March 26, 2015 
Large Crowds Expected Easter Weekend

Easter is one of the busiest days of the year at regional parks. Parking lots fill very early in the morning and additional vehicles may not be brought into parks that have reached parking capacity. Parking fees for some regional parks will increase to $7 for Easter Sunday, April 5.

March 18, 2015 
Watch Your Step – It’s Snake Season

Spring and summer weather can increase the chances of encountering a snake, including rattlesnake, in Southern California. But that doesn’t have to scare you off the trails. Read these rattlesnake dos and don’ts to help you have a safe and enjoyable outing.

March 4, 2015 
Extended Park Hours Begin March 8

The clocks sprung forward early March 8, marking the beginning of Daylight Saving Time and OC Parks’ spring-summer operating schedule.

Starting March 8, the spring-summer hours for regional parks are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. That includes Carbon Canyon, Clark, Craig, Mason, Mile Square and Yorba regional parks. Irvine and Laguna Niguel regional parks open at 6 a.m. and will close at 9 p.m.

February 9, 2015 
Invasive Pest Found in Orange County

Gold Spotted Oak Borer (GSOB), an invasive beetle that has killed thousands of oak trees in San Diego and Riverside counties in a short span of time, has now been detected in Orange County. The GSOB was discovered in approximately 60 trees on County park land in northern Orange County. Since GSOB is transported in oak firewood, it is critical that Californians keep firewood local and not move it out of the area.

December 29, 2014 

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Amanda, a mountain lion that has been a main fixture at the OC Zoo for years, died Dec. 29. She was 16 years old.

Amanda was greatly beloved by staff, volunteers and zoo visitors. She will be greatly missed.

December 22, 2014 
OC Parks Introduces New Parking Passes

OC Parks is pleased to introduce new parking passes that will allow visitors to use a single card to park at all County regional and wilderness parks and/or beaches.

The new “smart cards” replace the entry cards and stickers that were previously used for annual parking. Unlike the previous OC Parks passes, which were fixed to a calendar year (January through December), these smart cards are valid for 12 months from issue date and can be renewed annually. Moreover, for wilderness and beach locations which previously required a sticker affixed to a visitor’s windshield, these passes can be used with any vehicle. The price for the new cards remains the same as 2014.

November 26, 2014 
Victorian Christmas at Heritage Hill

Saturday, Dec. 6: Festive Traditional Christmas entertainment, music and performances, children’s crafts, historical exhibits, handicraft vendors, tours through decorated historic buildings staffed by our docents, and visits with Santa.

November 26, 2014 
Candlelight Walk at Heritage Hill

Saturday and Sunday Dec. 13 and 14: Two enchanting evenings with luminaria-lit paths, historic buildings and trees aglow with Christmas lighting, strolls through restored historical buildings adorned in period décor and staffed by our docents, Victorian carolers, live entertainment in each building, storytellers, visits with Santa, refreshments.

November 21, 2014 
Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train

Ride the Christmas Train, meet Santa, decorate cookies and even pick out a tree at Irvine Regional Park weekends Nov. 28 to Dec. 14 and daily Dec. 14 to 23..

November 21, 2014 
Cut Down Your Own Christmas Tree

Peltzer Pines Christmas Tree Farms is open daily following Thanksgiving through Dec. 23. The unique Christmas tree farm lets visitors choose and cut down their own trees.

The Silverado farm sits on part of the 20,000 acres donated to OC Parks in 2010. The County leases the farm to Peltzer Pines.

November 18, 2014 
Board of Supervisors Accepts 2,500-Acre Gift

Today the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to accept 2,500 acres of open space, donated by the Irvine Company to the County for preservation and public recreation. The donation provides additional connectivity to the 20,000 acres the Irvine Company donated to the County in 2010, which marked the largest single donation of land to the County in its history. The land accepted today was previously slated for construction of approximately 5,000 homes.

October 30, 2014 
Fall and Winter Night Hikes Offered

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OC Parks will be offering a series of night hikes at four different parks starting in November.

These starlit hikes will take place at Irvine, Carbon Canyon, Santiago Oaks and Peters Canyon regional parks. All will offer a rare opportunity to visit the parks after dark and look for nocturnal animals.

October 27, 2014 
Park Hours Change Starting Nov. 2

The clocks fall back early Nov. 2, marking the end of daylight saving time and OC Parks’ spring-summer operating schedule. Wilderness parks close at sunset and most regional parks close at 6 p.m. for the fall and winter.

October 14, 2014 
Best of the Best – Kudos for OC Parks and Beaches

The 2014 edition of OC Weekly's "Best Of" shines a spotlight on what many county residents already know: Some of the best parks and beaches anywhere are right here in Orange County.

