hiking trails in orange county

While there are several “Best Kept Secrets” to residing in Orange County, one of them is certainly right here in Costa Mesa: Our hiking. Whether you want to train for a WILD journey (movie OR book), get your jog in or simply want to get outdoors with the family, Costa Mesa and the surrounding areas are loaded with some hikes and trails ideal for any level. Read on to discover just another reason why we love living in Orange County!

Talbert Regional Park

Talbert Regional Park runs North and South of Victoria Street Pacific Avenue and the Santa Ana River. North Talbert consists of 91.5 acres while South Talbert is approximately 88.5 acres. Granted, there are various trails and activities to enjoy at Talbert. Divided into 6 separate plant groups, identified as “zones” and based upon the progression of plant groups and changing conditions found along the Santa Ana River. From the “Coastal Strand” which has some simple, easy slopes and dunes, it’s a habitat largely destroyed by the advance of civilization in the area, while the “Native Grassland” zone is the largest zone in Talbert and has wildlife habitat opportunities.

Canyon Community Park

While Talbert is more of an Urban Hike, check out Canyon Community Park if you feel like unplugging and getting a bit further into nature and that “wilderness” vibe. Their two popular loops, the “Pond Loop” and the “Canyon Loop”, done together, this stroll would be about a mile and is ideal for dog owners, joggers or a walk with the family.

Upper Newport Bay Preserve

Renowned for some of the best wildlife viewings in Orange County, Upper Newport is a mecca for joggers, hikers, birders, educators and horseback riders. From their website:

“During winter migration up to 35,000 birds may be using the Bay at one time. It is home to six rare or endangered species: Light Footed Clapper Rail, Brown Pelican, Belding’s Savannah Sparrow, Black Rail, Peregrine Falcon and California Least Tern. The Bay is home to one endangered plant species – Saltmarsh Bird’s Beak. Considered a “critical estuary” habitat – Upper Newport Bay is one of the most pristine remaining estuaries in Southern California.”

Turtle Rock Trail

Another “in the know” spot for locals (as there’s great city views and Disneyland fireworks sightings), Turtle Rock has about 4 miles total of trails and easy to intermediate hikes. A favorite for families with little hikers.

Trabuco Canyon Trail

If you feel like a little venture (about 30 minutes), take a drive over to Trabuco. Another perfect location if you feel like getting away from it all, Trabuco is a secluded escape off the 241, and inland of Mission Viejo. Over 12 miles of land to be explored, various trails make it easy to decide how far you want to go. Great for adventurous and energetic dogs, too!

So, while some may think beach and great shopping in Orange County, don’t forget to add The Great Outdoors, too! Also make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for local happenings and neighborhood tips.