Activities and Programs

The activities below are offered by a variety of organizations and their dedicated volunteers. All programs are FREE unless noted below. Programs led by IRC-Certified Volunteers require pre-registration, which closes at 4 p.m. on the day prior to the event.  No walk-up registrations will be permitted for these events. For policies of other organizations, please use the sign-up information provided. For mobility device policies click here.

    Note: Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for these events. For programs requiring online registration, each adult and child must be registered.

Need help? For the fastest answers, look for organization-specific contact information in each event listing (click More Information for full listing). If no contact information is listed, email info@irconservancy.org for assistance.

Click here to learn more about IRC-Certified Volunteers.    •   Click here to learn more about the Difficulty Ratings.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Mid Week Hike: Orchard Hills

Hiking & Fitness
orchard hills

Recharge your batteries with a refreshing mid-week hike through Orchard Hills and Loma Ridge. We’ll hike around an avocado grove on the edge of the open space preserve and up to Loma Ridge, providing spectacular views of all of Orange County.

This hike involves multiple steep climbs and descents, including 2600+ feet of accumulated climbing elevation, but is done at a moderate pace of approximately 3 mph. Please bring plenty of water, and wear sturdy shoes. Hiking distance is 10-12 miles.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-4 activity on the land.

Mid Week Hike: Orchard Hills
Date:
Wed, 08/31/2016
Time:
7:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Orchard Hills
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
10 miles
Minimum Age:
15
Spaces Left:
Closed
More Information  

It’s Harvest Time! Collect Wildflower Seeds at the Native Seed Farm

Stewardship
Summer Stewy Montage

Want to smell the sun-dried sweetness of summertime? Want to feel the crunch of crispy golden brown pods?  Come and refresh your senses while giving back to Nature! Absolutely no experience required.

Sign up to help behind the scenes at the Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s one-of-a-kind Native Seed Farm in Irvine.  You will be harvesting seeds from our quirky native Summer wildflowers, like Yellow Pincushions and Heart-leaved Beard Tongue. Just bring a reusable water bottle for yourself,  and all tools and training with be provided.  You will get introduced to some of our beautiful native plants, and then we’ll get to work!

It's Harvest Time! Collect Wildflower Seeds at the Native Seed Farm
Date:
Wed, 08/31/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Native Seed Farm
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
Closed
More Information  

Community Days at Crystal Cove State Park

Interpretive
Interpretive

Crystal Cove Alliance is hosting Community Days in the Historic District’s Education Commons on Wednesdays, Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Step back in time as the Education Commons comes to life with fun, historical activities for the whole family.  Learn to watercolor, try your hand at a traditional craft, enjoy a historic radio show, or explore the science of Crystal Cove State Park.  Check out Cottage #13, the Film and Media Center, and Cottage #22, the Park and Marine Research Facility.  Park in the Los Trancos lot (PCH inland at stoplight Los Trancos, then walk across the street or take the shuttle.)  $15 day use fee.

Community Days at Crystal Cove State Park
Date:
Wed, 08/31/2016
Time:
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Where:
Crystal Cove State Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Family Friendly:
Yes
More Information  

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

Hiking & Fitness
After Work Fitness Hike 20120731

Join us every Wednesday 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 an average of 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!

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land.

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Wed, 08/31/2016
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Closed
More Information  

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Thursday Morning Trek: Quail Hill

Hiking & Fitness
DSC05051

This week in the Irvine Open Space, we’ll be in Quail Hill, once part of the historic Irvine cattle ranch. The hike is seven and a half miles with some climbing, but rewards you with fantastic views overlooking Laguna Canyon and many Irvine locales. Please bring water, a trail snack, sunscreen, hat and any other necessary equipment to keep you safe on the trail.   Get your boots out and register to hike the Quail Trail and Shady Canyon trails.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-4 activity on the land.

Thursday Morning Trek: Quail Hill
Date:
Thu, 09/01/2016
Time:
7:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Quail Hill
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
16 of 25
More Information  

Slow-Paced Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

Hiking & Fitness
After Work Fitness HHR 20120822

Enjoy an evening fitness hike through stunning rock formations and fragrant native plants as you listen to the sounds of nature. This hike is done at your own pace as a walk, jog, or run (speed range typically 2.5 to 3.5 mph), so is suitable for beginners who are just starting their fitness program as well as more experienced hikers who are looking for a workout. This out-and-back program travels the 3.5 mile route to scenic Loma Ridge (450′ elevation gain) and back down, with most participants completing the route in about 1.5 hours. The hike is family-friendly, but children must be closely supervised by an adult and able to hike with the group, or be safely carried by a strong adult or secured in a jogging stroller. This activity originates in the City of Irvine and travels into OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land.

Slow-Paced Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Thu, 09/01/2016
Time:
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
7 of 30
More Information  

Orchard Hills Evening Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Orchard Hills Evening Hike

Come out and enjoy the evening with us on the Orchard Hills loop trail. This trail meanders around an avocado orchard on the edge of the open space preserve and provides fantastic ridge-top views of Irvine and the Pacific coastline.

