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.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Waterworks Nature Hike: Fremont Canyon

Interpretive
Waterworks Nature Hike: Fremont Canyon

Join an OC Parks staff-led interpretive nature hike along the “Waterworks Trail” in the Irvine Ranch Open Space.  We’ll depart from Irvine Regional Park “Lot P” and head towards the beautiful Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve, part of the Landmarks on the backside of the Irvine Lake dam before crossing Santiago Creek and heading back on the other bank of the creek. Beautiful views are plentiful on this route.

Route and mileage may change dependent on trail conditions.

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

Waterworks Nature Hike: Fremont Canyon
Date:
Sat, 10/22/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 10/14/2022
More Information  

Fossils are Fun

Interpretive
Fossils are Fun

Come out and enjoy this family-fun activity on the Mesa. We will start with an activity to make your own fossil, then we will take a 2-3 mile hike looking for fossils deposited here in Orange County millions of years ago when Orange County was a sea. A slight elevation gain (200 feet) to start the hike will give incredible views of the surrounding peaks and the red rock cliffs of Black Star Canyon. Wear comfortable shoes, bring water and enjoy an early morning hike in this intriguing region.

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.

Fossils are Fun
Date:
Sat, 10/22/2022
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2.5 miles
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 10/14/2022
More Information  

Keep It Wild – Restoration at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Stewardship
Keep It Wild - Restoration at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Join Laguna Canyon Foundation and OC Parks at one of our habitat restoration stewardship events in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park as we learn and work together to create a healthier habitat for the native plants and wildlife that call the canyon their home. Depending on the time of year, volunteers will assist with various stewardship activities, including removal of non-native plants, seed collection, seeding and/or planting of native plants. No experience is necessary and all tools will be provided. Please wear long pants, closed-toed shoes and sun protection, and bring water. Come out and join the team to help restore the wild lands we all enjoy! Registration required at: https://lagunacanyon.org/events/

Keep It Wild - Restoration at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Date:
Sat, 10/22/2022
Time:
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
16
More Information  

Sunset Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road: Both Sides of Loma Ridge

Hiking & Fitness
Sunset Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road: Both Sides of Loma Ridge

You will enjoy a gorgeous sunset with panoramic views of Orange County while hiking in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space on the paved Hicks Haul Road. This hike travels 6 miles, out and back crossing over Loma Ridge. This is the perfect activity for you to get your work-out in and view the sunset. The hike is conducted at an average pace 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. 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 4 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Sunset Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road: Both Sides of Loma Ridge
Date:
Sat, 10/22/2022
Time:
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 10/14/2022
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. Be prepared to walk about 1/2 a mile. Dress warmly as it may be a chilly evening. A camping chair is welcome as we will have a short introductory presentation in the staging area before the walk.

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, 10/22/2022
Time:
5:30 PM - 7:30 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 10/14/2022
More Information  

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Restoration Day – Watering at Peters Canyon

Stewardship
Stewardship

Lend a helping hand to help improve native habitat in Peters Canyon Regional Park. Dedicate the morning to seasonally appropriate restoration, such as planting native shrubs that will encourage the local wildlife to thrive, watering recently planted natives, or weeding restoration plots. Bring strong gardening gloves, trail snacks and water, and wear sun protection and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty in.

Program and parking are free. Please see Check-In Booth for parking fee waiver. For questions, please contact Resource Specialist, Kelley.Brugmann@ocparks.com at 714-973-6625.

