Activities

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon

Special Events
Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon

Black Star Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, offers pleasant introductory trails for beginner hikers and families as well as challenging experiences for seasoned trail users. Designated trails are available for self-guided hiking, biking and equestrian use. A variety of trail loops offer extended exploration throughout the canyons. Take time to explore the local plant communities and beautiful scenery in easy 30-minute walks or take in 7+ miles in a strong cardio trek.

Pre-registration is not required for this event, though it is available on the website. If you need driving directions, use the online registration to receive a map and instructions for getting to the Baker Canyon Staging Area. Parking is limited on Black Star Canyon Road and carpooling is strongly recommended. You will not be required to sign-in upon arrival, though an information booth with trail maps and suggested routes will be available in the staging area.

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon
Date:
Sat, 03/04/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/04/2023
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon, Equestrian

Equestrian
Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon, Equestrian

Black Star Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, offers pleasant introductory trails for beginner hikers and families as well as challenging experiences for seasoned trail users. Designated trails are available for self-guided hiking, biking and equestrian use. A variety of trail loops offer extended exploration throughout the canyons. Take time to explore the local plant communities and beautiful scenery in easy 30-minute walks or take in 7+ miles in a strong cardio trek.

There is limited space for equestrian parking along Black Star Canyon Road, carpooling is strongly encouraged. Riders must also have the ability to transport their horse to the staging area. It is a “first come, first serve” for trailer parking and therefore early arrival is HIGHLY recommended. Major crowds are typically present at the very start of the event. There are not typical equestrian amenities at the event such as hitching posts, steps to mount your horse or water troughs. Please be sure to time your arrival accordingly so you have plenty of time to enjoy the trails with your horse.  

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon, Equestrian
Date:
Sat, 03/04/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/04/2023
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, 03/04/2023
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 02/24/2023
More Information  

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Double Loop Hike: Baker Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Double Loop Hike: Baker Canyon

Come explore OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. This scenic hike involves steep climbs and descents on both double and singletrack trails and around 1100’ of accumulated climbing elevation. Though challenging, the hike rewards you with sweeping views of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks and 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-4 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Double Loop Hike: Baker Canyon
Date:
Sun, 03/05/2023
Time:
7:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/25/2023
More Information  

Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride from Irvine to Limestone Canyon

Mountain Biking
Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride from Irvine to Limestone Canyon

We start our ride through OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space on the paved Hicks Haul Road, the extension of Jeffrey Rd north of Portola Pkwy. As we warm up on the climb to the top of the road, we enjoy increasingly beautiful views over Irvine. We then follow Loma Ridge to the East, with fantastic vistas of Orange County, the surrounding wildlands, and even Catalina Island on clear days. From Loma Ridge, we descend on a single track to Box Springs which provides year-round water for wildlife like deer.

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. Motorized recreation vehicles of any class or type are not permitted for use in the Nature Preserve.

Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride from Irvine to Limestone Canyon
Date:
Sun, 03/05/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
16 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/25/2023
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. 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, 03/05/2023
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Mile Square Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
25 of 25
More Information  

Limestone Canyon Distance Hike: Panoramic Sinks View from the Water Tank

Hiking & Fitness
Limestone Canyon Distance Hike: Panoramic Sinks View from the Water Tank

Explore beautiful Limestone Canyon on this challenging distance hike to the “water tank” beyond the East Sinks viewing area. This distance hike rewards hikers with panoramic unobstructed views of The Sinks, an ancient and dramatic formation of exposed sandstone cliffs. Limestone Canyon is one of the most pristine wilderness areas in the county. In addition to providing sweeping views, the trail passes through coastal sage scrub, grasslands, and oak woodlands. This hike moves between 3 and 3.5 mph with multiple sustained climbs.

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

Limestone Canyon Distance Hike: Panoramic Sinks View from the Water Tank
Date:
Sun, 03/05/2023
Time:
1:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
12.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/25/2023
More Information  

Family Hike: Agua Chinon

Interpretive
Family Hike: Agua Chinon

Enjoy an afternoon 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:
Sun, 03/05/2023
Time:
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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 02/25/2023
More Information  

Monday, March 6, 2023

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, 03/06/2023
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 02/26/2023
More Information  

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

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, 03/07/2023
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 02/27/2023
More Information  

Nurturing Oaks in Weir Canyon

Stewardship
Nurturing Oaks in Weir Canyon

Spend the morning in a beautiful oak woodland watering Coast Live Oak seedlings in Weir Canyon. To get to the planting site we will travel for 15 minutes in a safari style truck giving you majestic views of Weir Canyon. We may be using shovels and small handheld tools. No experience necessary.

