Ever have one of those days where you sit in front of your computer, trying to get through a pile of work, but all you are able to think about is getting back to the trail? Why just daydream about being in nature, why not get out there?
If you are almost anywhere in Orange County there are some of the most amazing hiking trails just a quick car ride away. Let's use our home base, Seed People’s Market in Costa Mesa as a starting point. Where could you end up if you drive just one short hour or less?
Our first quick get away is Lake Elsinore. This natural freshwater lake in Riverside county is about 3000 acres in size. There are numerous trails around the lake. One of the longer ones is Walker Canyon trail. It is a 9.2 mile out and back trail in the Temescal Mountains. This trail is lined with excellent examples of Native California WildFlowers. You are also able to explore the canyons right off the trail during your hike. Most of the trail is in direct sun, so make sure to stay hydrated and wear a hat! While you are in Lake Elsinore make time for the Ortega Falls. As with all waterfalls this is better after a good rain. In the more arid times of year when the water isn't running, it makes for good rock climbing spot. The falls is a shorter hike of less than a mile, but rated as difficult, due to the trail not being clearly marked, and the need to scramble over rocks.
Now for an Orange County trail. Black Star Canyon Falls is located in Silverado Canyon and is a 6.7 mile out and back trail. Many hikers consider this trail a great place to practice your technical scrambling skills. Feel free to bring Fido on this trail with you too! The trail leads you alongside and sometimes through river beds and on dirt paths. In the rainy season there is a waterfall at the end. About 5 miles in from the trailhead there is the Black Star Canyon Indian Village Site. The Togva people once made this canyon their home, You are still able to see the remnants of this tribe including mortar holes in the rock. Warning, beware of poison oak on this trail.
Looking for an easier trail, with less strenuous terrain, then don’t forget about our Beaches. The San Clemente Beach Trail runs along the railroad tracks and has no elevation gain. This is great for walking, running or biking. It passes over vernal pools and offers a beautiful coastal view on the entirety of the trail.
Love the beach but want something more strenuous to hike on the coast, check out Crystal Cove State Park. The park offers more than 18 miles of trails traversing 2400 acres of native terrain. There are also 3 environmentally friendly campgrounds, for more adventurous hikers.
A great hike for the entire family is the Dana Point Headlands. Start by exploring the interpretive center located at the end of Green Lantern above Dana Point Harbor. The center is small but informative and strives to encourage conversation of the headlands. From here you can take the Dana Point Preserve Trail. It is clearly marked with cables and only about .5 miles long. There are beautiful coastal views that often include whales and dolphins. Pick a day, just a few hours out of your week, is guaranteed to refresh your spirit and fill your soul. So pick a day, get up and get on the trail.
#seedinthewild #seedonthetrail #getoutdoors
"Keep close to Nature’s heart... and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean", John Muir