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Wet Weather Trail Tips on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks

As a result of the rain that hit Orange County earlier this week, many trails on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks are closed for the safety of the community, and to prevent long term damage to the trail system. Irvine Ranch Conservancy and its partners, OC Parks, City of Irvine and the City of Newport Beach, want to remind nature lovers to stay off wet trails until they dry out and can once again be explored safely.
 
Rain is a welcome weather change on the Landmarks, but it can also pose a challenge for trails. We want to remind you of a few wet weather tips this winter season to help minimize trail damage and keep the community safe.
 

  • Using trails too soon after rain can cause long-lasting damage and can potentially be dangerous for the public. Landowners and park rangers assess trail conditions to ensure they are safe for public use. Look for signs displayed at park entrances or notifications about cancelled activities.
  • Do not use closed trails even if they look dry at the trailhead. There are likely to be sections of the trail that collect moisture and remain muddy. Ignoring closures could result in dangerous situations for nature enthusiasts, as well as park rangers and first responders if they are called in for assistance.
  • Once trails reopen, visitors can further help avoid damage by steering clear of remaining muddy spots. However, it should be noted that if a trail is dry enough for foot traffic, the landowners could decide that the pathways are not suitable for mountain bike riders or equestrians. Tire tracks and horse hooves tend to leave a more dramatic impression on the trail than individual footprints.
  • Each area of the Landmarks will have updated information regarding trail closures. For more information about OC Parks trails, visit ocparks.com/parks-trails/alerts. Information about the City of Irvine Open Space trails can be found at letsgooutside.org. For information about trail closures in the City of Newport Beach, call the Newport Beach Mudline at 949-718-1860 or sign up here to receive text and email alerts.

 
It is important to remember that rain is critical for maintaining a healthy habitat on the Landmarks, even though trail closures can be frustrating.  Allowing trails to dry out before re-opening them helps prevent damage that could cause long term closures.  A little patience now goes a long way!
 
To check for closures, cancelled activities, and to learn more about the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks visit LetsGoOutside.org