The Quail Hill Trailhead is conveniently located right off of the 405 freeway Sand Canyon exit. While it is freeway-close, a trip into the Irvine Open Space Preserve quickly helps you forget any freeway hustle and noise. At the trailhead, you can park and then choose your adventure: either straight ahead to the Quail Hill Loop, or to the left along the Shady Canyon Bikeway to the Quail Trail.
Quail Hill is also the site of stewardship efforts to improve wildlife habitat. Since 2008, Conservancy volunteers have battled the invasive artichoke thistle (Cynara cardunculus), a weed that is notoriously difficult to remove. This plant species has a tap root that can be up to 6 feet in length, so Conservancy staff used field research results to devise a plan to kill off the artichoke thistle above ground. Members of the community are welcome to come and take on this mean weed, helping native plants thrive and benefit local wildlife. The next volunteer activity is Thursday, September 17. Click here for more information or to register.
If you are a regular visitor to the Quail Loop Trail, you should know that there will be some enhancements happening toward the end of September. There will be a length of fencing placed along the southeast portion to help keep visitors from mistakenly treading into wildlife habitat. There are some paths that look like trails in that area, so fencing made of wood posts and wire cables will help define the designated trail. The Quail Loop Trail will be closed for about three weeks during construction, which is expected to begin the week of September 21.
The Quail Hill Loop and Quail Trail are open daily from dawn to dusk. The trailhead is located at 34 Shady Canyon Drive in Irvine. Click here for a map of the Irvine Open Space Preserve, which notes trails that are open daily and trails that are open for scheduled programs, listed here. You can also visit www.LetsGoOutside.org to learn more or explore.