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

Nurturing Oaks in Weir Canyon
Date:
Tue, 03/07/2023
Time:
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
5 miles
Minimum Age:
14
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/27/2023
More Information  

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

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, 03/08/2023
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 02/28/2023
More Information  

Friday, March 10, 2023

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:
Fri, 03/10/2023
Time:
7:30 AM - 12:00 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 03/02/2023
More Information  

Growing Together at the Native Seed Farm

Stewardship
Growing Together at the Native Seed Farm

Looking for a way to give back to Nature this Winter? Come help us behind the scenes at the Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s one-of-a-kind Native Seed Farm in Irvine! Every day at the farm is different; depending on the needs of the farm we will be harvesting seeds from beautiful native plants, planting new seeds in the annual plots, working in our native plant demo garden, or tending to younger seedlings in our nursery.

Working with us at the Native Seed Farm is a great way to grow your community and cultivate knowledge about local plant and wildlife! Absolutely no experience or special equipment required! 

Reviewing the 1-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this Level 2 activity. Activities may include bending, stooping, crouching, squatting, long periods of standing, reaching, pulling, grabbing, and pushing.

Please note our Minors Policy for all public activities: All minors (under 18 years of age) must be accompanied by their respective parent or legal guardian. Both parent and their accompanying minor(s) must be registered for the Irvine Ranch Conservancy led activity they wish to attend.

Growing Together at the Native Seed Farm
Date:
Fri, 03/10/2023
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Native Seed Farm OCP
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/02/2023
More Information  

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Distance Hike to Mini Moab: Fremont Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Distance Hike to Mini Moab: Fremont Canyon

Come along with us on this epic hike from the bottom of Fremont Canyon to the bold, sandstone outcrops marking the ridgeline locally known as “Mini Moab.” This extremely challenging out-and-back hike is for experienced, physically fit distance hikers. We climb steeply along ranch roads past an abandoned coal mine, the Fremont Weather Station, remnants of a rare stand of Tecate cypress, and Lizard Rock. Less than a mile after entering the Coal Canyon Ecological Reserve, we reach our destination. The view from Mini Moab is nothing short of spectacular! After a break for snacks and to enjoy the view, we’ll retrace our steps back to the Fremont Staging Area.

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

Distance Hike to Mini Moab: Fremont Canyon
Date:
Sat, 03/11/2023
Time:
7:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
14 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/03/2023
More Information  

FREEKS Ride: Clockwise

Mountain Biking
FREEKS Ride: Clockwise

Join us in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space for a challenging docent-led mountain bike ride for very experienced off-road riders in excellent cardio shape. Climb challenging State Spur to Cathedral Rock, and then descend into Fremont Canyon while passing some of Orange County’s most spectacular geological formations. The ride continues out to Mini-Moab and then over to Sierra Peak, passing the Tecate Cypress forest, then past Sierra Peak, and over to the last descent down through historic Black Star Canyon.

Motorized recreation vehicles of any class or type are not permitted for use in the Nature Preserve. 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.

FREEKS Ride: Clockwise
Date:
Sat, 03/11/2023
Time:
7:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
25 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/03/2023
More Information  

Agua Chinon and the Sinks Exploration

Special Events
Agua Chinon and the Sinks Exploration

Please note: Preregistration is required due to limited parking capacity.

Start your weekend off by exploring the Agua Chinon wash and the Sinks through this self-guided opportunity. Designated trails will be open for self-guided trail use in OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. Trail routes vary in distance and level of difficulty with choices ranging from easy one-hour walks to a strenuous 9.5 mile trek. Whether traveling by feet or on two wheels, this exploration day is a treasure waiting to be discovered by hikers and mountain bikers alike. Visitors to the Open Space during this activity are able to hike or bike to the West and East Sinks viewing areas.

Please review our Trail Tips page and FAQ page to prepare for this challenging hiking and biking opportunity.

Agua Chinon and the Sinks Exploration
Date:
Sat, 03/11/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/11/2023
More Information  

Morning Yoga Hike in Baker Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Morning Yoga Hike in Baker Canyon

Enjoy a 3+ mile hike and gentle yoga practice in nature. The hike through Baker Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, includes some elevation and will be a nice warm up for a gentle morning yoga flow under a shaded canopy. Please bring water, your own yoga mat and large beach towel. Mats will not be provided; we will drop mats at secure location while hiking. Closed-toe shoes, water, hats and sunscreen recommended for the hike.

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.

Morning Yoga Hike in Baker Canyon
Date:
Sat, 03/11/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
4 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/03/2023
More Information  
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