O'Neill Regional Park's 4,500 acres are situated in beautiful Trabuco and Live Oak Canyons. The park is heavily wooded with coast live oak and sycamore trees. The hillsides surrounding the park are filled with cactus, wild buckwheat, sagebrush and chaparral of scrub oak, buckthorn and mountain mahogany. Trabuco and Hickey Creeks also meander through the park, flowing in winter and early spring, dry in summer and fall.
The park serves both as an overnight camping and day use/picnic facility.
Picnic areas vary in size and are available on a first come, first served basis or by reservation. Barbeques and picnic tables are available throughout the park. Call the park for more information.
More than 23 miles of scenic trails can be explored by foot, bicycle or horseback. Other day use activities include horseshoe pits, two large community turf areas and a children’s playground.
The Arroyo campground offers 79 campsites varying in size to accommodate RVs or tent camping for up to eight people per site. Reservations for individual sites can be made online, by phone or in person. The park offers eight large group campsites for parties of 17 or more and five equestrian campsites, each equipped with horse corrals, barbeques and fire pits. Reservations for groups of 17 or more can be made by calling the park office at (949) 923-2260.
Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park and closed areas of O’Neill Regional Park reopened Tuesday following closures Friday, Sept. 23 due to multiple mountain lion sightings in the area.
OC Parks rangers and game wardens from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife continued their investigations throughout the weekend and found no further evidence of mountain lion activity in either park. State wildlife officials recommended Tuesday that the parks resume regular operations at that time.
Both parks reopened, but visitors are advised to remain alert to potential hazards in these parks and whenever visiting wilderness areas.
Rangers at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park received three reports of mountain lion sightings at the park on Monday, Sept. 19. Rangers and game wardens investigated all the sightings. Rangers have placed warning signs at the park and continue to patrol the area.
Visitors to all wilderness areas should always remain alert to potential hazards and report any sightings to the park office at (949) 923-2245.
Significant traffic on unauthorized trails has caused damage in the Ladera Ridge (Las Flores) area of the park. This area is closed, and in the interest of protecting the valuable natural resources found on both County and the Rancho Mission Viejo Reserve, measures will be taken to prevent further destruction.
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