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.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Better Birding Basics: Birding by Ear in Agua Chinon

Interpretive
Better Birding Basics: Birding by Ear in Agua Chinon

Birds are often hidden from sight and yet can still be identified by their calls and songs. Knowing how to identify birds by ear is an important step in becoming a better birder. Join other birders as we search for birds by both ear and eye in the beautiful arroyo canyon of Agua Chinon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. Restoration of this sensitive habitat has recently been completed, and we are watching to see if bird populations increase over time. Please wear sturdy shoes suitable for hiking, along with sun protection such as a hat and sunscreen.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-2 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Better Birding Basics: Birding by Ear in Agua Chinon
Date:
Fri, 08/12/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/04/2022
More Information  

Wild Tales

Interpretive
Interpretive

Upper Newport Bay’s long running and popular story time is back! Wild tales will be offered every Friday and include an outdoor story time in our newly renovated amphitheater, an age appropriate hike, and a craft project in our classroom. Each session will have a new story, hike theme, and craft project.

Activities are designed for ages 2-4 but all are welcome.

Current CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will be observed.

All Minors under 16 must be accompanied by a parent of guardian at all times.

Rain or heat advisory will cancel the event.

Wild Tales
Date:
Fri, 08/12/2022
Time:
10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Twilight Beginner Cardio Hike in Limestone Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Twilight Beginner Cardio Hike in Limestone Canyon

Limestone Canyon is a treasure waiting to be discovered. Join us for an early evening, moderately-paced, 5.5-mile beginning cardio hike. The hike may include a few short rest stops along the way and will be a great introduction to fitness, cardio-style hikes as well as OCParks’ magnificent Irvine Ranch Open Space.  Views of Limestone Canyon, and the surrounding wilderness, from Limestone Ridge will be the highlight of our tour. Please bring a minimum of 48 oz. water. Come prepared with a pack, sturdy closed-toed hiking shoes or boots, sunscreen, first aid, and all other supplies to keep you safe and healthy on the trail for this beginner cardio-paced (3-3.5 mph with very few stops) hike in a wilderness area. Each participant must carry his or her own pack and water.  Under-prepared participants may be denied access to this program.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level 3 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Twilight Beginner Cardio Hike in Limestone Canyon
Date:
Fri, 08/12/2022
Time:
6:00 PM - 8:15 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
5.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/04/2022
More Information  

Meteor Shower Viewing in Peters Canyon-FRIDAY

Interpretive
Interpretive

Enjoy the evening night sky lit up by the cascading flashes of meteors! The Perseids Meteor Shower is an annual event in the middle of August, producing about 100 meteors an hour. This year will be washed out a bit by the full moon’s glow but with a quick eye, you may still catch a glimpse of a flash of light streaking across the sky. You’ll hear astronomy folklore, search for different constellations, and discover nocturnal critters that call the canyon home. Bring your own blankets and chairs to sit and enjoy the nighttime show!

Dress warmly in layers as the evening becomes quite cool. Program is free though there is a Park Entrance Fee per vehicle. For questions, please contact Resource Specialist, Kelley Brugmann at 714-973-6625 or Kelley.Brugmann@ocparks.com

Meteor Shower Viewing in Peters Canyon-FRIDAY
Date:
Fri, 08/12/2022
Time:
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Where:
Peters Canyon Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
2
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 12:00am on 07/12/2022
More Information  

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Animal Tracking in Fremont Canyon

Interpretive
Animal Tracking in Fremont Canyon

Come search for evidence that animals leave behind in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. Mule deer, bobcats, coyotes and even mountain lions call this hidden canyon home. Gain the basic tracking techniques as we search for evidence such as tracks, fur, bones, homes, and even scat. You never know what you may find! Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes that you do not mind getting a little dusty. This program is focused on older children and adults.

Reviewing the 1-through-5  Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Animal Tracking in Fremont Canyon
Date:
Sat, 08/13/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/05/2022
More Information  

Bommer Canyon East Fork and Ridge Route Loop Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Bommer Canyon East Fork and Ridge Route Loop Hike

Experience the serenity of Bommer Canyon during this moderate-paced hike in the Irvine Open Space Preserve. We’ll experience mature coastal sage scrub and fantastic views overlooking the city of Irvine and the hillsides to the north. This hike is just over 3 miles and includes 700 feet of total climbing elevation with several very steep inclines. The steepest section ascends 300 feet in a quarter-mile. Participants must be in good physical condition.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Bommer Canyon East Fork and Ridge Route Loop Hike
Date:
Sat, 08/13/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/05/2022
More Information  

Buck Gully Loop Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Buck Gully Loop Hike

