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.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

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. Please park in the Overflow/gravel lot and meet at the volunteer shed just a few yards west of the Overflow/gravel lot entrance.

• 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

Weekly Nature Area Clean UP
Date:
Sun, 03/12/2023
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Mile Square Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
23 of 25
More Information  

Family Hike: Round Canyon

Interpretive
Family Hike: Round Canyon

Enjoy nature with friends and family in Round Canyon. 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 OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. 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:
Sun, 03/12/2023
Time:
3:00 PM - 5:30 PM
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 03/04/2023
More Information  

Monday, March 13, 2023

Hike to The Sinks: Limestone Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Hike to The Sinks: Limestone Canyon

Come along with us on this fast-paced morning hike through beautiful Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. You’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view of The Sinks as well as sweeping views of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains. This hike involves steep climbs and descents on both double and single-track trails.

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.

Hike to The Sinks: Limestone Canyon
Date:
Mon, 03/13/2023
Time:
7:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
10 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/05/2023
More Information  

Monday Morning Super Trek: Quail Hill

Hiking & Fitness
Monday Morning Super Trek: Quail Hill

Come start your week with us on our Super Treks in the Landmarks. Join us as we explore the City of Irvine’s Open Space Preserve, hiking Quail Hill and Shady Canyon trails. Our hike will climb through rocky terrain and reward us with spectacular views of the surrounding hills and nearby Irvine. There will be several steep ascents and descents. Participants must be able to hike 9 miles with an elevation gain of 2000 feet at an average moving rate of 3 miles per hour. All participants must carry their own water! Please come prepared with a pack, plenty of water, snacks, sturdy closed-toe hiking shoes or boots, sunscreen, first aid, and all other supplies to keep you safe and healthy on the trail. Under-prepared participants may be denied access to the event!

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.

Monday Morning Super Trek: Quail Hill
Date:
Mon, 03/13/2023
Time:
7:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Quail Hill
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
9 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/05/2023
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, 03/13/2023
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 03/05/2023
More Information  

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Early Morning Advanced Hike: Whiting Wilderness Park

Hiking & Fitness
Early Morning Advanced Hike: Whiting Wilderness Park

Join us on this early morning advanced hike in OCParks’ Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. This hike involves steep climbs and descents on a variety of trails, both double and singletrack, and is done at an average moving pace of 3 – 3.5 mph. Though challenging, we are rewarded with canopied woodlands, sweeping views, and possible wildlife sightings. Please come prepared with a daypack, 70 oz. (2 quarts) of water, trail snacks, closed-toe hiking shoes, sunscreen, first aid, and any other supplies needed to keep you safe on the trail. Each participant must carry his or her own pack and water. Under-prepared participants may be denied access to this program.

Early Morning Advanced Hike: Whiting Wilderness Park
Date:
Tue, 03/14/2023
Time:
7:15 AM - 10:45 AM
Where:
Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/06/2023
More Information  

Tuesday Morning Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

Hiking & Fitness
Tuesday Morning Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

Ready for a workout? Forget the gym for the day and head outside! Join us for an exhilarating morning fitness hike on the paved Hicks Haul Road in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. 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 footing on the asphalt paved road is smoother than dirt roads and single track trails normally found in Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve, but is beginning to show its age with cracks, crevices and an occasional dip. Otherwise, the terrain is smooth, so this is a great walk for anyone who wants a “wilderness experience” without getting dirty! The 6 and 8 mile routes experience two fairly steep ascents and descents. The 3 mile route takes you to the top of Loma Ridge and back down. 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.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3/4 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Tuesday Morning Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Tue, 03/14/2023
Time:
7:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/06/2023
More Information  

Weir Canyon Hike to the Overlook Trail

Hiking & Fitness
Weir Canyon Hike to the Overlook Trail

Join us as we explore Weir Canyon. We will hike up over Rifle Range and continue to the Overlook Trail where we will be rewarded with sweeping views of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks and more distant views of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Los Angeles Basin, and Cleveland National Forest. We will return through a beautiful oak woodland. Please wear hiking shoes/boots and bring water, a trail snack, sunscreen, hat, and any other necessary equipment to keep you safe on the trail. Each hiker must carry their own water and supplies. A red-tinted flashlight or headlamp is recommended. Participants must be able to hike 9+ miles with an accumulated elevation gain of 1800 feet at an average moving rate of 3 miles per hour.

