One of the first places we went in Orange County was the San Clemente Beach Trail. Brett’s office is in San Clemente, so we started our house hunt their and radiated out. When we were here looking for apartments in January I flew in long after dark and didn’t get a chance to see all the beauty of the area, so first thing the next morning we went straight for this trail to do our run. It was gorgeous.
The trail is about 2.5 miles one way, depending on when you want to stop. Extending to the south the trail continues, but is more narrow and uneven. The beach seems to go on forever. We have been here several times, both before work on a weekday and around noon on a Saturday, and both times we have enjoyed ourselves. Obviously there were more people on the Saturday, but we were still able to run with plenty of room to pass people on the wide path.
About halfway up the trail is the San Clemente Pier. This thing is massive and leads out a quarter mile into the ocean. The pier has restaurants and benches, and offers a great view of all the surfers that seem to flock to San Clemente Beach.
To the north, the trail meets up with the train station and comes to a very obvious end giving you the chance to head back to wherever you started from. Overall this is one of our favorite spots so far. We love how accessible it is and the fact that it feels more like a local hangout place (similar to Green Lake in Seattle) than a tourist beach.