The Inland Rail Trail is a proposed 21-mile Class I bikeway that passes through the cities of Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos, and Escondido, and a portion of the unincorporated County of San Diego. The Inland Rail Trail is an important element of the San Diego Regional Bike Plan and is considered a priority project. Completion of the Inland Rail Trail and other similar Class I bikeways will help create an interconnected regional bike network. A Class I bikeway is a bike path that is physically separated from motor vehicle traffic.
In 2009, the easternmost portion of the bikeway was constructed in the cities of Escondido and San Marcos and extends seven miles between the Escondido SPRINTER Rail Station and ends at the intersection of West Mission Road and North Pacific Street in the City of San Marcos.
SANDAG is planning, designing, and building the "San Marcos to Vista" segment of the project, which will eventually run seven miles through the cities of San Marcos and Vista and the County of San Diego (view schedule), and connect the existing portion of the rail trail from Escondido to Oceanside. Construction of the seven miles is expected to be completed in four phases:
Phase 1: The one-mile segment of the Inland Rail Trail that runs between North Pacific Street and Cherimoya Drive in the City of San Marcos was completed and opened to the public in February 2017.
Phase 2: The three-mile section of the Inland Rail Trail is divided into south and north segments. The south segment is 2.5 miles long and runs between Cherimoya Drive and Mar Vista Drive in unincorporated San Diego County and the City of Vista. The north segment is 0.5 miles long and runs between North Drive in the City of Vista and North Melrose Drive in the City of Oceanside. These sections of the trail were completed and opened to the public in January 2021.
Phase 3: Phase 3 of the Inland Rail Trail is a planned one-mile segment of the bikeway that will run between Mar Vista Drive and Civic Center Drive in the City of Vista. Construction of Phase 3 is anticipated to begin in 2023, with significant construction estimated to begin early 2024.
Phase 4: Phase 4 of the Inland Rail Trail is a planned two-mile segment of the bikeway that will run between Civic Center Drive and North Drive in the City of Vista. Construction of Phase 4 is anticipated to begin in 2026.
The "San Marcos to Vista" segment of the Inland Rail Trail is generally located in the North County Transit District (NCTD) right-of-way and, when complete, will provide access to five SPRINTER stations.
The westernmost portion of the Inland Rail trail, which will extend the bikeway seven more miles from the intersection of North Melrose Drive and West Bobier Drive to Wisconsin Avenue in the City of Oceanside will be part of a future project.
More information is available on the Inland Rail Trail fact sheet in English and en Español.
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