The Hicks Canyon Trail is one of the widest trails in the city and runs more than 2 miles, from Peters Canyon Trail in Northpark Village to Portola Parkway in Orchard Hills Village.

Hicks Canyon: Two trails in one

by LORI BASHEDA

Whether you are a fan of jogging, bicycling, riding a horse or pushing a stroller, you might want to check out the Hicks Canyon Trail, a pleasant 2-miler with bucolic scenery and a birdsong soundtrack.

The Hicks Canyon Trail is actually two trails that run parallel to each other.

One is a wide, dirt path for horses, joggers and walkers, and the other is a two lane, paved trail for bicycles and strollers. A wheelchair rolled past me the day I was out walking.

The dirt trail runs alongside Hicks Canyon Creek bed and rows of majestic old eucalyptus trees.

The trail is also dog-friendly, as long as your pet is on a leash.

Dakota Lauren was walking her Boston terrier the morning I was there. She told me she and Bentley hit the trail several times a week.

“We like that it’s so convenient,” she said. “You don’t have to walk on the road to get here. And it’s really pretty.”

The trail runs along the Hicks Canyon Wash and is shaded most of the way by majestic old eucalyptus trees.

The trees were planted years ago in a grid to protect crops on the Irvine Ranch from the Santa Ana winds. The Irvine Master Plan has incorporated these natural windbreaks, using them as borders for the city’s villages, roads and pedestrian corridors.

The best part of the experience: how quiet it is. What you hear are the birds chirping and the gravel crunching underfoot.

The paved trail is perfect for bicyclists and strollers. Both sides are landscaped with shrubs, trees and flowerbeds.