Restoration Day - Watering at Peters Canyon
Date:
Sun, 10/23/2022
Time:
7:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Where:
Peters Canyon Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
14
Spaces Left:
25 of 25
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 8 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, 10/23/2022
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  

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, 10/23/2022
Time:
4:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 10/15/2022
More Information  

Monday, October 24, 2022

Cool Fall Birds of Baker Canyon

Interpretive
Cool Fall Birds of Baker Canyon

It’s easy to think many of the birds we see and hear look and act the same. But do they? Bring your binoculars and join us on a slow/medium paced walk in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, as we search for resident and visiting birds of the local coastal sage scrub, oak woodland, riparian, and grassland habitats. We will discuss the diverse features of the birds we observe and how they match the season, their habitat and lifestyle. We will travel mostly on ranch roads, usually without shade. Beginners to advanced bird enthusiasts are welcome. Please wear sturdy shoes suitable for hiking and bring water, along with sun protection such as a hat and sunscreen. Bring a small birding field guide if you have one. A few binoculars will be available to borrow.

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.

Cool Fall Birds of Baker Canyon
Date:
Mon, 10/24/2022
Time:
7:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 10/16/2022
More Information  

Monday Morning Super Trek: Limestone Canyon to Box Springs and the Sinks

Hiking & Fitness
Monday Morning Super Trek: Limestone Canyon to Box Springs and the Sinks

Come start your week with us on our Super Treks in the Landmarks. Join us as we explore Limestone Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. We will hike across East Loma and enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding hills, out to the coast, and of Irvine Lake. We will continue to Box Springs and the west side of the Sinks before making our return to the staging area. 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. Participants must be able to hike 11 miles with an 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.

Monday Morning Super Trek: Limestone Canyon to Box Springs and the Sinks
Date:
Mon, 10/24/2022
Time:
7:30 AM - 12:45 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
11 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 10/16/2022
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, 10/24/2022
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 10/16/2022
More Information  

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

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, 10/25/2022
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 10/17/2022
More Information  

Augustine Nursery Stewardship

Stewardship
Augustine Nursery Stewardship

Please join us at the Augustine native plant nursery to plant seeds that will be planted as seedlings in various habitat restoration and enhancement projects.  We will be in close proximity to the parking area at the Augustine staging area in Limestone Canyon. 

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.

Augustine Nursery Stewardship
Date:
Tue, 10/25/2022
Time:
9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 10/17/2022
More Information  

Baker Canyon Double Loop Equestrian Ride Through Black Star Wilderness Area

Equestrian
Baker Canyon Double Loop Equestrian Ride Through Black Star Wilderness Area

Come explore OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. This scenic equestrian ride involves steep climbs and descents on both double and singletrack trails and around 1100’ of accumulated elevation. This equestrian ride takes you through multiple landscapes of coastal sage and chaparral and rewards you with sweeping views of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks as well as the Santa Ana Mountains. On clear days you can see Catalina Island and even beyond Orange County into the Los Angeles Basin.

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.

Baker Canyon Double Loop Equestrian Ride Through Black Star Wilderness Area
Date:
Tue, 10/25/2022
Time:
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
7 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 10/17/2022
More Information  

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Distance Hike: Bommer and Beyond

Hiking & Fitness
Distance Hike: Bommer and Beyond

Grab your day pack and join us on a distance hike through scenic Bommer Canyon and beyond into Laguna Coast and Crystal Cove Parks. We stage at Cattle Camp, historically a center for cattle operations that occurred in the San Joaquin Hills up until the late 1990s, and now part of the Irvine Open Space Preserve. This hike involves multiple steep climbs and descents across a variety of trail types, including some narrow singletracks, with 2200+ feet of accumulated climbing elevation, but is done at a moderate pace, approximately 3 mph. Please bring plenty of water (100 oz. recommended), and wear sturdy hiking shoes. Hiking distance is 10-12 miles.

All participants must carry their own day pack and water! Please come prepared with a pack, sturdy closed-toe hiking shoes or boots, sunscreen, first aid, and all other supplies to keep you safe and healthy on the trail for the half-day of being out in the wilderness area. Under-prepared participants may be denied access to the event! Program may be cancelled or shortened due to adverse weather conditions.

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: Bommer and Beyond
Date:
Wed, 10/26/2022
Time:
7:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
12 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 10/18/2022
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 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, 10/26/2022
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 10/18/2022
More Information  
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