Thousands of hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians enjoy the trails and sweeping views of Orange County on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks throughout the year. Whether visitors explore mountain terrain or the beauty of the coast, the Landmarks are home to programs that offer southern California residents an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. Trail blazers can join interpretive programs and not only absorb the panoramic views of the open spaces, but also learn about the native habitat and natural history on the Landmarks.
“Interpretive programs are focused around a single theme or idea that ties everything together. Whether the program is focused on subjects like geology, birds, plants, or wildlife, Irvine Ranch Conservancy certified guides help visitors connect with the land in meaningful ways,” commented Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s Interpretive Programs and Training Manger, Brian Hughes.
“Interpretive programs use the landscape to tell a story so visitors can have an emotional and intellectual connection and greater appreciation for the protected open spaces,” Hughes said.
On Saturday, December 2 from 9 – 11:30 a.m. nature lovers looking to learn more about the majestic oak trees in southern California can join the Our Magnificent Oaks Interpretive Walk program. Nature enthusiasts will begin their journey in the City of Irvine and be guided into OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve by a certified Conservancy volunteer. Visitors will hike 2.5 miles and learn about oak tree’s survival techniques and the relationship they have with wildlife around them.
Those looking to discover the hidden gems of Orange County can join the Discover Hidden Canyons of OC: Round Canyon program on Monday, December 4 from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. During this interpretive program, visitors will get to experience a hidden oasis of oaks or rising rocky outcrops while they learn about the location’s geological history and the plant and wildlife that call these protected ecosystems home.
Explorers looking to travel through time can join the Exploring Bommer: Life on the Ranch interpretive program on Saturday, December 16 from 9 – 10:30 a.m. This docent-led activity will guide participants along the newly built path to explore the recently renovated corral in the City of Irvine’s Bommer Canyon. Visitors will learn what life was like on the ranch when cowboys and cattle roamed the hills and what the present future holds for this historic site.
All programs are free with required pre-registration, which closes at 4 p.m. the day prior to the event. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian, most programs are free. For more details on these activities or to register, click the titles above or visit LetsGoOutside.org/activities.