October 10, 2014 
Seaweed, Salmon, and Manzanita Cider: A California Indian Feast

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Seaweed, Salmon, and Manzanita Cider: A California Indian Feast is a statewide traveling exhibition from the Grace Hudson Museum and Exhibit Envoy filled with historic and contemporary photographs, food specimens, memoirs, and recipes.

The exhibit, which opens at Old Orange County Courthouse on Oct. 27 and runs through Dec. 20, 2014, features foods important in the lives of Native Californians including fish, shellfish, seaweed, meat, vegetables, berries, fruits, flowers, nuts, seeds and salt.

October 7, 2014 
Lake Construction Complete

Lake construction is now complete and cleanup of the surrounding area is currently underway. Damaged grass will be replaced with new sod as the lake is being refilled. The refilling of the lake should take approximately one week. Once the lake has been refilled, the water will need to sit for a month for the brand new lake to reach a balance in the environment. Upon this balance being completed, OC Parks will introduce fish habitats into the lake and an aeration system will be installed to ensure proper oxygenation of the water for an optimum fish environment.

October 1, 2014 
Partial Trail Closures Oct. 18

On Saturday, October 18, 2014 the following trails will be CLOSED from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. for a special event: East Ridge, East Flats, Quail Run, Sunrise, Oso and Bell Canyon. Click link for map.

September 29, 2014 
Battle of the Paddle Map - Lifeguard Access

Oct. 4-5, 2014 OC Parks is hosting the Battle of the Paddle at Salt Creek Beach. This is a large stand up paddle board event. The Salt Creek parking lot will have limited or no parking from Sept. 30 to Oct. 6 to accommodate the event. On event days there will be free shuttles from the Selva parking lot.

September 17, 2014 
30th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day

The 30th annual Coastal Cleanup Day will take place Saturday, September 20, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in most locations.

September 10, 2014 
Presentation Now Available for Talbert Habitat Restoration Plan

The presentation from first public workshop for the Habitat Restoration Plan of Talbert Regional Park on Wednesday Sept. 10 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. is now availabe to view.

September 5, 2014 
Irvine Park Railroad’s 9th Annual Pumpkin Patch

News ImageIrvine Park Railroad’s ninth annual Pumpkin Patch is fun for the entire family! Children and adults are invited to the Pumpkin Patch, which is open daily at 10 a.m. September 20th through October 31.

August 20, 2014 
Explore OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space

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In 2010, OC Parks accepted a gift or 20,000 acres of open space from the Irvine Company. These special, protected wildlands, known as the Irvine Ranch Open Space, are operated by OC Parks, with public programs and activities available through the Irvine Ranch Conservancy.

August 15, 2014 
Public Workshop for Talbert Habitat Restoration Plan

OC Parks will hold its first public workshop for the Habitat Restoration Plan of Talbert Regional Park on Wednesday Sept. 10 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The workshop will be held at the Costa Mesa Neighborhood Community Center located at 1845 Park Avenue in Costa Mesa. Parking is available outside the Community Center. OC Parks’ consultants for the Habitat Restoration Plan will be facilitating the workshop with the team of experts developing this plan.

August 15, 2014 
County to Hold Event to Discuss Relocation of Silverado Library

OC Parks and OC Public Libraries invite the public to learn more about the relocation of the Silverado Branch Library to the former Silverado Elementary School site.

The public meeting and workshop will take place Wednesday, Aug. 27 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the former school site, at 7531 Santiago Canyon Rd., Silverado, Calif.

August 7, 2014 
Santa Ana River Trail Construction

The 15 miles of trail tread on the Santa Ana River Trail Class 1 bikeway from Katella Avenue to just past Pacific Coast Highway will be overlaid with a coat of slurry seal and striped.

The project is estimated to take a month or more to complete, with a tentative start date of August 11. Expect delays along with detours for public trail users.

Additionally, a bridge widening project under the trail at Lincoln Avenue in the City of Orange will have a detour set in place. Starting Sept. 9 and tentatively ending Oct. 1, the 800-foot portion of Santa Ana River Trail that goes under the Lincoln Avenue bridge in the City of Orange will be closed.

There will be a short detour that will send users out of the Santa Ana River corridor onto Lincoln Avenue. Trail users will be required to cross Lincoln at the Batavia Avenue signal using the crosswalk. It will be paved and all safety/ directional signage will be approved in proper areas.

Thank you for your patience.

July 17, 2014 
Caspers Water Line Project May Affect Amenities

A critical waterline replacement project is scheduled from June to November 2014 at Caspers Wilderness Park.

