Whittier Greenway Trail
The Whittier Greenway Trail runs parallel to Whittier Boulevard and Lambert Road between Mills Avenue and Pioneer Boulevard near I-605, and is part of an abandoned railroad right-of-way. An active rail line connects Mills Avenue to the Whittier city limits; the town intends to obtain an easement along this section of the rail so that the route can continue into Whittier and connect other trails in Orange County.
This urban, and at times noisy, route features some unique wind vane sculptures as well as good landscaping with native California flora. Take a short diversion from the route to adjacent Whittier Uptown Historic District, which is a terrific area to grab a snack, coffee, or perhaps a dinner from a variety of restaurants.
The City of Whittier intends to extend the route another 2.8 miles along a disused railroad easement from Mills Avenue to the city’s eastern limit, where it would connect with further trails running through La Habra and Brea that will connect to the Santa Ana River Trail.
Whittier’s current 4.6-mile Greenway Trail bike/walk path built in 2009. The plant was constructed on an abandoned rail spur that runs through the city. A walk/bike path goes in the center of a planted 60-foot-wide right-of-way that mostly travels diagonally through residential subdivisions.
The planned expansion will continue eastward, albeit in a much narrower right-of-way that will run beside an active (though little used – only a couple times per week) train line just north of bustling Lambert Road. Because the new expansion covers a fifteen-foot-wide strip of ground, landscaping options are limited.
The $8.1 million extension was paid for with a mix of state, federal, and municipal funding.
The city began construction on the extension in February 2021. Construction was supposed to take roughly a year, but it ran into some minor difficulties, resulting in a $300,000 cost overrun.
According to Whittier Senior Civil Engineer Michelle Chapman, the trail extension project is progressing well, with delays caused by complications in coordinating with the interconnected (also currently under construction) city/county project to synchronize signals on Lambert Road, with both projects requiring close collaboration with the Union Pacific Railroad.
The new extension’s western terminus is at Mills Avenue and Lambert Road. This is the location of Oak Station, one of four current greenway stations with explanatory signage, seating, art, landscaping, and other amenities. Oak Station has historical information, sculptures, a drinking fountain, greenery, and a modest bike and automobile parking space.
Trail Access and Parking
The Whittier Greenway Trail’s main trailhead is located at Palm Park, 5703 Palm Avenue. There is also street parking on Lorene Street (near the northern end) and a lot on El Rancho Drive.
Next Point of Interest: Pío Pico State Historic Park