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.

Weir Canyon Hike to the Overlook Trail
Date:
Tue, 03/14/2023
Time:
7:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
9.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/06/2023
More Information  

Bommer Canyon to Butterfly Valley Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Bommer Canyon to Butterfly Valley Hike

Join us as we explore the Irvine Open Space Preserve on this hike through Bommer and Shady Canyons. We’ll begin at the Cattle Camp, where ranch equipment of old still stands. After a steep ascent on the East Fork trail, we’ll make our way across part of Serrano Ridge and descend into Shady Canyon to the Butterfly Valley trail. Here, you’ll experience some of the most mature Coastal Sage Scrub in all of Orange County. After a short stop we’ll return the same way. Total round trip distance is 9 miles with an elevation gain of 1500 feet at an average moving rate of 2.5 miles per hour. All participants must carry their own water! Please come prepared with a pack, plenty of water, snacks, sturdy closed-toe hiking shoes or boots, sunscreen, first aid, and all other supplies to keep you safe and healthy on the trail. Under-prepared participants may be denied access to the event!

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.

Bommer Canyon to Butterfly Valley Hike
Date:
Tue, 03/14/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
9 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/06/2023
More Information  

Beautiful Botany in Santiago Oaks

Interpretive
Beautiful Botany in Santiago Oaks

Discover what’s popping up in color at Santiago Oaks. Our annual wildflowers are giving a nice showing along the trails. Let’s search for the rainbow as we take a stroll through the park.

The hike will travel about 2 miles over moderate elevation gain. Program is free but there is a Park Entrance Fee per entry vehicle. Rain may cancel the event. For questions, please contact Resource Specialist, Kelley Brugmann at 714-973-6625 or Kelley.Brugmann@ocparks.com

Beautiful Botany in Santiago Oaks
Date:
Tue, 03/14/2023
Time:
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Santiago Oaks Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
16 of 25
More Information  

Tecate Cypress and Coast Live Oak Stewardship Day

Stewardship
Tecate Cypress and Coast Live Oak Stewardship Day

Spend the morning watering and nurturing Tecate Cypress trees and Coast Live Oak seedlings at the Fremont Staging area.

Please be aware that you may be instructed to use tools for this activity such as; but not limited to, pliers, mallets, trowels and shovels.

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.

Tecate Cypress and Coast Live Oak Stewardship Day
Date:
Tue, 03/14/2023
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
2 miles
Minimum Age:
14
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/06/2023
More Information  

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Bird Walk in Peters Canyon

Interpretive
Bird Walk in Peters Canyon

Stroll through the park searching high and low for our flittering friends. Listen for their sweet song and hear fun associations to help you remember these birds. Program is geared for all levels, though is focused for beginner-intermediate level birder. Bring your binoculars, sun protection, comfortable shoes, and an eye for spotting our feathered friends!

Program is free though there is a Park Entrance Fee per entry vehicle. Rain may cancel the program. For questions, please contact Resource Specialist, Kelley.Brugmann@ocparks.com at 714-973-6625.

Bird Walk in Peters Canyon
Date:
Wed, 03/15/2023
Time:
7:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Where:
Peters Canyon Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
21 of 25
More Information  

Fitness Hike: Mesa Loop

Hiking & Fitness
Fitness Hike: Mesa Loop

Join us for a strenuous, challenging, fast-paced, afternoon fitness hike in Blackstar Canyon Wilderness Park. Along the way we’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Orange County and possible wildlife sightings. This is a 5 mile fitness hike, completed in 1.5 hours and includes a 650+ foot elevation change. This hike is for experienced, physically fit hikers who enjoy the challenge of multiple steep climbs and descents.

There are no rest stops on this approximately 5 mile fitness hike, and the average 3.5 mile per hour fast-pace can be difficult over steep terrain in the wilderness setting.

