Irvine Outdoor Recreation

Californians love to live outdoors and if you enjoy natural recreation, Irvine is the place to be. In fact, Irvine boasts the most open space in all of Orange County dedicated to those who want to get outside and experience nature.

One of the important priorities for Irvine’s development was to create a community where business and nature co-exist in harmony. As a result, you will find beautifully manicured office parks surrounded by more than 16,500 acres of dedicated open space, parks and sports fields.

Residents and visitors alike benefit from the stunning preserved natural habitats and wildlands with miles of hiking and biking trails and picturesque vistas to enjoy year round. Cyclists will be happy to learn Irvine features over 300+ miles of on-road cycling lanes and 60+ miles of off-road bike trails.

The Irvine Ranch Conservancy has permanently protected 50,000 acres of wildlands and parks, Irvine Natural Landmarks, to enhance the public’s appreciation, understanding, and connection with the land. Additionally, Irvine Regional Park is a stunning 477-acre tract of land with a variety of outdoor spaces and activities.

If you can’t wait to head outside, here are the best spots to explore:

  • Mountains to the Sea Trail:  A 22-mile journey from the Cleveland National Forest to the Pacific Ocean! Begin in rugged, oak-filled Weir Canyon and walk, hike, or bike south toward the coast while enjoying an amazing variety of scenery and topography.

  • Bommer Canyon – Wilderness hikes, sand volleyball, and acres of open space to roam date back to 1837.

  • Jeffrey Open Space Trail (JOST) – Walk, hike, or bike along this 3.5-mile trail past indigenous plants and trees, tunnels, bridges, and more.

  • Quail Hill Preserve – Take your dog along for exploration on the only wilderness trail part of the National Landmarks that allows dogs. It’s an easy two-mile natural surface trail.

  • Shady Canyon Trail Loop – A collage of Irvine bikeways including Bonita Canyon Trail, Shady Canyon Trail, Quail Hill Trail, and most of University Trail.

  • San Joaquin Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary – You’ll find hundreds of bird species here at the more than 300 acres of restored coastal freshwater wetlands. Twelve miles of trails serve as an oasis for walkers, joggers, and birdwatchers — who often spy great blue heron, snowy egrets, finches, falcons, brown pelicans, yellow warblers, and many other feathered friends here.

Check out our most up to date - Complete Irvine Outdoor Guide

Irvine Insider Tip

Who needs Twitter when you can explore the many species of birds in and around Irvine! There will be plenty of shareworthy moments from the stunning peacocks at Irvine Regional Park to the amazing variety of Instagram-worthy feathered friends living at the San Joaquin Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary. (Hint: the Sea & Sage Audubon Society can help you out!). 


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