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Vicinity Mountain Biking Trails in Orange County, California

 
 
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Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park 
 
 
A favorite of mountain bikers and hikers. Quickly being encroached by development, however. "This expansive park sits at the south end of the Laguna Greenbelt. Its canyons harbor a pastoral feel unmatched in Orange County. Favored with petroglyphs etched by Native Americans, Aliso & Wood Canyons are natural wonders still to be enjoyed.... Approximately 4,000 acres of wilderness and natural open space land. Originally, part of the Juaneno or Acajchemem tribal land, it later was owned by Don Juan Avila, Louis Moulton, The Mission Viejo Company and now is under the jurisdiction of Harbors, Beaches, and Parks Department. Within the park lands are mature oaks, sycamores, and elderberry trees, two year round streams and over 30 miles of official trails. Many rare and endangered plants and animals make this park their home. This park is dsignated as a wildlife sanctuary. "  Laguna Niguel
Carbon Canyon Regional Park 
 
 
The city is fast encroaching, but this is still somewhat isolated up in the hills above Orange County. The park itself is similar to Yorba Regional Park, but if you head east from the parking lot with your bike, you'll find miles of fireroad bike trails from beginner to advanced. If you ride long enough, you'll find yourself at Prado Regional Park in Riverside County. During the wetter months, there are a number of small streams to ford. Take the family and enjoy a picnic by a pond under the trees. "With its wild and rugged canyon terrain and full selection of recreational activities, including hiking and equestrian trails, this park seems miles away from civilization.... Carbon Canyon Regional Park consists of 124 acres. Sixty are developed and of the remaining acreage, a ten acre grove of Coastal Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) has been established. Throughout the developed park are Pepper trees, Sycamores, Eucalyptus and Pines."  Brea
Franko's Maps of Orange County & Vicinity 
 
 
Surfing? Biking? Hiking? Fishing? Exploring? Boating? Franko's Maps have long been a staple of OC Locals! Franko's Map of Orange County Surfing, Franko's Map of San Diego Surfing, Franko's Map of Orange County Trails, Franko's Trail Map of Santa Ana Mountains & Chino Hills, Franko's Trail Map of Big Bear, Franko's Poster of Big Bear, Franko's Map of South Coast Wilderness (Laguna Beach Wilderness), Franko's Diving Map of Santa Catalina Islands, Franko's Diving Map of Channel Islands, Franko's Diving Map of Orange County Coast, Franko's Diving Map of San Diego Coast, Franko's Diving Map of Los Angeles Coast, Franko's La Jolla Shores Fish Card, Franko's HMCS Yukon Deck Plan & Fish Identifier, Franko's Channel Islands Mini Map & Kelp Forest Creatures, Franko's Avalon Underwater Park & Kelp Forest Creatures, Franko's Map of Catalina's Two Harbors & Fish Identification Card, Franko's Map of Santa Catalina Island, Franko's Map of Channel Islands, Franko's Map of San Diego County Coast, Franko's Map of Orange County Coast, Franko's Map of Los Angeles County Coast, Franko's Map of Newport Harbor & Upper Newport Bay,  Corona
Green Valley Nordic Ski Area 
 
 
"Green Valley Nordic is located at the end of Green Valley Lake Road. Turnoff just outside of Arrowbear off of Hwy 18 approx 2 miles from Running Springs. At a base elevation of 7200', the scenery can be down right spectacular and serene. Trails are intermediate to advanced. Check ahead for days open. Approx 30 miles of trail groomed for classic and skating. Dogs are welcomed here following 'Doggie Rules'."  Running Springs
Irvine Regional Park 
 
 
NO - THIS IS NOT IN IRVINE! It's in the hills over Orange. It is named after James Irvine, who donated the park in 1897. One of our favorite haunts, it boasts miles of paved & unpaved road, sidewalk & trail, pony rides, miniature railroad rides, paddleboat rentals, and a slew of playgrounds. Trails take you up into the hills, by the resevoir, and eventually all the way to Santiago Oaks Regional Park. Take the family. Picnic, play, relax. "Located in the scenic foothills of East Orange County, Californiaís oldest County park (donated by James Irvine in 1897) has a rustic, early Californian atmosphere and offers such unique features as the Orange County Zoo and Irvine Park Railroad. Itís also an ideal setting for observing wildlife, visible along the nature trail and on the surrounding hillsides.... Irvine Regional Park is nestled among a grove of heritage Oak and Sycamore trees. The rolling foothills surrounding the park are filled with a variety of wildlife. Trees, shaded turf areas provide a serene setting for leisure activities. Santiago Creek bisects the park and a pond with stone-work waterfall and foot bridge is located in the center of the park. The variety of landscape greatly enhances the park's beauty. "  Orange
O'Neill Regional Park 
 
 
Coming from the North, you'd swear you had gotten way out into the country. But go just past it, wind up the hill, and within a mile you're in the big city again. BUMMER! But forget I told you that and just enjoy the seeming isolation of this nice oak-shaded park. Bring a bike if you like to ride trails - this connects in with a network that will keep you riding for hours. "Located in Majestic Trabuco Canyon, this expansive park offers a unique spot for both day use and camping. Lifeís hectic pace slows noticeably when you enter the tree-shaded grounds. The feeling is remote, rural, relaxing.... O'Neill Regional Park is situated in beautiful Trabuco and Live Oak Canyons. The park is heavily wooded with coast live oak and sycamore trees. The hillsides surrounding the park are filled with cactus, wild buckwheat, sagebrush and chaparral of scrub oak, buckthorn and mountain mahogany. Trabuco and Hicky Creeks also meander through the park, flowing in winter and early spring, dry in summer and fall."  Trabuco Canyon
Peters Canyon Regional Park 
 
