San Buenaventura Trail / Grant Park

A beach hike in Ventura, similar to the one I did a few months ago in Port Hueneme.  The Sun was shining but a cool breeze kept things pleasant.  I would say that the major drawback here is the number of people.  I didn’t feel like I had a solitary moment the entire day.

1     2     3   I began my day at Marina Park.  There is plenty of free parking here.  To the left of the park is Ventura Harbor and Soter Point, marked by a lone Cyprus tree.

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Also at Soter Point is a statue of a mermaid, a gift to Ventura from it’s sister city in Russia.

8     9   Photo 1 – Ventura Harbor  Photo 2 – Big jetty by Marina Park

10   Looking inland I spotted Ventura’s famed twin oaks perched high on their hilltop.

11     13     12   Still in Marina Park, a concrete boat for the kids.  It has an attached zipline.

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Every few hundred yards another jetty sticks out into the surf.

16   Finally I got going up the sandy beach.

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After a couple of miles I closed in on Ventura Pier.

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20     21   Now up on the pier

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There is an unusual design element at the end of the pier – a big doughnut shaped deck.

24     26     27   Views from the end of the Ventura Pier

28     29   The trail continues next to the beach along a busy, paved walkway.  There are many people with dogs and baby strollers, as well as people on bicycles.  It was quite crowded.

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The trail passes by the Ventura County fairgrounds, turns inland at the Ventura River Estuary and continues on all the way to Ojai, some 9.5 miles away.

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I had one more destination on my itinerary.  I backtracked to the area right before the fairgrounds on Figueroa Street and began walking toward old Ventura.  You’ll know you’re heading in the right direction because when you look at this overpass it has the word “Downtown” scrawled across the top.  There are murals painted under the overpass as well, giving a bit of Ventura history.  An odd inclusion in the murals – Jerry Garcia, complete with missing fingertip, as a train conductor.  I searched for some connection between Garcia and Ventura but couldn’t find one except that the Jerry Garcia Band had played the Ventura Fairgrounds.

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I continued up the street and into the downtown area with it’s shops and historic buildings.

37   San Buenaventura Mission, founded by Father Junipero Serra in 1782.  It is now part museum and part active church.

38     39     40   I paid $4 to take a self guided tour.

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Psychedelic Serra

44     45     46   Inside the church – it smelled kind of funky in there.

47     48   I left the mission and began climbing toward Grant Park.  There are some steep hills along the way.

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I reached the parking area at the top of Grant Park.  Just below is Serra Cross.

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Photo 1 View up the coast from the cross  Photo 2 – Ventura Pier on zoom

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I parked myself on one of the benches, ate lunch and enjoyed the fantastic view.

53a     56   Now hiking back down the beach to my car.  These gulls want to try surfing.

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57     Photos 1 and 2 – Surfing in Ventura  Photo 3 – A nice treat – dolphins playing just outside the surfline.  Nice way to cap off a fun day.

 

 

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