Like most runners, I enjoy running in new cities when I travel. I was recently in Orange County, CA for work and I was able to run part of the Back Bay Loop Trail. The “trailhead” is at the Back Bay Science Center, which is where I began my run. About half of the 10.5-mile loop is in residential areas and I did not run that half of the loop. Instead, I just followed the eastern path, which hugs Upper Newport Bay.
I used quotes around trailhead, because there isn’t much trail to speak of. I’m pretty sure the entire loop is paved. At any rate, the section I ran was newly paved and closed to traffic, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I ran at sunrise and wildlife was active that time of day. There were a lot of birds flying overhead, landing on the water and then taking off again. I also saw rabbits along the edges of the road. The road wasn’t crowded; there were other runners using the walk/run lane and several cyclists passed me both out and back. The bay is surrounded by a ring of houses and periodically there were entrances to the trail from neighborhoods above.
I give this trail a thumbs up, although I do wish I’d had time to run the whole loop.