 
"Nestled in the peaceful hills behind Orange, this park is a unique blend of native vegetation and scenic trails for outdoor recreation and nature lovers. Lush groves of willows and black cottonwoods intertwine with a rambling creek and encase a beautiful 50-acre lake. The park also offers a variety of trails, which are perfect for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians.... Peters Canyon Regional Park offers a unique blend of native habitat and man's influence on the land. The park encompasses 354 acres of coastal sage scrub, riparian, freshwater marsh and grassland habitats. The 55-acre Upper Peters Canyon Reservoir is home to many resident and migrating waterfowl. Willows, sycamores and black cottonwoods line the lake and Peters Canyon Creek which meanders through the canyon. The park offers a variety of graded roads and trails providing opportunities for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. The East Ridge View Trail provides a panoramic view of Peters Canyon and the surrounding area. Visitors can enjoy the beauty of Upper Peters Canyon reservoir while traversing the Lake View Trail. Peters Canyon Creek Nature Trail guides hikers through lush groves of willows and rare black cottonwoods supported by a running creek. Visitors will encounter the park's grassland, coastal sage scrub and riparian habitats as well as eucalyptus groves on the Lower Canyon Trail. The wildlife population includes mule deer, bobcats, coyotes, opossums, raccoons and an occasional mountain lion. Many smaller amphibians, mammals and reptiles abound, attracted by the lure of Peters Canyon Reservoir and Creek. Cactus wrens, gnatcatchers and rufous-crowned sparrows may be found in the park's coastal sage scrub and grassland communities. The eucalyptus groves are home to Cooper's, red-tail and red-shouldered hawks that can be seen patrolling the skies for unwary prey."  Orange
Riley Wilderness Park 
 
 
523 acres of hiking, biking & riding! "As a wildlife sanctuary, Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park is home to an abundant number of native plants and animal life. Old groves of Western Sycamores and Coast Live Oaks border the park's two seasonally flowing creeks. The remaining land features rolling hills and canyons of Coastal Sage Scrub and grasslands. "  Coto de Caza
Rim Nordic Ski Area 
 
 
"In the winter , we offer Cross Country Skiing and Snow Shoeing. Our summer activites include Mountain Bike Racing & Trail Runs. At a base elevation of 6775' , Rim Nordic Ski Area is located in the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains in Southern California, U.S.A., on Highway 18 - 5 miles east of Running Springs, across from Snow Valley Mountain Sports Park on the way to Big Bear Lake. Only 1 1/2 hours from L.A. and Orange County and 2 1/2 hours from San Diego. (Map) 12 miles of groomed trails, lots of off track. Machine groomed, track set for classic and skating. Learn-to-ski beginner package. Telemark rentals and lessons. Snowshoe rentals. Demo and skating rentals available. Retail shop with clothing, new and used equipment. Snack Bar with hot and cold items. Mountain Bike racing and trail runs in the summer. Trails are beginner to advanced. NO DOGS ALLOWED."  Running Springs
Santiago Oaks Regional Park 
 
 
Great hiking, but somewhat steep. Nice short loop trail with an awesome view of the county. Connects to Irvine Park via trail (see Irvine Regional Park). Equestrians welcome. More of a nature lovers park than a picnic park (see Irvine writeup!) "This secluded refuge offers the natural charm of mountain vistas, an orange grove, native oak trees and a creek. Here hikers, naturalists and equestrians can enjoy the scenery as well as interpretive programs at the visitor center.... Situated in east Orange astride Santiago Creek, this approximately 350-acre site consisted originally of two purchases commonly known as the "Blome" and "Rinker" properties. These two parcels constituted a ready-made park atmosphere. The Rinker property was planted in 1959 with a variety of tree species. These have since matured creating a specimen forest and excellent wildlife habitat. The creek itself offers typical riparian growth including Sycamores and Willows flanked by Oak Woodlands. On the south bank lies the Blome property. The park office, Nature Center, picnic grounds, nature trail and a six-acre orange grove are all found in this area."  Orange
Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park 
 
 
A favorite of mountain bikers. Awesome! "Approximately 4,000 acres of deeply forested canyons, scenic rock formations and grassy rolling hills are enriched by intermittent streams and trails to create an ideal open air opportunity for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. The parkís interpretive center features a trail rest stop, cultural and natural history exhibits and park information.... Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park encompasses approximately 1,600 acres of Riparian and Oak Woodland canyons, rolling grassland hills, and steep slopes of Coastal Sage Scrub and Chaparral. The park is highlighted by scenic rock formations, including the beautiful Red Rock Canyon. There are three intermittent streams: Borrego, Serrano and Aliso Creek meandering through the park, each hosting an abundance of wildlife. Remnants of the former cattle ranching days can been seen throughout the park."  Trabuco Canyon
© Keith Weber
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