What makes the Ventura River Preserve a great place to run is the amount of trails that you can loop together for miles and miles on end. Trails are dusty and a bit rocky in places, but the elevation gains are minimal- if at all existent. The trails are a mix of fire road and singletrack, with the river trails being the most rocky and technical.
What Makes It Great
The Wills Canyon trail goes through a beautiful old oak grove. The Rice Canyon Trail is the longest trail at a little over two miles; it has the most climbing and mixes fire road and singletrack before it hits the Orange Grove Trail. Expect to see horses, hikers and maybe a mountain biker or two, but don't worry about losing any sense of solitude, as there's plenty to be had along many of these trails.
The town of Ojai is just a short drive away and features a large farmer's market, making this destination perfect for a Sunday trip. Temps can be hot in the summer and many trails (especially the river bed trails) are exposed to the sun. There is a large parking lot at the main River View trailhead off Rice Road.
Who is Going to Love It
Runners of all levels can enjoy the area. Most of the trails are flat, well-maintained paths and fire roads. It can get hot in the summer, so plan to run in the early morning or later evening.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
From the 101 in Ventura, go on 33 North towards Ojai. Turn left on Baldwin Road (150). Go a quarter mile and turn right onto Old Baldwin Road. The trailhead is at the end of this road.