Come and explore Newport Beach’s Buck Gully Reserve trail system. Beginning from the Oasis Senior Center, we’ll hike up through the almost 3-mile length of the canyon, then along San Joaquin Hills Road for a bit, stopping at Canyon Watch Park where we will take in the panoramic view of the Reserve and the Pacific coastline before descending back into the canyon along the Bobcat Trail. Please bring water, a light trail snack, sturdy closed-toe shoes and supplies to keep you safe during the journey. Sunscreen and a hat are highly recommended. This activity is conducted at a walking pace, approximately 3 miles per hour.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Buck Gully Loop Hike
Date:
Sat, 08/13/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Buck Gully Reserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/05/2022
More Information  

Family Hike: Agua Chinon

Interpretive
Family Hike: Agua Chinon

Enjoy an early morning family hike in Agua Chinon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. We hike a gradual climb of 500 ft elevation as we watch for red-tailed hawks and mule deer.  This activity originates in the City of Irvine and travels into Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve. The hike will average 3 miles round trip at an easy pace with a medium level of interpretation. This program is for participants who would enjoy a slower-paced gradual climb hike. Hikers should be in good health able to do a beginning hike over a variety of terrains. Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes, and bring water for the hike. Be ready to enjoy the sounds and smells of early evening.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-2 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Family Hike: Agua Chinon
Date:
Sat, 08/13/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/05/2022
More Information  

Restoration in Big Canyon

Stewardship
Stewardship

Around 25,000 plants have been installed at our Big Canyon restoration site, and we would love your help protecting the new plantings from invasive plants. Invasive plants pose a huge threat to displacing native plant communities and wildlife at the Bay, second only to habitat loss. By removing invasive weeds, we will ensure the Big Canyon project site thrives with native plants for years to come. No prior plant ID/weeding experience necessary.

Minors must have a legal guardian present at all times.

To register, go to: RestoreBigCanyon.eventbrite.com

Interested in bringing out a large group of 15 or more? Please contact Zachery Flores at zachery.flores@newportbay.org for more information on how to sign up.

Time & Location
We will meet at 9am at the project site entrance. A map with directions will be included in your confirmation email following registration. From the parking location, the project site is a short 5-minute walk into the canyon. NOTE: There are no restrooms at this location.

What to Bring/Wear
Be sure to bring sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water. We also recommend wearing breathable clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty. Hand tools, shovels, and gloves will be provided. All volunteers not yet fully vaccinated must wear a face mask while on the project site. Face masks are optional for fully vaccinated volunteers.

Restoration in Big Canyon
Date:
Sat, 08/13/2022
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
14
More Information  

Bats: Heroes of the Night

Interpretive
Bats: Heroes of the Night

As the day starts to settle into the night in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, bats awaken, stir and streak into the evening sky. Come hear fascinating tales of our flying mammal. We will head out towards a popular roosting location as we watch our nighttime heroes begin their nightly adventures. This program is ideal to visually observe the bats in flight, though bat detectors are available to listen for their high-frequency calls.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level 1 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Bats: Heroes of the Night
Date:
Sat, 08/13/2022
Time:
6:45 PM - 8:45 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
1
Distance:
2 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/05/2022
More Information  

Meteor Shower Viewing in Peters Canyon-SATURDAY

Interpretive
Interpretive

Enjoy the evening night sky lit up by the cascading flashes of meteors! The Perseids Meteor Shower is an annual event in the middle of August, producing about 100 meteors an hour. This year will be washed out a bit by the full moon’s glow but with a quick eye, you may still catch a glimpse of a flash of light streaking across the sky. You’ll hear astronomy folklore, search for different constellations, and discover nocturnal critters that call the canyon home. Bring your own blankets and chairs to sit and enjoy the nighttime show!

Dress warmly in layers as the evening becomes quite cool. Program is free though there is a Park Entrance Fee per vehicle. For questions, please contact Resource Specialist, Kelley Brugmann at 714-973-6625 or Kelley.Brugmann@ocparks.com

Meteor Shower Viewing in Peters Canyon-SATURDAY
Date:
Sat, 08/13/2022
Time:
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Where:
Peters Canyon Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
2
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 12:00am on 07/13/2022
More Information  

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Agua Chinon Hike to The Sinks

Hiking & Fitness
Agua Chinon Hike to The Sinks

Come out and join us on a breathtaking hike from the Irvine Open Space Preserve into OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. The hike begins in the Agua Chinon wash, continues to The Sinks, and may include a side trip to Box Springs, a natural year-round source of fresh water. Maximum distance is just short of 7 miles, with some sustained climbing in one section. Participants must wear sturdy, closed-toe hiking shoes. Remember to pack plenty of water, sunscreen, a hat, and all other necessary equipment to keep you safe on the trail. 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-4 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Agua Chinon Hike to The Sinks
Date:
Sun, 08/14/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/06/2022
More Information  

Weekly Nature Area Clean Up

Trail Work
Weekly Nature Area Clean Up

Join Mile Square Regional Park staff and volunteers in enhancing the Nature Area habitat for local wildlife. Activities may include non-native plant removal, planting natives, watering, trash cleanup, and Butterfly Garden maintenance.

