North Beach in San Clemente meets all the requirements of requests from my site’s page on Facebook. It’s so much fun for me to have all of you help me build the site with info you actually WANT! Every time I go to North Beach, I have the it-just-doesn’t-get-better-than-this feeling (except when it’s crowded). Although this post should fit all the requests from readers, I added more ideas below:
So here’s the scoop on the North Beach Trail Head in San Clemente:
- The San Clemente Beach Trail runs from North Beach down to Califia Beach Park. You can park at 1) North Beach, 2) by the San Clemente Pier, or 3) down at Califia Beach Park — or really anywhere in between.
- With the kids, I like to go from North Beach because there are swings, a slide, and restrooms. It gets the wiggles out before we go and gives them a reward when we’re done.
- The walk is breathtaking! Beyond beautiful views of the ocean, surfers, and sometimes dolphins in the waves. Keep your eyes out for sparrows, hummingbirds, finches, squirrels and lizards.
- The train tracks go right by the path and it’s fun to see Amtrak and Metrolink blasting by.
- Walk to Linda Lane Park from here (just cut up one of the paths).
- Walk to a family-friendly restaurant on Del Mar (the main street to the pier in San Clemente).
- Explore the San Clemente Pier.
- From the North Beach parking lot, you can access the nearby Sea Summit Trail and Pico Park.
Location: Take the Avenida Pico exit off Interstate 5. Turn towards the beach. Go across Pacific Coast Highway and take your first right onto Calle Deshecha past Ole Hanson Beach Club. The San Clemente Metrolink and beach parking lot is ahead of you on the left. Turn into the lot and find the BEACH PARKING right below the Beach Club. You’ll need to pay at the machines. MAP TO NORTH BEACH PLAYGROUND AND PARKING FOR SAN CLEMENTE BEACH TRAIL
- You must pay for parking at the pay stations. Make note of your spot # and enter it into the yellow machine. The lot by the pier has the same system. Califia has meters and your State Park parking pass works there, too. Click here for more info on parking in San Clemente.
- Just be cautious of the train tracks with little ones. There are definitely trains and they come by often! Only cross at marked crossings.
- Use the restrooms at North Beach, near the pier, T-Street or Califia. No restrooms in between.
- Bring water and/or snacks.
- Remember, the beach can be breezy or foggy even when it’s hot inland. Dress in layers or bring jackets for the kids.
- There are three fire pits (one on the north side of the restrooms and two on the south) and picnic tables.
- Dogs allowed on leash on the trail. Dogs not allowed on the beach.
Jennifer asked for: “Good beaches and fun stuff this weekend.”
- Under Nature Outings, I have a heading for Beaches. That’s a great place to start.
- Califia Beach Park at San Clemente State Beach is another favorite.
Brienna wants: “Paved walking trails in South OC for walks that are away from traffic.”
- This one’s a little tougher, but the North Beach Trail is definitely stroller friendly. It’s not paved, but the dirt is packed decomposed granite.
- Walking around Mission Viejo Lake is a good one in South County (although there is traffic). Just drive up Alicia Parkway, turn left on Marguerite and park in the shopping center a little ways up on your right. Start walking on the sidewalk around the lake. I wrote up a full post about Stroller Friendly Walks Around Lakes in Orange County.
- Aliso and Woods Canyon trail is paved for bikes, but great for walking. Actually, any of the regional parks with bike trails would probably fit your request. I’m thinking of Mason Park in Irvine for a nice walk with the kiddos. Or even Aldrich Park at UC Irvine!
Chris put in a vote for: “Dog friendly hiking trails and beaches.”
- Try San Onofre State Beach (only on Trail 1 and 6) and there were tons of dogs on the North Beach Trail – on leash.
- The official OCParks.com site, has a map of parks where dogs are permitted on leashes and there are some pretty impressive trails at these parks.
- On Facebook, I mentioned OCDogFriendly.com for all sorts of ideas.
- Official information about the North Beach Trail from the City of San Clemente
- Josh covers the San Clemente Beach Trail on CaliforniaThroughMyLens.com
- Traci covers the San Clemente Beach Trail on WalkSimply.com
Originally posted in May 2010.