During this time, the water system may be shut off and park amenities including flushing toilets, showers, and drinking water may be unavailable. Portable toilets and hand wash stations will be available.

Other potential impacts of this project include dust, noise, and area closures (including roads, trails, campsites, and day use areas). Please call the park office at (949) 923-2210 for further updates.

July 15, 2014 
Carbon Canyon Regional Park Lake Restoration

On July 14, 2014, preparation began to restore Carbon Canyon Regional Park’s 4-acre lake to its original condition. Currently, the lake has diminished water quality and reduced capacity preventing it from being stocked with fish to provide recreational fishing opportunities by park visitors.

The excavation of the lake involves manually draining the lake of its water to allow heavy equipment to remove the soil. A 6-foot temporary fence will be placed around the perimeter of the lake to secure the project and to ensure the public’s safety.

June 30, 2014 
Improved Emerald Canyon Trail Now Open

News ImageWith the help of non-profit organizations, members of the public and community groups, OC Parks has re-opened the Emerald Canyon Trail. The trail was closed due to extensive damage sustained after heavy rains in 2010. The trail reconstruction included constructing a 60-foot bridge over a landslide area.

June 20, 2014 
Scholastic Surfing Classes Conducted at Salt Creek

Capistrano Unified School District conducts surfing classes for students at Salt Creek Beach througout the school year. The beach remains open to the public during these times. Please see the links below for days and times the beach may be affected.

Fall 2014 Schedule (revised 10/17)
Spring 2015 Schedule

June 11, 2014 
Santa Ana River Trail Detours June 14

The Santa Ana River Trail will have detours and a possible closure on Saturday, June 14 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The Santa Ana River Trail and Bikeway closest to the Angel Stadium and the Honda Center will be subject to the highest impact for all trail users in the city of Anaheim.

UCI’s commencement ceremony will taking place at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim Saturday. Heavy traffic is also predicted in the area. Please choose an alternative location to enjoy the Santa Ana River this Saturday.

May 27, 2014 
2014 OC Parks Summer Concert Series

OC Parks brings you free concerts Thursday nights June 26 through August 28 at Craig, Mason, Irvine and Mile Square regional parks, as well at Bluff Parks at Salt Creek Beach.

May 16, 2014 
Historic Resource Specialist Job Opening

The County is now recruiting for OC Parks Historic Resource Specialist. Click the link for more information and to apply online.

May 15, 2014 
Bugs and Butterflies

Come tour Riley Wilderness Park’s butterfly garden at this free, family-friendly event. Learn all about unique and unusual insects and how to attract birds and butterflies to your own garden.

Additional activities include children’s crafts and live animal presentations. Snacks and refreshments will also be available.

May 15, 2014 
Celebrating Yosemite at 150 Years

OC Parks and the Yosemite Conservancy invite you to watch Ken Burns’ Yosemite: A Gathering of Spirit, a documentary film produced to honor the 150th anniversaryof the landmark federal act signed by Abraham Lincoln that preserved Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.

April 12, 2014 
Orange County Crime Victims’ Monument Unveiling of Selected Design and Program

The Orange County Board of Supervisors and OC Parks invite you to a tribute to all crime victims. The event will commemorate National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and the winning design for the Orange County Crime Victims’ Monument will be announced.

April 7, 2014 
OC Crime Victims’ Monument Design to Be Unveiled Saturday

The public is invited to attend a program commemorating National Crime Victims' Rights Week on Saturday April 12, where the winner of the Orange County Crime Victims’ Monument Design Contest will be announced. The design competition was sponsored by the Orange County Board of Supervisors and OC Parks. The program begins at 10 a.m. at Mason Regional Park in Irvine.

March 28, 2014 
Navy Contractor Begins Stabilization and Assessment of Damaged Hangar

(March 28, 2014) – Work is currently underway on a project to assess a damaged roof section of the North Hangar at the former Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Tustin.

March 13, 2014 
Water Line Project May Affect Amenities

A critical water line replacement project at Caspers Wilderness Park is scheduled to begin in June 2014 and last until November 2014. During this time, amenities including flushing toilets, showers, and drinking water may be unavailable. Portable toilets and wash stations will be available throughout the park. For more information, please contact the park office at (949) 923-2210.

March 4, 2014 
Irvine Park Railroad Easter Eggstravaganza

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The Easter Bunny is coming to Irvine Park Railroad March 29 through April 19 for its annual Easter Eggstravaganza. Children and adults can ride the train through beautiful Irvine Regional Park. And, children ages 2 through 12 can participate in an Easter egg hunt. Each egg will be filled with candy or a prize.

