On June 29, 2010 the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to accept a donation of approximately 20,000 acres from the Irvine Company to the County for preservation and guided recreation.
These special, protected wildlands, known collectively as the Irvine Ranch Open Space, are operated by OC Parks, with public programs and activities available through the Irvine Ranch Conservancy.
Based on the geological and ecological significance, nearly 40,000 acres of open space on the historic Irvine Ranch, including the 20,000 of the Irvine Ranch Open Space, have been designated a Natural Landmark by both the State of California and the U.S. Department of the Interior. This honor recognizes the exceptional value of these lands to California and the entire nation.
Recreation opportunities are available through regularly scheduled programs. These activities include hiking, mountain biking, equestrian rides, naturalist-guided tours and self-guided wilderness access days. Other uses are prohibited by the terms of the deed restrictions, conservation easements, County wilderness park designations, and the Orange County Central Coastal Natural Community Conservation Plan permit.
We invite you to visit letsgooutside.org and select from the many free activities offered. In addition to a variety of recreational programs, there are opportunities to participate in scientific research, stewardship and other volunteer activities.
The County Board of Supervisors approved the following two recommendations - 1. No Parking Zone / Tow Away Zone near the Black Star Canyon Access Gate and 2. No Parking Zone along Black Star Canyon Road between 10 pm - 4pm. See PDF for more information.
Spring is here, and that means longer hours, warmer temperatures and more people – and wildlife – out in the parks.
Parks open later: Spring-summer hours, during Daylight Saving Time, mean parks close at 9 p.m. or sunset.
Wildlife sightings: Park rangers have reported increased sightings of snakes, including rattlesnakes. Be sure to keep yourself – and your dog, where permitted – on the trail and aware of your surroundings to avoid an encounter. Also watch out for ticks clinging to long brush and grasses.
Wildflowers: Take all the photos you want from the trail, but never pick wildflowers – leave them for others to enjoy and to spread their seeds for next season.
Warmer temperatures: While it’s always important to be prepared, warmer weather makes essentials like water and sunscreen even more important.
Wildflowers are now blooming in OC Parks. Please follow all park rules while you enjoy the flowers. Make sure to stay on marked trails and do not pick the flowers. Click the link for a video about wildflower viewing.
For the past 20 years, Orange County Codified Ordinance OCCO 2-5-29(n) prohibited the use of all motorized conveyances, including electric bicycles (eBikes) on all County bikeways and trails.
On July 17, 2018, the Board of Supervisors passed a revision to the ordinance, making the following exception: “Class 1 and Class 2 electric bicycles, as defined by the California Vehicle Code, on those regional paved, off-road bikeways designated for such use by the Director of OC Parks.”
Currently, this means that Class 1 and 2 eBikes are now permitted on more than 75 miles of paved Orange County regional bikeways. Due to safety concerns, all classes of eBikes continue to be prohibited on unpaved trails within regional and wilderness parks.
The Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (PSHB) is an invasive beetle that attacks common native and landscape trees, leading to branch dieback and overall decline. This can have a devastating effect on local trees, and you may see some being treated or removed in County parks.
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