The Pacific Electric Railroad was once the largest electric railroad system in the world, extending throughout the Los Angeles metro area. One of the lines ran from San Bernardino to Los Angeles, its bright red cars a fixture on the landscape that was dominated by orange groves. Service was discontinued in the 1950’s, and the right of way was more recently converted into the much heralded 19 mile Pacific Electric Trail (PET) through the region.
The PET begins in downtown Claremont, runs through Montclair, Upland near its historic downtown core, Rancho Cucamonga, and crosses under I-15 to Fontana, traversing the entire city and ending at the Rialto border for the time being until that city completes its leg. The character of the trail changes in each city, and passes near places to eat and stay, parks, and historic structures. Expect numerous roadway crossings, but most are signaled, although a few require extra caution .
The experience is best on a clear, crisp day in winter and spring when snow drapes the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains that form the backdrop to the trail. Scenery ranges from greenbelt between residential and commercial zones to parkland, to more open spaces. Many local social groups use the trail for their outings, and Metrolink rail stations along the route provide convenient options for one-way rides.
The Cucamonga Challenge is a major 5K, 10k, & cycling event to promote fitness by utilizing the PET. Proceeds from the Challenge are used to construct and improve trail amenities along the PET and to restore the Historic Etiwanda Depot. The 10th annual Challenge is Saturday, May 16, 2015. Visit http://www.petrail.org for info or write firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.