The three-mile loop has several very steep climbs, but the hike is done at a moderate pace. The effort is rewarded with a beautiful, unobstructed view to the west. Please bring water and wear sturdy shoes. This hike is not suitable for children under 12.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land

Orchard Hills Evening Hike
Date:
Thu, 09/01/2016
Time:
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Where:
Orchard Hills
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
13 of 25
More Information  

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Lure and Lull of Limestone Canyon and The Sinks Equestrian Ride

Equestrian
equestrian horses

Take a leisurely equestrian ride through beautiful Limestone Canyon, home of oak woodlands, grasslands, and coastal sage scrub.  View evidence of the old ranch days when cattle once roamed the area, and see some of the wild flowers that are native to our area.  You will also see The Sinks, a sandstone formation which is sometimes called the “Grand Canyon of Orange County.”

Riders should have trail riding experience and a fit and able horse.  They must have the ability to transport their horse to the staging area.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land.

The Lure and Lull of Limestone Canyon and The Sinks Equestrian Ride
Date:
Fri, 09/02/2016
Time:
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
12 of 12
More Information  

Wild Tales

Interpretive
WT pic hike

In partnership with OC Parks, join Newport Bay Conservancy for a fun-filled parent and child experience including storytelling, a short nature walk, and arts and crafts. $5/child, pre-registration is required by calling 949-923-2269 or info@newportbay.org. Recommended for ages 2-5.

Wild Tales
Date:
Fri, 09/02/2016
Time:
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
2
More Information  

Saturday, September 3, 2016

It’s Harvest Time! Collect Wildflower Seeds at the Native Seed Farm

Stewardship
Summer Stewy Montage

Want to smell the sun-dried sweetness of summertime? Want to feel the crunch of crispy golden brown pods?  Come and refresh your senses while giving back to Nature! Absolutely no experience required.

Sign up to help behind the scenes at the Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s one-of-a-kind Native Seed Farm in Irvine.  You will be harvesting seeds from our quirky native Summer wildflowers, like Yellow Pincushions and Heart-leaved Beard Tongue. Just bring a reusable water bottle for yourself,  and all tools and training with be provided.  You will get introduced to some of our beautiful native plants, and then we’ll get to work!

It's Harvest Time! Collect Wildflower Seeds at the Native Seed Farm
Date:
Sat, 09/03/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Native Seed Farm
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
5 of 20
More Information  

Nursery Plant Propagation and Care Day

Stewardship
Stewardship

Led by Laguna Canyon Foundation in partnership with Orange County Parks. Join us at our native plant nursery as we care for native plants from seed to mature, ready-to-be planted stage. Volunteers may collect seeds, sow seeds in flats, bump plants up, plant at restoration sites, sterilize plant containers, and/or help maintain the facilities for the plants. Gain hands-on experience with habitat restoration while working alongside other zany and interesting plant lovers! Wear closed-toed shoes, layered clothing and sun protection (hat, sunscreen). Bring water. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (west side of Laguna Canyon Rd/SR-133, just south of El Toro Road). Park and walk up the gravel trail 100 yards to get to the small native plant nursery, just before the trailers. Free parking passes will be provided for you at the nursery. Online reservations required: www.lagunacanyon.org/activities.html. For questions call: 949-497-8324.

Nursery Plant Propagation and Care Day
Date:
Sat, 09/03/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
15
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon

Special Events
Silmod Loop view

Black Star Canyon offers pleasant introductory trails for beginner hikers and families, and challenging experiences for seasoned trail users. Designated trails are available for self-guided access for hiking, biking and equestrian use by connecting various loops to offer extended exploration throughout the canyons. Take time to explore the local plant communities and beautiful scenery in easy 30-minutes walks or take in 7+ miles in a strong cardio trek.

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon
Date:
Sat, 09/03/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
n/a
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
171 of 300
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon, Equestrian

Equestrian
equestrian horses

Discover the history found along the trails in beautiful Black Star and Baker Canyons from the back of your horse. Designated trails will be open for self-guided hiking, biking, and equestrian use, where you can reach several peeks to view the local canyon terrain or meander along single tracks through the thick chaparral brush. Riders who have trail riding experience with a fit and able horse will enjoy choosing routes from easy 30-minute walks to strenuous 7+ mile loops.

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon, Equestrian
Date:
Sat, 09/03/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
3 of 5
More Information  

Back Bay Drive Nature Walk

Interpretive
Toyon02

Led by Newport Bay Conservancy on behalf of California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Newport Bay Conservancy Naturalists lead a walk starting the entrance to Shellmaker Island along Back Bay Drive. There are great opportunities to view shorebirds, waterfowl, and other birds while learning about this important estuary. Please call 949 923-2269 for reservations which are encouraged, and directions. Bring sun protection and binoculars if you have them.

Back Bay Drive Nature Walk
Date:
Sat, 09/03/2016
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
6
More Information  

Exploring Black Star: Mammals in the Meadow

Interpretive
Weir_Bobcat_0602193

Join a nature talk in the beautiful Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park. This month on the guided talk, we will offer an exploration of the various mammals that call the Baker Meadow home. From the allusive bobcat to the cunning coyote, there are many different animals that live in this canyon. Come hear a short talk and see examples of these animals up close. No live animals are presented during the program but you may have a chance to see a wild animal along the trails!

After our talk, you are welcome to enjoy the trails during Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon.

Review the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-1 activity on the land.

Exploring Black Star: Mammals in the Meadow
Date:
Sat, 09/03/2016
Time:
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
6
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Closed
More Information  
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