There is much for those of us in Orange County to be thankful for, not the least of which are the stunning views of both mountains and sea within the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. This Thanksgiving, take the time to experience and appreciate some of these stunning lands in person. From fitness hikes and outdoor yoga, to mountain biking and habitat restoration opportunities, organizations such as OC Parks and City of Irvine are offering a variety of public programs this Thanksgiving holiday week suitable for all ages, interests and skill levels.
The day after Thanksgiving, you can work off your turkey dinner either on your own or by joining OC Parks and Laguna Canyon Foundation for the Thanksgiving Wobble Walk in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. This is a challenging but slow-paced hike, for ages 12 and up. For a list of trails in and around the Landmarks that are open daily, click here. These trails are perfect for family and friends to enjoy the land together.
And while Thanksgiving week might offer a break from school and work for some, you can still study up on the land around you. Get up an up close look at majestic oak trees while learning more about their survival and fun facts (did you know a single tree can produce several hundred pound of acorns?) at Our Magnificent Oaks Interpretive Walk on Saturday, November 28. This activity starts in the City of Irvine Open Space Preserve and travels into the oak woodlands of OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve, where these trees grow abundantly. Visitors will enjoy great views of the oak’s broad crown of evergreen leaves, thick dark bark and intricate branch system during this activity, led by Irvine Ranch Conservancy naturalists.
If breaking a sweat appeals to you more than flexing brain muscles, cardio hikes are a perfect opportunity to get in a workout somewhere besides the gym. Cardio Hike: Quail Hill on Saturday, November 28, provides visitors to the City of Irvine Open Space Preserve with 12 miles of sweeping views and strenuous climbs as high as 2,700 feet. If you are new to cardio hiking, Intro Cardio Fitness: Extended Weir Canyon Rifle Range Loop on Saturday, November 28, might be more your style. This slower cardio hike through OC Parks’ Weir Canyon Nature Preserve includes more interpretive stops, allowing you to catch your breath and learn more about the coastal sage scrub, grasslands and woodlands native to the area. A variety of other Hiking & Fitness programs on the Landmarks for all skill levels can also be found here.
Whether through volunteering, education or exercise, there’s no better way to show thankfulness for the land around us than by experiencing it in person. Take advantage of the Thanksgiving break and get outside – a complete list of activities open to the public during this holiday week can be found here. To learn more about or register for these events, click on the titles above or go to www.LetsGoOutside.org/activites.