Octa's transportation blog

Hike and Bike OC Parks

With the unofficial start of summer following Memorial Day, it’s time to get out and explore beautiful Orange County by foot and pedal.

OC Parks offers an extensive regional trail system with hundreds of miles of unpaved trails and paved bikeways. Information is available on the website and in this regional trail brochure. The system offers great recreational and commuting opportunities.

One recently opened area to explore is Red Rock Wilderness. Located within OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, the approximately 1,500-acre area features more than 8 miles of new trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding along with a scenic overlook that offers 360-degree views of the surrounding landscape.

Situated on top of the 20 to 40-million-year-old Sespe formation, Red Rock Wilderness was once home to early rhinos and crocodiles that roamed the area. The red rocks developed their striking color and jagged appearance over time as the sediment oxidized and eroded, along with the gradual uplift of the Santa Ana Mountains. The area offers a protected and preserved natural habitat for a variety of plants and animals, including bobcats, mule deer, grey fox and a variety of bird species. Colorful California poppies, lupine and other wildflowers can be enjoyed here during the spring months while coast live oaks, prickly pear cactus, coastal sage scrub and native grasses are visible year-round.

Red Rock Wilderness features six new multi-use trails for hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders to explore ranging from easy to difficult. A new scenic overlook offers sweeping views of the nearby red rocks, Black Star Canyon Wilderness, the surrounding canyons and beyond.

OCTA encourages active transportation, which is any form of human-powered transportation that promotes physical activity including walking, biking, skating, using a wheelchair, and accessing public transportation. Visit here for biking and hiking safety tips and other useful information.