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.
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.
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.
OSO CREEK MULTI-USE TRAIL - #12-438-550
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.
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: