Running. Jogging. Lacing up your sneakers. Hitting the open road. Whatever you call it, running is one activity that has taken a recent leap in popularity. With all the various mud runs, 5K’s, half-marathons, and full marathons out there, gathering more and more participants, it’s no wonder that running has become of the most popular forms of physical activity. Whether you are more of a leisurely weekend jogger or a seriously dedicated runner, this list of the best running trails in the Inland Empire is sure to get you lacing up your shoes.
Santa Ana River Trail
San Bernardino Access point: La Cadena Drive, North of Tropica Rancho Road
Riverside County Access point: Fairmont Boulevard
This trail is extremely popular with hikers, bikers, runners alike, providing miles of terrain on which to trot. Plans for the trail include extending the length until it eventually runs an impressive 100 miles from the San Bernardino Mountains to the ocean, spanning a number of cities within the Inland Empire and Orange County areas. The trail is currently divided up into three main portions; the upper, middle, and lower. The middle portion is more flat in elevation and is more urbanized, thus providing great running ground. The trail is extremely popular on weekends, so plan ahead to hit the road early!
Thompson Creek Trail
North Mills Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711
This running trail lies within the Northern Claremont area, with access along many points, including from Base Line Road and Higginbotham Park. The trail is paved, making for a more leisurely run, and the distance is relatively short, being only 2.8 miles in length. If you’re in the mood for a more moderate, easy run, this trail offers up just that.
Mt. Rubidoux Drive
Riverside, CA 92501
Serving as a historical and recreational landmark for the people of Riverside for over 100 years, Mt. Rubidoux continues to attract runners and joggers like. Mount Rubidoux Park is open from dusk until dawn, featuring 3.5 miles of paved road, and is closed to vehicular traffic. Be prepared, however, for a challenge; the terrain can become quite steep, which can make for some walking breaks during runs. If you’re a runner looking for a challenge or some serious hill work, this is one trail you won’t want to miss.
Pacific Electric Trail
Rancho Cucamonga Access points:
Route 66 Trailhead
Red Hill Park
7484 Vineyard Avenue
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
The Rancho Cucamonga segment of this trail extends 7 miles between the East and West ends of the city. The trail has lighting available at night for safety, and various water fountains along its path. Big plans for the future are in the work for this trail; Rancho Cucamonga, along with the San Bernardino Associated Goverments and surrounding cities, will develop a multi-purpose trail that will link the cities of Montclair, Upland, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, and Rialto. This will create a 20-mile path extending from the Los Angeles county line at Claremont all the way to Rialto, a feature sure to attract long-distance runners.
Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve
39400 Clinton Keith Road
Murrietta, CA 92562
For those looking more of a scenic, leisure jog or walk in a natural setting, the Santa Rosa Plateau is what you’ve been searching for. This hidden gem in the southwest region of the Inland Empire is more of a nature walk, although guests are invited to pick up the pace a bit, should they so choose. The reserve consists of 9,000 acres, and is home to 49 different endangered animal species. Visitors can make a day of it and can also choose to mountain bike, hike, or horseback ride.