With no more gloomy days in sight and plenty of sunshine, the weather is just the right amount of perfect to enjoy the outdoors and get some serious Vitamin D.
Although Orange County is known for it’s endless beaches, Disneyland, and a suburb lifestyle, it also offers some of the most beautiful scenic nature. If you currently live in Orange County and are looking for a getaway or a serene place to unwind and relax, you don’t have to travel more than 20 miles to get it because it’s right in our backyard! Here are a few trails that are worth checking out. Happy trails!

Shady Canyon Trail

ShadyCanyonSource: Jessica Estrada
Located right off the 405, Shady Canyon Trail extends to 4 miles and is popular place for bikers and runners looking to roam not too far from home. While the trails do get a fair amount of folks hiking through, there is plenty of scenery to go around. Containing both pavement and dirt paths, you can find yourself getting a decent workout while biking or jogging up the grassy hills of this Irvine beauty. Since there are a few trails located in Shady Canyon, there is no doubt that you will find what you are looking for.  Whether that is an easy, quiet, or more secluded trail, then this is a great place to visit. There are also plenty of wildflowers, cacti, and tree scenery to enjoy along time the way. No matter what time of day, you can always find serenity and beauty in Shady Canyon.
34 Shady Canyon Dr
Irvine, CA 92603

Irvine Regional Park

Irvine Regional ParkSource: Jessica Estrada
The Irvine Regional Park has something for everyone. With an endless amount of activities, including picnics, hiking, running, and animal watching, this is a dreamy place to escape southern California traffic and embrace the outdoors. Paddle boats and bikes are for rent to use in the park and there is a zoo and train ride, open daily for a trip with family. Be aware that visitors must pay an entrance fee of $2 on weekdays and $5 on weekends. If you plan on visiting this park, you should aim to spend a few hours there because there is so much to do and see! The trails in this park are fairly easy, dog-friendly, and unforgettable. Because park is engulfed in acres of oak and sycamore trees, it is a perfect hike to enjoy the warm weather and stay cool at the same time. The terrain and plant-life are so diverse, you almost forget you’re in Orange County!
1 Irvine Park Rd
Orange, CA 92862

Aliso Peak

Aliso PeakSource: Jessica Estrada
Aliso Summit Trail is a 1.6 mile hike located in a residential neighborhood of Laguna Beach. The hike starts off with a straight dirt path surrounded by an abundance of plants and a few picnic tables. Keep on the path and you will catch breathtaking views of the ocean. But there’s more! For those who aren’t fond of climbing, parts of this hike can be treacherous because of it’s steep rocky points. There are a few steep inclines and declines so make sure to wear shoes with good grip. BUT you can’t beat the ocean views —and the bench! —  that await you at the top! Expect to work up a sweat and get your heart pounding. Also, make sure to bring a blanket to cozy up in and your camera to snap pictures of the unforgettable views. The best times to climb this peak would be around sunrise or sunset to catch the day’s light in it’s prime. It’s a perfect hike to tackle before or after work since it only takes about 1 hour to complete and you will still have time to relax and catch your breath at the top of the summit.
Highlands Ave & Ridgeview Dr.
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park/ Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock CanyonSource: Jessica Estrada
The hike through Whiting Ranch to Red Rock Canyon is mellow, easy, and picturesque. Stretching at about 4 miles, this is a perfect hike to get some steps in (for all you FitBit lovers) or go on a mountain biking adventure. On the hike, you will journey through shady groves of oak trees, lively wildflowers, and desert wildlife, calling for a very diverse hike. The magical sandstone rock formation at the end will make you feel like you have been transported to a desert in the Southwest. It is recommended that you hike this trail around sunrise or sunset to catch the sandstone rock formation at it’s reddest color, making it so beautiful and unique to Orange County.
27901 Glenn Ranch Road
Traduce Canyon, CA 92679

Back Bay Loop Trail

Back Bay TrailSource: Jessica Estrada
The Back Bay Loop Trail is a 10-mile paved trail located in Newport Beach’s marshes. The trail’s route is quite flat, making it an ideal place to squeeze in a long run in or go on a scenic bike ride along the coastal wetlands. An interesting fact about this trail is that it is home to many species of birds and provides many opportunities for scenic stops along the way. If the temperature is just right, you can feel the crisp air coming in from the ocean. Another plus is that you can see some of the best sunsets on this trail since the light compliments the plant-life so beautifully.
600 Shellmaker Road
Newport Beach, CA 92660

What are your favorite hiking trails in OC?

Originally posted 2016-04-26 23:45:50.

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