This Fitness Ventura page is loaded with outdoor fitness information, running ideas, clubs, races, stores, and more.
From Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, Point Mugu, Ojai and all of the beautiful real estate in between, Ventura County and the surrounding areas have a lot to offer for runners, hikers, bikers and fitness enthusiasts.
Sunrise over the Santa Monica Mountains as seen from the San Buenaventura Beach Path
Fitness Ventura – Parks & Trails
- San Buenaventura State Beach: The picture above was taken on the San Buenaventura paved running / biking path as the sun rose over the Santa Monica Mountains. This path extends starts at San Pedro Street, which is just off of East Harbor Blvd (at the Marriott), extends up past the historic Venture pier, and goes for miles up through Emma Wood State Beach. There are not many running trails that can boast scenery like the Pacific coast line. San Buenaventura State Beach Park also hosts many weekend activities and fairs, which are great for post workout treats! 😉
- Emma Wood State Park: Located at the mouth of the Ventura River, this park is really popular with those with RVs for its ocean-front views, fishing, swimming, and surfing activities. The above trail that originated in San Buenaventura State Beach continues up the coastline on a very nice paved path – great route for a tranquil run or walk.
- Point Mugu State Park: Located just 30 minutes south of Ventura, Point Mugu State Park has more than 70 miles of hiking trails nestled in the foothills and coastline. It’s a nice park with close-by beaches for a fun day’s worth of activity.
- Arroyo Verde Park: This 132-acre park in Ventura has several miles of trails and open grassy areas, perfect for running, picnicking, or just going for a leisurely stroll.
- Camino Real Park: While there’s no marked trail, this facility has more than 38 acres of ball fields, tennis courts, playgrounds, and indoor fitness facilities. You can get a nice 1.5-mile loop in if you jog the grassy, tree-lined perimeter.
- Ventura River Trail: Going east from Main Street in downtown Ventura, this 6.3-mile trail follows the old Pacific railroad right-of-way inland to Foster Park. It’s a really nice trail for joggers, bikers, or walkers.
- Los Padres National Forest, Ojai: The Los Padres National Forest stretches nearly 220 miles from Los Angeles County up the coastline to Big Sur and has hundreds of thousands of acres of some of the most scenic mountain trails on the west coast. Just 15-20 minutes east of Ventura, the town of Ojai has a Ranger Station with trail maps and the trail heads of some great hiking & biking routes. One of the best trails takes Gridley path up to the Nordoff Fire Tower, which is over 4,000 feet above sea level. On a clear day you can get some fantastic views of the Ojai orchards, valleys, Lake Casitas, and even the Channel Islands way off in the distance! From Ojai to the summit is a good 8+ miles, but the path is well marked, clear and fairly wide (just watch out for bikers coming around the switch-backs ;-).
Fitness Ventura – Running & Walking Clubs
- LA Leggers: Primarily focused on training for the LA Marathon in March, this group meets on Saturday mornings in San Buenaventura Park.
- Santa Barbara Running: This group is sponsored by the Santa Barbara Athletic Association and is a good resource for local races, group runs, routes, and events.
- The Inside Track Running Club: Located at their Ventura store, the Inside Track Running Club is a club for runners, walkers, triathletes or anyone who would like to meet fun and athletic people.
- Run Santa Barbara: This site is a good source for walking and running events in Santa Barbara and they are the primary event organizer for the Pier to Peak Half Marathon which is run on Labor Day weekend.
Fitness Ventura – Area Gyms
With so many tremendous outdoor venues…it would be a shame to workout inside…but if you must…
Fitness Ventura – Running Shoe Stores
- Inside Track: Located on East Main Street in downtown Ventura, this running shoe store caters to runners of all types.
- Santa Barbara Running Company: This is a true running store for runners, where they offer coaching seminars, race information, and will even evaluate your show wear, stride length, gait, and form to help you pick out the right shoe.
Fitness Ventura – Area Running Races
- LA Marathon: It may be a few hours south of Ventura, but it’s one of the country’s premier marathons and worth the drive.
- Ventura ½ marathon: Following some of the paths described above, this nice out-and-back course is a fast and flat race.
- Ojai 1/2 Marathon: Usually run at Mira Monte Elementary School; events also include a 5k and 10k.
- Pier to Peak ½ Marathon: Not many marathons boast a 13.1 mile 1-way trek where the finish line is almost 4,000 feet higher (and within view) of the starting line!
- Ventura Breath of Life Triathlon: With a BBQ, ocean-front setting, rock-n-roll band, and a beer garden…you’ll want to finish this 1.5k swim / 40k bike / 10k run quick…so you can enjoy the party.
The beautiful southern California coastline has too much to offer not to get out and enjoy it! From hikes in Los Padres National Forest to running through the sandy beach along Ventura, there is something for everyone.
So whether you’re on business travel, moving to the area, or just passing through, take advantage of the many, many scenic resources and enjoy your stay!