Click to Home
Go To Search
Oso Creek Trail

About the Trail


The Oso Creek Trail is located in the northwestern portion of the City, within the Laguna Niguel Gateway.  As this area transitions, it is envisioned that residential neighborhoods, office, retail and restaurant uses will orient their buildings and be designed to capitalize on the various passive and active recreational opportunities provided by the urban trail, enhancing the economic potential and unique character of the Gateway.

Path of Travel

The Oso Creek Trail begins at the Laguna Niguel Metrolink Station parking lot and runs north along the eastern edge of Oso Creek.  At the Galivan Basin, the trail crosses the creek and heads west before turning north to run along Cabot Road.  At the northern City boundary, the Oso Creek Trail connects to the trail system in and around Nellie Gail Ranch, within the City of Laguna Hills.

Future Improvements

Improvements planned for the Oso Creek trail include a northerly pedestrian bridge and trail link to cross Oso Creek and provide direct access to a future public park to be benched into the open space slope along the west bank of the creek, north of the apartments at the intersection of Crown Valley Parkway and Cabot Road.  A southerly pedestrian bridge crossing Oso Creek is also planned as part of a future trail extension to ultimately connect with the Colinas Bluff Trail at Star Drive, near the Mercedes Benz auto dealership.

Trail Classification

Multi-Use Trail (Hiking, Equestrian, Class 1 Bikeway)

 Project Description

This project installed permeable pavements
and landscaped infiltration strips replacing 3 acres
of existing impervious roadway pavements within
public right-of-way.

  • Project Location:   Along Forbes Road
  • Contractor:   Environmental Construction
  • Construction Dates:   June 2015 to March 2016
  • Project Bid Amount:   $3,644,239
  • City Contact:   Ziad Mazboudi

Proposition 84 Storm Water Grant Program


The Oso Creek Multi-Use Trails project is located in Laguna Niguel, in Orange County California. The Oso Creek watershed is in a coastal foothill area used for rangeland in the early 20th century and suburbanized in the 1960s-1990s. The project site runs along Forbes Road, in an aging low-rise commercial district being redeveloped into a high-density, mixed-use transit-oriented community.

The trail links along Oso Creek were planned to offer access to the Metrolink Commuter Rail Station. Oso Creek as well as Trabuco and San Juan Creek segments downstream of the project are 303(d) listed for multiple constituents and are subject to an approved TMDL for fecal indicator bacteria. Downstream of the project site, the vertical-walled Oso Creek flood channel discharges to a natural segment of the creek, where urbanization-accelerated flows have downcut the creek bed and eroded habitat and agricultural lands over the last several decades. Geologically-impacted low-quality groundwater in the Lower San Juan Groundwater Basin is treated and distributed for water supply.

Project Description

The Oso Creek Multi-Use Trails project installed permeable pavements and landscaped infiltration strips replacing 3 acres of existing impervious roadway pavements within public right-of-way along Forbes Road, adjacent to the east bank of Oso Creek. Virtually the entire project surface area became newly permeable, reducing the stormwater runoff rate. “Run-on” stormwater from an additional acre of roadway is treated through a bioretention facility, where rainwater infiltrates through a layer of mulch, and then through filtration media before discharge to the creek.

These Low Impact Development (LID) BMPs combine significant stormwater-retention capacity with high pollutant removal. The landscaped strips, which feature native trees and understory shrubs, offer aesthetic and habitat value along the creek bank, in an area that has been bleak and bare for 40 years.

Interpretive signage describes the water quality benefits of the Low Impact Design implemented by the project.

Project Goals and Targets

The primary goals of the project were to contribute to improving water quality in wet and dry weather urban runoff, improving groundwater quality and quantity, and improving awareness of water resource issues. The targets are summarized below:

  • Construction of 0.73 acres of landscaped infiltration strips
  • Construction of 11,308 sq. ft. of bioretention BMPs
  • No measured dry weather bioretention BMP effluent flow
  • Construction of 3.4 acres of pervious surfaces
  • Diversion of 2.8 acres of contributory drainage area to bioretention BMPs
  • Reduction of stormwater discharge volume for 85th percentile design storm by 6,726 cubic feet, and annually by 87,441 cubic feet, based on 13” annual precipitation
  • Reduction in constituent concentrations in stormwater discharged via bioretention BMP meeting or exceeding the median performance in the International Stormwater BMP Database copper, zinc, and Enterococcus. Target not met for nitrate N, orthophosphate P, or fecal coliform, which may be present in soil amendments used for bioretention planting, and may reduce over time.
  • Reduction of estimated constituent load discharge for 85th percentile design storm and annually, meeting or exceeding performance proportional to the International Stormwater BMP Database
  • Improvement in potential direct infiltration by 87,441 cubic feet annually, based on average 13” precipitation annually
  • Any measurable improvement with respect to increased groundwater level or reduced concentrations of constituents of concern in local groundwater – no evidence of measurable change in groundwater levels or reduced concentrations of constituents of concern. This may change as drought conditions end.
  • Written notifications to all parcel owners in vicinity
  • Notifications of project to all households receiving newsletter in City (25,000)
  • Attendance >20 at events publicizing project

 Evolution of a Creek Bank.jpg

City of Laguna Niguel
30111 Crown Valley Parkway
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
Tel: (949) 362-4300
Fax: (949) 362-4340

A great place to call home.