Research is mounting about the health benefits of spending more time outdoors – not only the exercise, but of simply being in a natural setting. As we spend more time indoors and in front of digital screens, taking a break to connect with nature can help undo some of the negative effects of increasingly tech-heavy lifestyles. Luckily, there are places like Black Star Canyon, where OC Parks and Irvine Ranch Conservancy offer rides, hikes and nature walks to help you slow down and reconnect with nature.
The portion of Black Star Canyon owned by OC Parks includes Baker Canyon, part of nearly 40,000 acres of the former Irvine Ranch that have been designated as both a National and California Natural Landmark for its rare biological and geological features. The land is permanently protected as a nature preserve, with plenty of scheduled and docent-led activities to suit nearly any interest and ability.