No experience is necessary; please bring a hat, sunscreen, snacks, water, wear closed toe shoes and a long sleeve shirt is recommended. Tools are provided. Please arrive on time, as work will begin promptly at 9 am.

Please note, this is a weekly reoccurring activity and space is limited.

• Space is limited and pre-registration is required.
• Minors ages 16 and younger must have a legal guardian present at all times.
• Rain or heat advisories cancel the event.

Mile Square Nature Area Parking Map

Weekly Nature Area Clean Up
Date:
Sun, 08/14/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Mile Square Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
10 of 10
More Information  

History Hike: Irvine Park’s 125th Birthday

Interpretive
History Hike: Irvine Park's 125th Birthday

Celebrate Irvine Regional Park’s 125th birthday all through 2022! Each month we will take a deeper look into California’s first County Park and discover the fascinating details that make Irvine Park unique to Orange County. Topics will range from native flora and fauna, Early Inhabitants, and architectural design to military use, ranching days, and the future of Irvine Regional Park.

This walking history tour is free though there is a Park Entrance Fee per vehicle. Registration is encouraged. We will travel about 1-2 miles at a leisure pace.

Sunday, August 14, Military Uses
We will have a Civil War living historian share some fun historical perspectives on this walk. Don’t miss out on this fun opportunity!

For questions, please contact Resource Specialist, Kelley.Brugmann@ocparks.com at 714-973-6625.

History Hike: Irvine Park's 125th Birthday
Date:
Sun, 08/14/2022
Time:
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Irvine Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
48 of 50
More Information  

Second Sunday Restoration

Stewardship
Stewardship

Join Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve staff and volunteers in enhancing the Bay’s habitat for local wildlife. Activities may include non-native plant removal, planting natives, watering, trash cleanup, and Butterfly Garden maintenance. No experience is necessary; please bring a hat, sunscreen, snacks, etc. Water and tools are provided.

Walk ups are welcome, but pre-registration is required and space is limited

Minors ages 16 and younger must have a legal guardian present at all times.

Rain or heat advisories cancel the event

Second Sunday Restoration
Date:
Sun, 08/14/2022
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
8
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
93 of 100
More Information  

Bommer Canyon East Fork and Ridge Route Loop Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Bommer Canyon East Fork and Ridge Route Loop Hike

Experience the serenity of Bommer Canyon during this moderate-paced hike in the Irvine Open Space Preserve. We’ll experience mature coastal sage scrub and fantastic views overlooking the city of Irvine and the hillsides to the north. This hike is just over 3 miles and includes 700 feet of total climbing elevation with several very steep inclines. The steepest section ascends 300 feet in a quarter-mile. Participants must be in good physical condition.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level 3 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Bommer Canyon East Fork and Ridge Route Loop Hike
Date:
Sun, 08/14/2022
Time:
4:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/06/2022
More Information  

Bats: Heroes of the Night

Interpretive
Bats: Heroes of the Night

As the day starts to settle into the night on OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, bats awaken, stir and streak into the evening sky. Come hear fascinating tales of our flying mammals. We will head out towards a popular roosting location as we watch our nighttime heroes begin their nightly adventures. This program is ideal to visually observe the bats in flight, though bat detectors are available to listen for their high-frequency calls.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level 1 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Bats: Heroes of the Night
Date:
Sun, 08/14/2022
Time:
6:45 PM - 8:45 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
1
Distance:
2 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/06/2022
More Information  

Monday, August 15, 2022

Morning Hike in Limestone Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Morning Hike in Limestone Canyon

Limestone Canyon is a treasure waiting to be discovered. Join us for a moderately-paced, 10.5-mile hike. The hike will include short rest stops along the way as we explore OCParks’ magnificent Irvine Ranch Open Space.  Views of Limestone Canyon, and the surrounding wilderness, from Sandtrap Trail along with a visit to Dripping Springs and the West Sinks will be the highlights of our tour. Please bring a minimum of 70 oz. water. Come prepared with a pack, sturdy closed-toed hiking shoes or boots, sunscreen, first aid, and all other supplies to keep you safe and healthy on the trail for this half-day hike in a wilderness area. Each participant must carry his or her own pack and water.  Under-prepared participants may be denied access to this program.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level 4 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Morning Hike in Limestone Canyon
Date:
Mon, 08/15/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
10.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/07/2022
More Information  

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

Hiking & Fitness
After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

Join us every Monday night in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space for a fitness-focused hike on the paved Hicks Haul Road. During the spring, summer and fall, 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!

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Mon, 08/15/2022
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/07/2022
More Information  
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