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Lifestyle
Biking or hiking in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park provides a quick escape from city life
File Photo
by Indy Staff
Issue 169 - 09/20/2018
The Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park is located east of the 241 toll road, between Portola Parkway and East Santiago Canyon Road in Foothill Ranch and provides the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors in Orange County.

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park encompasses approximately 2,500 acres of riparian and oak woodland canyons, rolling grassland hills and steep slopes of coastal sage scrub and chaparral. Remnants of the former cattle ranching days can be seen throughout the park.

The park is highlighted by scenic rock formations, including the beautiful Red Rock Canyon. There are three intermittent streams: Borrego, Serrano and Aliso Creek meandering through the park, each hosting an abundance of wildlife. The park contains 23 trails totaling approximately 17 miles of graded roads and single-track trails, providing excellent opportunities for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. The Red Rock Canyon and Billy Goat trails are reserved for hikers only.

The Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park also provides connectivity to other trails belonging to the OC Parks Regional Trails system, including the Edison Riding and Hiking Trail, Aliso Creek Riding and Hiking Trail, Aliso Creek Bikeway, and Aliso-Serrano Riding and Hiking Trail.

When visiting the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, remember to remain alert, particularly when hiking, as Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park contains the perfect habitat for mountian lions, which are known to attack without warning. OC Parks has put out a downloadable guide with information about what to do if you encounter a mountain lion.

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park is open from 7:00 am until sunset daily. Parking is available for $3 daily at the Borrego Parking Lot, 26701 Portola Parkway, Foothill Ranch, CA 92610 or the Glenn Ranch Road Parking Lot at 27901 Glenn Ranch Rd., Trabuco Canyon, CA 92679. Trails may be closed for up to three days following rain, so call the park office at (949) 923-2245 for current trail closures.

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