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Wet Weather Safety on the Landmarks

PictureRain helps flora and fauna on the Landmarks thrive

​Winter weather has made its way to Orange County, bringing heavy rainfall throughout the region. Rain helps the flora and fauna on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks thrive. It can also create unsafe trail conditions and other potential safety issues. In anticipation of wet weather, Irvine Ranch Conservancy and its landowning partners, OC Parks, City of Irvine and the City of Newport Beach, are working diligently to evaluate potential storm damage and reduce long-term effects to the local trail system. Irvine Ranch Conservancy urges visitors to do their part to help minimize rain damage by understanding wet trail conditions and abiding by closures to the trail system to help maintain the health of local habitats.
 
During the cool winter months, trails require downtime to dry out after rainfall, which could close trails for a few days following a storm. While many trails might appear dry at the trailhead, there are likely to be sections of the trail that collect moisture and remain muddy. It is important that visitors stay off the trails during this time and allow for the dirt to dry out completely, to ensure the longevity for public use and public safety. Ignoring closures could result in dangerous situations for nature enthusiasts, as well as park rangers and first responders.

​Irvine Ranch Conservancy and landowners will close the open space trails after a half-inch of rain to keep visitors safe. When visiting parks that are open daily, visitors will see signs at the park entrance alerting them about trail closures. Additionally, docent-led activities will be cancelled by the organization leading the activity. Participants who signed up for an activity on LetsGoOutside.org will be notified of any cancellation via email and can check the website for any updates.
 
After each rainfall, landowners and park rangers assess trail conditions to ensure they are safe for public use. Once the trails have been deemed safe, they will be reopened and activities will resume. Visitors can do their part to help reduce damage to trails by avoiding muddy areas. Even after trails have been reopened, be sure to check for signs about trail conditions. Some trails may only be open for foot traffic, but not mountain biking or equestrians. Tire tracks and horse hooves can leave more dramatic impressions on a wet trail.
 
We appreciate your patience as we evaluate closed trails during this time! To find out whether local trails are open or closed, visit the Alerts Page on OCParks.com for updates. The Alerts Page provides the most up-to-date information about trail conditions from park rangers as they close and open trails. More information about trails and activities on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks can be found at LetsGoOutside.org.