Seven Irvine Getaways Guaranteed to Brighten Your Summer
One of my favorite things about Irvine is how much nature we have right outside our door.
We’re talking 260 parks and 16,000 acres of open space. With summer calling, here’s my list of seven essential parks and trails to enjoy – right outside your door!
Ellen Bell is author of “Irvine: Images of America,” and is president of the Irvine Historical Society.
1) Bommer Canyon
Once home of the Irvine Ranch cowboys and their annual Spring Roundup, now you can hike past ancient oak groves to ridgelines overlooking the ocean.
2) Quail Hill
There’s no reason to leave your puppy behind when you hit the trail. Hike or jog this two-mile nature loop with your dog (on a leash), and enjoy a quick escape to nature.
3) San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary
A natural oasis in the heart of the city. This freshwater marsh is home to 69 acres of ponds, 150 acres of natural woodlands and 280 species of birds.
4) Jeffrey Open Space Trail
This beautiful 3.5-mile park is like an outdoor museum! From north to south, you’ll follow the story of Irvine, from Spanish exploration to a modern, master-planned city.
5) Castle Park
Yes, there is a castle in Irvine. This kids’ favorite at Northwood Community Park features parapets, tunnels and a bridge spanning a rocky moat.
6) Mason Regional Park
This sprawling 339-acre park offers everything: shade trees, wilderness trails and even a 9-acre lake with, yes, model boat sailing.
7) Orchard Hills
Feel the serenity of life in the country with a twilight hike past avocado orchards. An easy hike gives you unobstructed views to the sea.