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, July 27, 2022

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

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

Join us every Wednesday 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 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. 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:
Wed, 07/27/2022
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 07/19/2022
More Information  

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Thursday Morning Trek: Fremont Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Thursday Morning Trek: Fremont Canyon

This week in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, we’ll hike in the remote Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve. The hike is just under 6 miles and includes a steep hill. We will hike from the mouth of Fremont Canyon, past a historic coal mine, to the Fremont Weather Station. After enjoying a spectacular view, we will hike back the same way to our starting point. Please bring water, a trail snack, sun screen, hat, and any other necessary equipment to keep you safe on the trail and wear sturdy, closed-toe hiking shoes. Participants must be able to hike 6 miles with an elevation gain of 1200 feet at an average moving rate of 3 miles per hour. Each hiker must carry his/her own water and supplies.

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.

Thursday Morning Trek: Fremont Canyon
Date:
Thu, 07/28/2022
Time:
7:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/20/2022
More Information  

Quail Hill Loop Stewardship Day

Stewardship
Quail Hill Loop Stewardship Day

Please join us at the Quail Hill to water and weed around new native shrubs and cactus along Quail Hill Loop.  We will be working in close proximity to the parking area. 

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.

Quail Hill Loop Stewardship Day
Date:
Thu, 07/28/2022
Time:
8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Quail Hill
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/20/2022
More Information  

Evening Hike on Hicks Haul Road

Hiking & Fitness
Evening Hike on Hicks Haul Road

Enjoy an evening hike through stunning rock formations and fragrant native plants as you listen to the sounds of nature. This hike in the Irvine Open Space Preserve is done at an easy walking pace. This out-and-back program travels 3.5 miles round trip to scenic Loma Ridge and back down. Please bring a red-tinted flashlight as the return portion of the hike may be after sunset.

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.

Evening Hike on Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Thu, 07/28/2022
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/20/2022
More Information  

Friday, July 29, 2022

7/29 – Ranger Reserve – Lot Cameras

Stewardship
Stewardship

Service LACO parking lot trail cameras (replacing batteries & SD cards and correcting camera clocks if needed).

7/29 - Ranger Reserve - Lot Cameras
Date:
Fri, 07/29/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
18
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, 07/29/2022
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, 07/29/2022
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 07/21/2022
More Information  

Starry, Starry Night

Interpretive
Starry, Starry Night

Come join us for an interactive evening under the stars in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space.  Immerse yourself in a scaled-down version of our solar system.  Test your imagination in naming the constellations.  Reenact the struggle between Orion and the Scorpion.  The hike will average 2-3 miles round trip at an easy pace with a high level of interpretation. This program is for participants who would like a slower-paced hike. Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes and bring water for the hike. This activity is designed with kids ages 5 – 12 in mind but, everyone is welcome.

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.

Starry, Starry Night
Date:
Fri, 07/29/2022
Time:
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/21/2022
More Information  

Saturday, July 30, 2022

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, 07/30/2022
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 07/22/2022
More Information  

Explore Weir Canyon: Animal Signs and Tracks

Interpretive
Explore Weir Canyon: Animal Signs and Tracks

Come join us as we hike 5 miles through the lovely Weir Canyon Nature Preserve, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. Before our hike starts a brief introduction to animal tracks and scats will be given. Along our journey, we will be looking for any signs animals might have left behind for us to find. Tracks, scats, and other signs are out there waiting for us to find them! Please come prepared with plenty (50 oz) of water, closed-toe shoes, and a sturdy hiking backpack.

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.

Explore Weir Canyon: Animal Signs and Tracks
Date:
Sat, 07/30/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/22/2022
More Information  

Family Hike: Round Canyon

Interpretive
Family Hike: Round Canyon

Enjoy nature with friends and family in Round Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. We hike along a fairly flat trail 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 averages 2-3 miles round trip at an easy pace with a medium level of interpretation. This program is for participants who would like a slower-paced and level hike. Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes, and bring water for the hike.

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: Round Canyon
Date:
Sat, 07/30/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2.5 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/22/2022
More Information  

Mesa Loop Nature Hike

Interpretive
Mesa Loop Nature Hike

Join us for a moderately paced hike around the Mesa Loop Trail! On the way we’ll talk about some of the local flora and fauna that call the canyons their home, and take in the striking views that only this location can provide.  This area was heavily affected by the Bond Fire and we’ll have a chance to check out recovery and talk about adaptations for surviving fire.  It’s going to be warm, so please bring plenty of water

Total hike is approximately 3 miles and 300 foot elevation gain.

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

Mesa Loop Nature Hike
Date:
Sat, 07/30/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
2.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/22/2022
More Information  

CANCELLED: Introduction to Nature Writing and Journaling

Interpretive
Interpretive

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve presents- Introduction to Nature Writing and Journaling. Join us for a classroom workshop followed by time in the field where participants will get an introduction to nature journaling, learn some basic nature observation techniques, and explore the art of creative writing. No experience necessary!

All ages are welcome, but this program will be geared toward adult learners.

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

Walk-ins welcome, but space is limited so registration is suggested.

For more information call (949) 923-2277 or email nathan.taxel@ocparks.com

CANCELLED: Introduction to Nature Writing and Journaling
Date:
Sat, 07/30/2022
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
22 of 35
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, 07/30/2022
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
14
More Information  

Nighttime Bugs: Augustine Staging Area in Limestone Canyon

Interpretive
Nighttime Bugs: Augustine Staging Area in Limestone Canyon

Join us for this evening program in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, as we explore biodiversity at the local level with that most diverse group of organisms, the insects! Taking advantage of the fact that UV light is highly visible to most insects, we will attract them by using black-lights (low energy/low frequency UV lights). We can then examine them up close, record the different types (and their numbers). Don’t forget your camera as you’ll see creatures that are normally buzzing around, but not highly visible. You will be able to help us document what we find.

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.

Nighttime Bugs: Augustine Staging Area in Limestone Canyon
Date:
Sat, 07/30/2022
Time:
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
1
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/22/2022
More Information  

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Mountain Bike Clinic: Terrain Skills

Mountain Biking
Mountain Bike Clinic: Terrain Skills

If you are new to mountain biking and interested in getting started the right way, or if you just want to hone your existing skills developing terrain-influenced bike handling over several types of man-made features, this is the clinic for you! The class begins with a brief overview of rider fundamentals starting with platform position and weight transfer then covering equipment basics & setup, braking, gearing and a brief bike maintenance Q&A session followed by a series of exercises demonstrating terrain-influenced bike handling over a variety of man-made features including log piles, rock step-ups, A-frames and many more. These riding techniques will be taught and practiced at the Mountain Bike Skills Development area. This activity originates in the City of Irvine and travels into OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space.

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.

Mountain Bike Clinic: Terrain Skills
Date:
Sun, 07/31/2022
Time:
7:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
2.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/23/2022
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, 07/31/2022
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  
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