Orange County, CA is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts. From mountain biking to horseback riding, there are plenty of activities to enjoy. But if you're looking for the best bike rides in the area, you won't want to miss out on Whiting Ranch. This park offers 17 miles of trails, with Red Rock Canyon and Billy Goat trails reserved for hikers only.
All other trails are open to hikers, cyclists and riders. There's no picnic or play area here, but there is a portable urinal for your convenience. If you're looking for an easy and scenic bike ride, you'll want to check out the city's new beach trail. It can be reached with Metrolink and Amtrak and offers plenty of scenery. You can also take a short trip along the PCH bike path.
For a more adventurous ride, follow the trail that leads away from the nature center and crosses below Highway 133 to visit Lake Barbara, one of the few natural lakes in Orange County. The Aliso Creek National Recreation Trail connects the Aliso and Wood Canyons mountain bike park in Aliso Viejo with the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. Here you'll find Cook's Corner, a favorite of motorcyclists and pedals for a hamburger or even a salad. For more information and trail maps at these and other Orange County parks, visit the OC Parks website. If you're looking for a great place to eat after your ride, Laguna Beach has some of the most picturesque eating patios around. However, cycling there is mostly on busy streets without bike trails or even bike lanes.
For more information on bike routes to these dining destinations, check out Richard Fox's book “EnCyclopedia Southern California: The Best Easy Scenic Bike Rides”.