Looking For A Long Run in Anaheim? Santa Ana River Trail

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I was out in Anaheim for work a little while ago, and in addition to having to squeeze a few very early and night recovery and tempo runs, I had a 14-mile midweek long run on the calendar (those who’ve suffered under Pfitzinger’s marathon program know these well). After a three full days on a tradeshow floor, my feet were killing me and the thought of an evening 14 miler on traffic congested streets and tourist crowded sidewalks felt purgatorial. I asked the folks at the hotel desk, and they had no ideas for options. Luckily, a bit of Google searching and a map consult turned up reference to a Santa Ana River Trail.

From the Anaheim Convention Center run east on Katella Avenue for about 2.4 miles. You’ll cross under the 5 and eventually 57 (Orange Freeway), cross over the Santa Ana River and then jump on the trail on the other side.

I ran north on the trail and swung around when my Garmin showed 7 miles. The trail is paved bike path, although there’s a nice dirt trail that runs parallel for much of it – easy on the feet. Shady trees, flowers blooming, lots of cyclists and runners. I finished the run in the dark and never felt unsafe – though can’t vouch for the overall safety of the neighborhoods the trail might pass through. And some stretches were a bit lonely and dark, especially passing under the overpasses. Like always when travel running, use good judgment.