Outdoor recreation represents one of the greatest gifts of the canyons and thousands of people each year enjoy hiking, biking, horseback riding, and driving through its mountains. Protecting one of the last large blocks of natural habitat in Southern California, the canyons offer broad washes bordered by sycamore and willow riparian habitats, oak woodland, native and non-native annual grasslands and coastal sage scrub. The largest tributary of Orange County’s major river, the Santa Ana, originates in the canyons at Santiago Peak and provides critical habitat for many birds and mammals.
In partnership with the Irvine Ranch Conservancy, OC Parks offers a number of hikes, trail rides, biking events and interpretative walks in the canyons. The two activity areas are Limestone Canyon, which is close to the bat bridge on Santiago Canyon Road, and Black Star Canyon. ALL ACTIVITIES ARE FREE!!!!
Join us every Monday night for a fitness-focused hike on the paved Hicks Haul Road. During the summer, hikers will enjoy wonderful sunset views and a panoramic overview of Orange County. This hike travels about 3.5 miles, up to the top of Loma Ridge and back down.
The hike is conducted at about 3-3.5 miles per hour, but you may travel a bit faster or slower, at a walk, run, or jog depending on your comfort level. Most participants finish the route in about 1 hour. Because of the paved surface of the road, you may wear regular running or walking shoes. Trail shoes are fine, but not required. Please bring adequate water! Click here to sign up
Ready for a workout? Forget the gym for the day and head outside! Join us for an exhilarating morning fitness walk on the paved Hicks Haul Road. This hike allows you to choose between a 3, 6, or 8 mile route, all of which are conducted at the speed of about 3.0 to 3.5 miles per hour.
The road is paved and the terrain is smooth, so this is a great walk for anyone who wants a “wilderness experience” without getting dirty! We will have two fairly steep hill ascents and descents. Along the way, you will have sweeping views of much of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains. Various animals, like hawks, deer, and lizards are also frequently seen in this area.
Walkers should be confident in their ability to hike 3, 6, or 8 miles at a steady pace. Ages 16 and up. Low Click here to sign up
Are you ready to try a new exercise that is fun and energetic while enjoying the great outdoors? Come dance to the fantastic aerobic workout, ZUMBA!! Join us as we take on a variety of Latin flavor moves through dancing the Salsa, Maringa, Flamenco and more! Different dance routines feature interval moves from fast to slow rhythms, adding in resistance training to tone and sculpt your body while burning calories. You don’t need to be a professional dancer, just have the drive to try! It’s high energy, it’s zesty…it’s ZUMBA! Please wear comfortable workout clothes, closed toed shoes, bring plenty of water, and be ready to move!
Click here to sign up!
Hosted by Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), these free excursions will take place on various open space Preserves that are permanently protected. This is your opportunity to have special access to some of Orange County’s pristine open space and enjoy the natural landscape.
Participants must be 12 years and over. All hikers must sign a liability waiver and minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Space is limited. For more information, contact Marissa Espino at 714.560.5607