A recreational bikeway and trail from the San Bernardino Mountains to the Pacific Ocean was first envisioned over 100 years ago. In 1955, the idea of a Santa Ana River Trail and Parkway was formalized. Since that time sections of the 110 mile trail have been completed and the trail currently serves the needs of recreational bicyclists, equestrians and even provides an opportunity to use alternative means of transportation for some commuters.
In a survey of recreational trail users, the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) found that completion of the backbone of the Santa Ana River Trail and Parkway was their highest priority.
In 2006, the Counties of San Bernardino, Orange, and Riverside, as well as, SAWPA and the Wildlands Conservancy entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to assist in completing this regional recreational resource. Progress toward the completion of the trail is summarized below.
Also in 2006, the voters of California approved the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act. As a result, $45 M was set aside for the completion of the backbone of the Santa Ana River Trail and Parkway.