Santa Ana River Bicycle Trail

Fairview Park in Costa Mesa and trails connecting to the Santa Ana River Trail

You can get to Fairview Park, by car, with the main parking lot with over a hundred parking places and only 3 handicapped ones at the end of it located at 2501 Placentia Avenue in the City of Costa Mesa. 2525 Placentia Avenue in the City of Costa Mesa, is given for the model airplane with electric motor launch site. The electric motors work better in the morning when the winds are lighter. Then in the afternoon, when the winds pick up, the model planes get flown off the bluff. At either section you have to get a permit to fly them, which we'll give you more information on that later.

If GOING NORTH on the Santa Ana River Trail by bike, when you get to the wooden bridge by Le Bard Park, go East on the bridge to the end which will be about 450 feet, then you'll be on the East bank of the Santa Ana River. You then go left, which will take you North again. You will go for a very short time, then you will see a sign to the left that shows an arrow pointing straight and saying Adams Avenue, when the exit is more to the left. If you continue on for $%^ feet, you'll come up to a sign that shows an arrow going straight and saying S.A. River Trail. The sign also shows an U turn arrow on the other side of the sign saying exit to Talbert Park Costa Mesa.

At that point, if you make the U-turn, just as indicated on the sign you'll be headed toward Talbert Park, which is actually "North Talbert Nature Preserve". You will go a short distance, before you see a short light blue bridge going over the Greenville-Banning flood control channel. You will want to cross over, and then go slightly to the left to the asphalt trail. If you go East on that trail and reach the top, you will be at Fairview Park.

If you're GOING SOUTH on the Santa Ana River Trail, and would like to reach Fairview Park, right after you pass under the Adams Avenue bridge, you'll come up to a sign that says to the right is the river trail, and to the left it says "Talbert Park Costa Mesa". You want to go left and shortly after, you will want to cross over the small light blue bridge, that goes over the Greenville-Banning flood control channel. Then you want to go slightly to the left on get on the asphalt trail and go East on it to the top, then you'll be at Fairview Park.

If you don't go slightly to the left for Fairview Park after crossing the light blue bridge and go to the right instead, you will be going South on the "Talbert Nature Preserve Bike Trail" that will take you to Pacific Coast Highway, but won't take you under the bridge to the other side by the mouth of the Santa Ana River.

GETTING BACK TO FAIRVIEW PARK, which is also known as Fairview Park Costa Mesa, is mostly on top of the 70 foot bluff. There are different sections to Fairview Park, but the main ones is the West and East sections, separated by Placentia Avenue. The West section is the largest and has a 13 acre developed section with a completely paved parking lot, restrooms, picnic tables, and 3 drinking fountains. During the weekend people have birthday parties or picnics at the tables and benches. Other times the city or different groups hold events and even concerts at the park. All of the pedestrian trails are atleast 3 feet wide, while the concrete and asphalt trails are at least 8 feet wide. In addition to that some trails, and even the top of the bluff have trail delineators, which are strands of cable going through poles every 16 feet in the ground.

One group as early as 1500 BC settled down until the 500's where Fairview Park now sits. Another group settled in the area from then until sometime in the late 1700's. 1780 was the first recorded use of the land when there were cattle herds from the Mission of San Juan Capistrano. Sometime after 1835, the Yorba family brought their own. The land changed hands many times and avoided development unlike the rest of the area around it. The topography on both sides of Placentia Avenue, with the flood risks in the West and the steep climb of the hills on the East, is probably what made these area unappealing. In the late 80's the City of Costa Mesa purchased the 208 acres from the county and state, now the park that makes up about half the city's parkland, . It wasn't dedicated until April 1990, after last land bought.

The open space is still used for mostly according to the 1995 Fairview Park Master Plan for the park, such as biking, walking, jogging, flying model airplanes, and other recreational uses while preserving the area for the archaeological and paleontological resources that have been found on both sides. Also Fairview Park has several different animals, including different types of snakes, jackrabbits, birds, and lizards. From the beginning, the city wanted to have continuous recreational trails linked together leading to and from Fairview Park, such as the South Talbert Nature Preserve, and the Canyon Park park trails and Victoria Vista Park trails. They planned around the other parks and historical structures in the area from the saltwater marshes by the mouth of the Santa Ana River, to Estancia Park with the Diego Sepulveda Adobe next to it, and two more parks nearbya mile the East, by connecting from the Costa Mesa bikeway system's arteries.

Starting with the NORTHWEST corner of Fairview Park, which is about 45 acres. "Wetlands at Fairview Park" makes up most of it, but the name of the project the city gave to it was the Fairview Park Wetlands and Riparian Habitat Planting Project Phase II. That makes up the rest of the 23 acre $2.5 million project, that's described a little more in detail, in the "Wetlands at Fairview Park" page, that also has pages for the newly created dirt trails around the five new ponds. Just on the Northern boundary of the new wetlands, is the new "Wetlands at Fairview Park Bike Trail". You can see that page for more information on the new cemented trail liking the Santa Ana River Trail, with Placentia Avenue, and several other parks and trails in the immediate area of Fairview Park. Also making up the entire Northern boundary is the 1600 foot long Fairview Channel, as it barely started from the West after branching off from the Greenville -Banning flood control channel. Parking for about 60 cars was originally planned at the Wetlands at Fairview Park, but required cceleration and deceleration lanes on Placentia Avenue.

Making up the rest of the 155 acres of the WESTERN section of Fairview Park, is the top of the bluff and running South to the Southwest corner is 110 acres and includes the 13 acre developed section by the main parking lot. 29 acres throughout the 155 acres of is drainage area for the many vernal pools. On the entire Western side of the bluff, you can see the "North Talbert Nature Preserve and it's trails. With the view you can also see the ocean less than 3 miles away, several main streets, and the Santa Ana River Trail wooden bridge and Orange County skyline to the North.

More in the SOUTHWESTERN section, you'll find the "Pacific Avenue entry point", which has 10 regular parking spaces and 4 handicapped ones. Next to that is houses, very shortly along the Southern boundary, is the "Canyon Drive entry point", with parking across from the elementary school. Also on the Southern boundary going East to Placentia Avenue, is a high school. Also there's the other archaeological site known as CA-ORA 58 and covers 14 acres in the Northwest corner and is the more popular of the two.

On to the 53 acres that make up the EASTERN section of Fairview Park. Starting with the Northeast, 10 acres is a registered archaeological site called CA -ORA 506 next to the Canary Drive entry point, which is very close to the Costa Mesa Golf Course that makes up the Eastern boundary. In 2006 there was a pedestrian bridge put in above Placentia Avenue so you can connect to both sides of the park. When you start to head South, the Model Train Rail Road takes up the other 45 acres, with miniature train track, and gravel parking lot. You can get a free ride on this train on the %%%%% Saturday of the month from&&to %^&. Some of the busier weekends have seen about 5000 people at the model railroad. Once you get to the Southern most section on the East side, you'll again see the Costa Mesa Golf Course making up the boundary again. The Fairview Channel separates the North and Southern of the Eastern section of Fairview Park.

west side of river going south after u turn

West side of river going South after u turn

Modified 06/11/2014