Ventura River Preserve - Running

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Trail options galore in this scenic 1600-acre preserve. The trail variety and relatively low elevation changes make this a great place to go for a trail run.

Written by

Courtney Johnson


10.0 miles

It's possible to connect trails to make about a 10 mile run; most runners prefer 3 - 5 mile routes.

Destination Distance From Downtown

23.5 miles


2 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

1 hours

An hour or less for most runs


All Seasons

Dog Friendly


Topographical Map

Trail Map

Land Website

Ventura River Preserve



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. 

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Ventura River Preserve

Ventura, CA, 93001
34.449387, -119.28826

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