If you’ve visited the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, you know that there is always something new to discover. Learn a new way to look at the land this weekend, through hikes, walks, rides and workouts that will introduce you to skills such as wildlife tracking, cactus planting, mountain biking and even Zumba.
Two very exciting Saturday activities will help visitors learn about the easiest way to “see” wildlife on the trails: animal tracking. By learning which prints are which and “whose scat is that,” you can tell what type of critter was on the trail before you. In Round Canyon, the City of Irvine presents Beginner Animal Tracking, which covers the basics of spotting and identifying animal tracks over a short, 1.5-mile walk. OC Parks is presenting Watching Wildlife in Fremont Canyon, a program that also covers tracking, and will include information about raptors flying overhead near Irvine Lake. This program includes a 4 mile hike with some hills and spectacular views. Both programs are for visitors age 12 and up, and are led by Irvine Ranch Conservancy naturalists.
For a new way to work out, there are a few activities this weekend that will help. On Saturday, check out the Intro Cardio Fitness: Weir Canyon Rifle Range Loop activity. While still a fast-paced cardio hike, this one will help you assess whether the regular cardio hikes are for you, and this activity includes a few more stops for education (and to catch your breath). On Sunday, the Beginning Fitness Hike in Weir Canyon will help you make the transition from walking sidewalks to hiking trails for your workout. This fast-paced hike covers 5 miles. If you are used to indoor fitness classes, then take your activity outside with weekly Zumba classes in Limestone Canyon. The next class is this Sunday.
Two more alternatives for learning something new this weekend are the Family Beginner Mountain Bike Ride: Limestone Canyon to The Sinks and Harvest Cactus Pads for Habitat Restoration activities. The ride is perfect for families looking to start a new hobby together. Participants should be comfortable with their mountain bikes, and able to ride 8 miles (ages 12 and up). There will be stops along the way to regroup and learn about trailside habitat. Speaking of habitat, if you want to learn how to harvest Prickly Pear Cactus, you have your chance on Sunday. Volunteers ages 15 and up are needed to help harvest cactus pads from the old Native Seed Farm site. The pads will be used in the future at habitat restoration sites to help benefit wildlife.
All programs are free, and require advance registration, which closes at 4 p.m. the day before the activity. Please click on the titles above for more details about the distances and other requirements for each program, or visit www.LetsGoOutside.org/activities.