Avoid the shopping chaos this weekend and #OptOutside. The Irvine Ranch Conservancy hosts over 2,500 free public activities through LetsGoOutside.org annually, including hiking, biking, equestrian, and restoration programs, and this weekend is no exception. Besides, there is no better way to burn off the calories from turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie than exploring the great outdoors.
The Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks offer the community a multitude of trails with diverse plants, wildlife, and geological wonders to discover. As the weather is cooling down and the holiday season is upon us, community members can escape to the Landmarks and enjoy the fresh air of the outdoors. Work off those holiday treats by participating in a variety of hiking and fitness activities offered on the open spaces.
- Thanksgiving Wobble Walk on Friday, November 23, from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Walk off your Thanksgiving dinner! Join OC Parks Resource Specialist Laura Cohen in partnership with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers on this slow-paced, 2-mile hike (400-ft. elevation gain) over steep and uneven terrain. Ages 12 and up. Reservations required.
- Black Friday Hike at the Bay on Friday, November 23 from 1 to 3 p.m. Avoid the lines and crowds to #optoutside with OC Parks and burn off some of the Thanksgiving calories on a family friendly naturalist guided hike. We will walk 2-3 miles along the Bay’s west bluff, keep an eye out for migratory birds, and appreciate anything else nature has to offer. Any kids on the hike will have the opportunity to earn their Junior Ranger badge!
- Slow-Paced Mountain Bike Ride: Panoramic Sinks View from the Water Tank on Saturday, November 24 from 8 to 11 a.m. Explore beautiful Limestone Canyon on this challenging mountain bike ride to the “water tank” beyond The Sinks east viewing deck. This ride will reward riders with panoramic unobstructed views of The Sinks, a 20-to-40-million-year-old geologic formation of exposed sandstone. This is a slow-paced ride designed for the intermediate rider who is in excellent cardio shape and physically fit.
- After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road on Monday, November 26 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Hikers will enjoy wonderful sunset views and a panoramic overview of Orange County during this fitness-focused hike on Hicks Haul Road. This hike travels about 3.5 miles, up to the top of Loma Ridge and back down. The hike is conducted at about 3-3.5 miles per hour, but you may travel a bit faster or slower, at a walk, run, or jog depending on your comfort level. Most participants finish the route in about 1 hour. Because of the paved surface of the road, you may wear regular running or walking shoes. Trail shoes are fine, but not required. Please bring adequate water!
Enjoy fresh air and exercise on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks with friends and family during the fall season and beyond! Most activities are free with required pre-registration, which closes at 4 p.m. the day prior to each event. Minors ages 18 and younger must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. For more details on fitness programs on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks visit LetsGoOutside.org for more information.