Irvine Open Space Preserve
Incorporated some 45 years ago, Irvine has done an excellent job of fostering the city's growth while still preserving all the natural beauty in and around it. With Irvine Open Space Preserve, locals and visitors can enjoy seeing the area's flora and fauna on the preserve's thousands of acres of native habitat.
Residents and those visiting the Preserve have many means with which to explore all there is to offer. Whether you're looking to take a hike, enjoy a bike ride, or ride a horse, there are numerous trails to cover during your excursion. For sizable groups of people wanting to visit the area (opens beginning at 7 a.m., closes at the time of sunset), take note that a permit is required.
The Mountains to Sea Trail
Encompassing nearly two dozen miles of the scenic outdoors, The Mountains to Sea Trail has something for just about everyone. A decade ago, the Trail received the distinction of being tabbed a "National Recreation Trail" from the "National Park Service Rivers and Trails Assistance Program." Those who decide to do the entire trail are treated to a great workout, and will see some of the natural beauty that runs through nearly half-a-dozen towns and cities along the way. Don't hurry your trek through here; instead, take your time to enjoy the area's wildlife, plants, trees and more. Whether you decide to walk, hike or bike, a day-trip here is definitely worth your time.
6400 Shady Canyon Drive
The City of Irvine, acquired Bommer Canyon more than 30 years ago from The Irvine Company. For a good day's workout among all that nature has to offer, Irvine's Bommer Canyon is another great destination for those who love the outdoors. Starting at 7 a.m., hikers, bikers, and more can enjoy the trails that encompass Bommer Canyon.
A portion of the former Irvine Ranch Cattle Camp is part of the experience for those wanting to see some history on their tour of the Canyon. If you want to make the setting part of a family reunion, wedding or more, the area can be rented out for the day from April through October (reservations necessary).
Quail Hill Trailhead
34 Shady Canyon Drive
Irvine, Ca. 92603
The outdoors beckon you from the Quail Hill Trailhead. Nestled in natural beauty, this two-mile trail (for the most part, the terrain is flat) is great for a leisurely walk, run, or even bike ride. From birds to animals native to the area, don't be surprised to see a variety of nature during your time here. One of the many benefits to this trail is that dogs are permitted, so bring your furry friend out to get some exercise along side you.
San Joaquin Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary
5 Riparian View
Irvine, Ca. 92612
If you enjoy seeing different bird species and other wildlife in their natural surroundings, you've come to the right place. Hundreds of acres of land give visitors the opportunity to stroll or get in a good workout during their visit. With a dozen miles of trails, visitors will be more than satisfied with their time spent here.
Open seven days a week (dawn to dusk), there is no cost to access the area for residents or visitors. There is free parking, along with bathroom facilities. While you can see office buildings in the background, keep in mind that you are out in some of nature's most beautiful surroundings. In fact, this used to be a great area for duck hunting back in the day.