Register for activities including hiking, yoga, Tai Chi and more for fresh air and exercise on the open spaces
The Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks stretch across Orange County's expansive open space preserves, and Irvine Ranch Conservancy partners with OC Parks, the City of Irvine, and the City of Newport Beach to offer a variety of fitness programs that span the mountains to the sea. Most of the programs on the Landmarks are free and open to the public with required preregistration, and welcome the community to enjoy fresh air and exercise on the local lands.
"Temperatures are cooling and it's the perfect time to explore the Landmarks during a fitness program," Dave Raetz, Irvine Ranch Conservancy Deputy Director, said. "Whether joining a long-distance cardio hike or mild fitness walk, the Landmarks offer many different activities for nature lovers as young as 8 years old to enjoy. These programs offer the unique opportunity to engage in physical activity while getting acquainted with Orange County's spectacular open spaces that are home to many rare and native species."
The Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks are comprised of over 40,000 acres of protected open spaces and home to geological wonders, diverse flora and fauna, and rare or threatened species. Scientists identified the Landmarks as a biodiversity hotspot, where large concentrations of different species cohabitate including mule deer, scrub jays, coast horned lizards and more, along with rare plant life including the Tecate Cypress.
Fitness programs on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks are tailored to a wide variety of interests and skill levels and led by trained volunteers. Whether visitors choose a relaxing combination of hiking and yoga or take on an 8-mile cardio hike in Limestone Canyon, Irvine Ranch Conservancy and their partners welcome nature lovers to enjoy a variety of fitness programs.
From OC Parks' Weir Canyon to the City of Irvine's Quail Hill preserve to the City of Newport Beach's Buck Gully and beyond, the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks offer fresh air and exercise in a coveted natural setting. Click the programs below to register for a fitness program on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks.
- Tuesday Morning Fitness Hikes on Paved Hicks Haul Road are reoccurring treks that allow hikers to choose from a 3, 6, or 8-mile route through OC Parks' Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve.
After Work Fitness Hikes on Paved Hicks Haul Road offer nature lovers a chance to connect with the lands on Mondays and Wednesdays throughout the year. Enjoy fresh air and exercise during a 3.5-mile trek to Loma Ridge and back down.
- Orchard Hills Evening Hikes encourages visitors to enjoy an evening on the Orchard Hills loop trail to gain a sweeping view of the scenic west, available Mondays and Wednesdays. This reoccurring hike continues throughout the year!
- Meditative Yoga and Meadow Walks kick off on Wednesday, October 4 in Bommer Canyon from 9:30 - 11 a.m. and continue Wednesday mornings throughout the year.
- YIKING: Cardio Hike and Yoga on Sunday, October 15 from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. invites visitors to raise their heart rate before connecting with nature in an instructor led yoga class held alongside the scenic West Loma Ridge.
- Tai Chi in the Canyon is a reoccurring program encouraging participants to begin their week with Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese exercise known for its low-impact movements with meditative qualities.
- Cardio Hikes to The Sinks offer hikers an opportunity to visit the geological wonder, The Sinks, also known as Orange County's mini-Grand Canyon. A variety of programs range from 8 - 14 in miles in distance, and offer views of coastal sage scrub, grasslands, and oak woodlands.
- Wilderness Access Days at Limestone Canyon, Bommer Canyon, and Black Star Canyon invite visitors to explore these highly-protected lands which each offer several trails for beginner and experienced hikers, bikers, and equestrians.
Enjoy fresh air and exercise on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. All activities are free with required pre-registration, which closes at 4 p.m. the day prior to each event. Some programs are suitable for children 12 and over, and children must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. For more details on fitness programs on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks visit LetsGoOutside.org/activities.
Irvine Ranch Conservancy
Irvine Ranch Conservancy is a non-profit, non-advocacy organization created in 2005 to help
preserve and support the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, enhancing the public's connection to the land while helping partners and landowners with all aspects of stewardship. The Conservancy offers a variety of free, guided outdoor programs for all nature enthusiasts including hiking, mountain biking, horse-back riding and much more. For more information, visit www.letsgooutside.org.
Heidi Darby, The ACE Agency