountains to Sea Trail is runs along the back bay. You can access it from three points – Jamboree/San Joaquin Hills Drive , Eastbluff Drive or Back Bay Drive. It’s a mixed use trail with runners, walkers, bikers and the occasional driver. There are no restrooms, so plan according and be willing to pop a squat, if needed.

Balboa Boardwalk

The boardwalk is on the Newport Beach Peninsula and runs from 36th Street to E Street. Crowds vary depending on the season and time of day. It’s totally flat (obviously) and great for people & dolphin watching. There are two parks along the route (Balboa Pier and Newport Elementary) for the kiddos to check out, along with three public restrooms. I’m on the boardwalk at least once a week with my kiddos, so maybe I’ll see you there!

  • Suggested Parking: Either of the public parking lots at both Newport and Balboa Piers or any street parking along the peninsula
  • Link to trail map

Balboa Island Loop

Balboa Island is a festive and friendly little island. The loop (approx 1.7 miles) around the big island is well lit and populated, so it’s a great place for a night-walk. We always make a point to visit during the holidays to check out the elaborate holiday decor. There are public restrooms near the fire station on Marine Avenue.

Crystal Cove Beach

Crystal Cove is about 3 miles in length and there is a paved path that runs the distance of the park. It is above the bluff and the views are some of my favorite. Your kiddos can search for lizards, squirrels and whales while you take in the view. The park has several restroom facilities and parking too (that will cost you an arm and a leg). When I go, I park off of PCH just north of the park at Cameo Shores. Then, walk south along PCH to the state park.

  • Suggested Parking: Savers park at Cameo Shores residential neighborhood (PCH and Cameo Shores) and Spenders park in any of the paid lots
  • Link to beach and trails map

Castaways Trail

This short loop is located near Bob Henry Park at the corner of Dover Drive and Castaways. You can make the trip longer by splitting off the trail and running down Santiago in the Dover Shores neighborhood and then looping back around via Mariner’s and Dover. There is a restroom at the Bob Henry Park right across the street from the Castaways parking lot.

  • Suggested Parking: Castaways Parking Lot (Corner of Dover and Castaways) or Bob Henry Parking Lot located across the street
  • Link to trail map

Hicks Canyon Trail

It’s been way too long since I have run on this trail. While I have never taken my own kids there, I used to push my niece and nephew in the jogger on that trail years ago. The 2 mile trail (one-way) runs through Northwood residences in Irvine, starting at Hick’s Canyon Community Park and ending at Portola Parkway. There are restrooms at Hick’s Canyon Park, but none along the route. There are plenty of friendly neighbors and pooches along the route, along with some water fountains, tunnels and squirrels.

  • Suggested Parking: Hicks Canyon Park (corner of Culver Drive and View Park)
  • Link to trail Map

Upper Back Bay Trail

I have been running this trail forever it seems. I love it for the views, the people, the wildlife and the memories. It’s a mixed used trail, so be aware of cyclists flying by. The only restroom on the trail is located at the Interpretive Center, but there are plenty of shrubs around too (if you know what I mean). One of my favorite things to do is run from the Interpretive Center to the Jamboree and back (approximately 3 miles) and stop off at Bayview Park on the return trip. My kids love to play and I love to take a break to tone or stretch. For a longer route (5 miles), park in the Dover Shores neighborhood (at the corner of Irvine and Santiago) and run to Jamboree and back.

  • Suggested Parking: The Interpretive Center (corner of Irvine Blvd and University)
  • Link to trail map

Where is your favorite place to take your jog stroller?

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  • Reply
    05/27/2016 at 9:50 am

    Any suggestions for south county trails?

    • Reply
      05/27/2016 at 1:45 pm

      Hi Adrianne! Well, not really. The furthest south I ventured was El Moro, which can be jog stroller friendly depending on the trail. What about Aliso Creek area? Off Alicia Pkwy.
      Hope you find some goodies!

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