For those individuals (and families) who like taking to the outdoors in the Irvine area, there is plenty to see and do. Whether you're counting the days until summer to get out regularly or year-round, it doesn't take too much investigating to find a number of fun things to do outside. Given Irvine's temperate weather and lack of rain during three-fourths of the year, you shouldn't have to worry much about getting rained on. And if it does rain by chance, don't expect it to last too long. So, are you ready to hit the outdoors around Irvine?
William R. Mason Regional Park
18712 University Drive
Irvine, CA 92612
Originally named University Park reflecting U.C. Irvine to its proximity, the park was renamed after William R. Mason, who served as President of the Irvine Company from 1966 until his passing in 1973. The Board of Supervisors changed the name of the park from University Regional Park to William R. Mason Regional Park in recognition of the impact his direction had and will continue to have on Orange County, not the least of which was the donation by the Irvine Company of land for this park.
Among the options for people to enjoy include an amphitheater, biking trails, family picnic area, fitness/par course, hiking trails, volleyball courts and more. The park, which is open fall through winter from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and spring through summer 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., also hosts a number of events during the year, giving individuals and families much to select from.
William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center
4601 Walnut Ave.
Irvine, CA 92604
For those individuals and families that have a love for the water, the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center is the place to go. The center offers a ‘world class' venue for area, regional and national competitive events, including water polo. There are a pair of 50-meter pools and a 25-yard instruction pool. Visitors can purchase tickets and/or passes to use the pools.
Quail Hill Trailhead
34 Shady Canyon Drive
Irvine, Ca. 92603
When it comes to getting outside, there are a number of great trails around the Irvine area to get your workout on. One of those is the Quail Hill Trailhead, located on Shady Canyon Drive Open 7 a.m. to sunset, visitors can enjoy self-guided tours. The 2.8-acre Quail Hill Trailhead offers a great locale tied to southern Irvine's extensive trail network. The trailhead is situated at the end of Sand Canyon Road and marks the start of the Quail Hill Loop Trail, a rather simple two-mile natural surface trail at the foot of Quail Hill.
Irvine's southern wilderness also can be reached via docent-led activities that begin at the trailhead. Quail Hill loop is the one wilderness trail in the Natural Landmarks that allows dogs (on leashes).
Irvine Central Bark Dog Park
6405 Oak Canyon Road
Irvine, Ca. 92618
For those individuals or families looking to take man's best friend out for a run or walk, look no further than this popular dog park. The site has plenty of grass for dogs (and their owners, if they so choose) to run around in and play, with separate areas for smaller and larger sized canines. Dogs can also enjoy water stations to get re-hydrated after minutes or hours of running around and/or just taking a refreshing walk around the area.
The space is fenced in, giving owners a sense of calm that their best friends won't be inclined to chase another dog (or human for that matter) and take off. Most importantly, dog owners should remember the golden rule to live by - always clean up after your pet.
Stroller Strides of South Irvine and Lake Forest
Irvine, Ca. 92603
When you have a little one or little ones around the house, getting some outdoor activities in proves a welcome relief for both toddler and parents. Visiting Stroller Strides of South Irvine and Lake Forest, moms (and dads if they so choose) can enjoy fitness and spending time with the most important people in their lives.
Stroller Strides includes "power walking and intervals of strength and body toning exercises using exercise tubing, the stroller and the environment." Taught by certified and specially trained fitness instructors, those in charge weave songs and activities into the routine in order to entertain and engage the little one, while moms are put through a series of exercises "specific to her role as mom." So both mom and baby will be getting exactly what they need, all at the same time. FIT4MOM is a fitness program for moms offering pre and post-natal fitness classes for each and every stage of motherhood. There are a variety of classes and events that are sure to be beneficial to both mom and child, at reasonable prices to boot.
Dave Thomas has been covering the sports world since his first job as a sports editor for a weekly newspaper in Pennsylvania back in 1989. He has covered a Super Bowl, college bowl games, MLB, NBA and more. His work can be found on Examiner.com.