February 11, 2014 
Mountain Lion Sightings Reported at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park

Recent mountain lion sightings at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in Foothill Ranch have prompted OC Parks to step up trail monitoring and post notification signs alerting park patrons to the activity.

February 7, 2014 
California History Education Program Public Day

March 8 take a trip back in time with Irvine Park Railroad’s 2014 Fourth Grade California History Education Program. This fun program – created by teachers, for teachers - is a hands-on learning experience and meets the State of California curriculum requirements for fourth grade history/social science. Parents and kids can experience this fun-filled field trip on this public day. Clik the link for details. By reservation only.

February 4, 2014 
Irvine Park Railroad’s 18th Anniversary Celebration 2014

Come celebrate Irvine Park Railroad’s 18th anniversary Feb. 22 and 23. They are rolling back prices to the original 1996 prices, including $2 train rides!

January 30, 2014 
Haster Basin, Recreation Park and Pump Station Project Grand Reopening

Feb. 15, come see the newly redesigned Haster Basin, Recreation Park and Pump Station Project, a hybrid of both flood control protection and parks and recreation amenities.

January 7, 2014 
Outerbridge Photo Exhibit Comes to Old OC Courthouse

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Recently discovered, dynamic, vibrant color images of California and Mexico taken during the 1940s and 1950s by the late visionary photographer Paul Outerbridge, who was considered “a master of color photography,” will be on display in an upcoming exhibit at the Old Orange County Courthouse.

Sponsored by OC Parks, Paul Outerbridge: New Color Photographs from Mexico and California, 1948-1955 comes to the historic courthouse’s third-floor gallery at 211 W. Santa Ana Blvd. in Santa Ana from January 13 through March 21. This is only the second time the collection has been exhibited in Southern California.

December 23, 2013 
2014 Salt Creek Beach Adult Surf Contest Schedule

  • Jan. 25-26: NSSA
  • March 29–30: WSA
  • June 14-16: NSSA Championships
  • Sept. 27: Cosmic Creek
  • Oct. 4–5: Battle of the Paddle
  • Nov. 22, 7 a.m.-4p.m.: Ritz – Surfing Santa
  • Dec. 13-14: Surfing America

December 23, 2013 
2014 OC Parks Annual Passes Now Available

OC Parks annual passes and decals offer convenient parking at your favorite regional and wilderness parks, as well as all County beach parks. Enjoy hiking, mountain biking, exploring, surfing or rest and relaxation in nature with simple pre-paid parking at all locations. An OC Parks Pass makes for the perfect gift for the outdoor and adventurous friends and family members in your life.

December 19, 2013 
Farmers Market Closed Until January

The certified farmers market at Irvine Regional Park will be closed Dec. 24 and 31 for the holidays. It will return Jan. 7, 2014.

For more information on the Orange County Farm Bureau's farmers markets, check their website.

November 5, 2013 
Mile Square Archery Range Grand Reopening

Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen and OC Parks host the much-anticipated grand reopening of the Archery Range at Mile Square Regional Park Nov. 23 at 10 a.m.

October 23, 2013 
Night Owl Hike

Friday, Nov. 8 come for a hike -- in the dark! Call or email for reservations.

October 23, 2013 
Hoot 'n Howling Night Hike

Take a hike after dark on Friday, Nov. 8. Call or email to register.

October 23, 2013 
Kids' Fishing Clinic

Kids can learn how to fish on Saturday, Nov. 16 from 7 to 11 a.m.

October 23, 2013 
Irvine Park Railroad’s 18th Annual Christmas Train

News ImageThe annual Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train starts Nov. 29 at Irvine Regional Park.

October 2, 2013 
2013 Red Ribbon Week

OC Parks has partnered with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) for the countywide Red Ribbon Week; free weekend entrance on October 5 & 6, 12 & 13, 2013 for students wearing a red Drug Use is Life Abuse wristband. Click the link for a full list of facilities participating.

September 17, 2013 
New OC Parks Director Selected

(Santa Ana, CA) – OC Community Resources Director Steve Franks announced Aug. 30 that Stacy Blackwood has been appointed as the new Director of OC Parks.

September 13, 2013 
Irvine Park Railroad’s 8th Annual Pumpkin Patch

News ImageIrvine Park Railroad’s eighth annual Pumpkin Patch is open daily Sept. 21 through Oct. 31. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, and until 6 p.m. weekends.

August 28, 2013 
OC Parks Welcomes Back NASA’s JPL Educational Series “Mars and Stars”

The first event in a three-part series will visit Upper Newport Bay on Saturday, September 14 with a special presentation on Dawn Mission.