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

Fitness Hike: Mesa Loop
Date:
Wed, 03/15/2023
Time:
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/07/2023
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 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, 03/15/2023
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 03/07/2023
More Information  

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Distance Hike: Limestone Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Distance Hike: Limestone Canyon

Join us for a scenic, fast-paced, challenging, distance hike in the beautiful Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve. This hike is for physically fit hikers who enjoy the challenge of multiple steep climbs and descents. This 10–13 mile hike offers sweeping views of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains as well as possible wildlife sightings. This hike may include a visit to The Sinks and/or Dripping Springs.

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.

Distance Hike: Limestone Canyon
Date:
Thu, 03/16/2023
Time:
7:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
13 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/08/2023
More Information  

Pulling Together at Quail Hill

Stewardship
Pulling Together at Quail Hill

North African Knapweed, Centaurea diluta, is a recently introduced invasive plant and we need your help to get rid of it! Invading weeds degrade habitat for wildlife, exacerbate wildfire risks, and reduce overall biodiversity. Help us keep wildlife healthy by weeding North African Knapweed from Quail Hill in Irvine.

This activity takes place on some uneven terrain, and sturdy hiking boots are highly recommended. Training and tools will be provided to ensure your safety and comfort. Rattlesnakes are occasionally seen here and generally avoid people, but protective gear will be provided.

We will meet at the Quail Hill Trailhead parking lot, then walk 15-20 minutes on a bikeway adjacent to the 405 Freeway to the work site.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-2 activity on the land.

Pulling Together at Quail Hill
Date:
Thu, 03/16/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Quail Hill
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
0 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/08/2023
More Information  

Thursday Morning Trek: Baker Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Thursday Morning Trek: Baker Canyon

This week in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, we’ll hike in Baker Canyon. This scenic hike includes steep climbs and descents on both single and double-track trails with about 1100 feet of accumulated climbing. We will enjoy sweeping views of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks and the Santa Ana Mountains. On clear days, we can see Catalina Island and even beyond into the Los Angeles Basin. Please wear hiking shoes/boots and bring water, a trail snack, sun screen, hat, and any other necessary equipment to keep you safe on the trail. Participants must be able to hike 7 miles with an elevation gain of 1100 feet at an average moving rate of 3 miles per hour. Each hiker must carry their 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: Baker Canyon
Date:
Thu, 03/16/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/08/2023
More Information  

Equestrian Trail Ride: Fremont to Weir Canyon

Equestrian
Equestrian Trail Ride: Fremont to Weir Canyon

Experience the wonders of two preserve areas located on OCParks’ beautiful Irvine Ranch Open Space, Fremont and Weir Canyons. We begin our equestrian ride atop the Waterworks trail, an old filled-in V ditch that served to water the vast acres of the old Irvine Ranch of Orange County. We parallel Santiago Creek and enter the mouth of Fremont Canyon where native flora and fauna abound and find refuge from the sprawling urban environment. We turn and head toward Weir Canyon along the MWD trail and find ourselves gaining elevation and on little hills. As we head into the canyons we find hawks overhead and the coastal sage scrub turn into chaparral. We may find wildflowers or native grasses sprouting and certainly, we will hear sounds from Irvine Park. Serenity will be found as we enter the quietness of Weir Canyon where Oaks abound and restoration continues where Ox carts once traversed. After travelling back in time, we make our way back to the park and toward our original starting point going through Lower Weir Canyon and back into the park.

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.

Equestrian Trail Ride: Fremont to Weir Canyon
Date:
Thu, 03/16/2023
Time:
10:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
10 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/08/2023
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, 03/16/2023
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 03/08/2023
More Information  

Friday, March 17, 2023

Fremont Loop Distance Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Fremont Loop Distance Hike

Join us for an extremely challenging and strenuous hiking adventure in the scenic Fremont Canyon Wilderness Area. This 15-mile loop hike is for experienced, physically fit distance hikers. The hike is on fire/SCE dirt roads with numerous significantly steep, unrelenting climbs and descents. We hike the entire rim of Fremont Canyon, passing by an abandoned coal mine, the Fremont Weather Station and the remnants of a rare stand of Tecate cypress. Along the way we’ll have sweeping views of Orange County, the Santa Ana Mountains and surrounding mountain ranges.

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

Fremont Loop Distance Hike
Date:
Fri, 03/17/2023
Time:
7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
16 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/09/2023
More Information  
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