August 26, 2013 
Hank Conger of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at the OC Zoo

On Saturday, September 7, at 11 a.m., Angels catcher Hank Conger will make a special appearance at the OC Zoo and all visitors wearing Angels gear will receive free admission. In addition, all visitors wearing Angels gear will get two-for-one rides on the train at Irvine Park Railroad. Both offers are good for the entire day.

July 2, 2013 
4th Annual OC Parks Sports Day

News ImageOn Saturday, July 20, OC Parks is pleased to present the fourth annual OC Parks Sports Day at Craig Regional Park in Fullerton 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

June 20, 2013 
Notice Inviting Bids - OC Parks Headquarters

OC Parks Headquarters Campus Plan Improvements - Historic Preservation at the Irvine Ranch Historic Park

June 4, 2013 
Ortega Highway Construction - Vehicle Length Limits Apply

Lanes on the Ortega Highway bridge over the I-5 freeway are reduced to two lanes in either direction in preparation for upcoming demolition activities on the south half of the bridge. Traffic near Caspers Wilderness Park may be impacted.

May 8, 2013 
OC Parks Presents the 2013 Summer Concert Series

News ImageOC Parks welcomes back its annual concert series. Thirteen free concerts will take place every Thursday night from 6 to 8 p.m. beginning in June and ending in August.

May 6, 2013 
Farmers Market Moves to Irvine Regional Park

News Image[MARKET CLOSED DEC. 24 AND 31] The Tuesday farmers market has moved from Irvine Ranch Historic Park to Irvine Regional Park.

April 11, 2013 
Orange County Crime Victims’ Memorial Site Unveiling and Inaugural Candlelight Vigil

The Orange County Board of Supervisors and OC Parks invite you to a tribute to all crime victims on Wednesday, April 24 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Mason Regional Park.

March 15, 2013 
Large Crowds Expected March 31

County regional parks are expecting large crowds on Sunday, March 31 due to two coinciding holidays.

Two of the busiest holidays each year – Easter and Persian New Year – both fall on March 31 this year. This will likely fill regional parks to parking capacity very early in the day. Once this happens, visitors must find other legal parking outside of the parks.

February 28, 2013 
St. Patrick's Day Events at OC Parks

News ImageGo green and celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day holiday with OC Parks. O’Neill Regional Park, Irvine Regional Park, OC Zoo and Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve are all presenting themed special events on March 17 to get you into the Irish spirit.

February 20, 2013 
Irvine Park Railroad's Upcoming Events

News ImageIrvine Park Railroad in Irvine Regional Park begins the New Year with some exciting family events.

February 15, 2013 
OC Zoo Loses a Friend

News ImageNacho, a much-loved 15-year-old black bear at the OC Zoo, died on Valentine's Day.

February 11, 2013 
Baby Beach Sand Closed

Sand area will be closed Friday, March 1.

February 4, 2013 
Project: Historic Preservation at Irvine Ranch Historic Park

OC Parks will be working on campus plan improvements at their headquarters inside Irvine Ranch Historic Park in Irvine.

On January 29, 2013, the Board of Supervisors approved the project’s plans and specifications, and the list of contractors who prequalified to bid on the preservation work. The Board authorized OC Parks to solicit bids per the attached notice inviting bids.

Click here for prequalified bidder information. Click here for a site plan.

January 14, 2013 
Overflow Parking Lot Closed for Construction

Mile Square Park’s overflow parking lot, located between the baseball fields and the archery range, is closed to pedestrian and vehicle traffic for approximatley three weeks.

December 13, 2012 
Habitat Restoration in Progress Until December 2013

OC Parks is currently working to remove approximately 25 acres of invasive Arundo vegetation along a 3.7 mile section of Aliso Creek. This project will also allow for re-propagation of existing native plants, improve water quality, and reduce the risk of flooding and fire. This is one of several projects to completely remove Arundo and other invasive plants from the Aliso Creek watershed.

December 5, 2012 
2013 Annual Passes Now Available

News ImageGive the gift of the great outdoors and join OC Parks in the coming New Year! 2013 OC Parks annual passes are now available for purchase.

December 5, 2012 
Trout Season at Laguna Niguel

News ImageRainbow trout is stocked every Tuesday at Laguna Niguel Lake.

November 7, 2012 
Holiday Events Come to OC Parks

News ImageTraditional crafts and carols, illumination displays, a tree lighting, special zoo event and the Christmas Train highlight the holiday season. These events bring alive the history and fun in OC Parks.