Lying peacefully in east Orange alongside the Santiago Creek, the 1,269-acre Santiago Oaks Regional park is a nature lover's paradise. This secluded refuge offers hikers, bikers and equestrians the natural charm of mountain vistas, an orange grove, a meandering creek and a mature forest of many different species of trees. Wildlife abounds and a series of interconnecting trails leads through shady groves and to a lookout that features an awe-inspiring view of Orange and the surrounding foothills.
On March 11, 2007, a vegetation fire started near the Windy Ridge Toll Plaza of the 241 Toll Road. Fueled by heavy winds and dry vegetation, the fire spread in a southwesterly direction, burning 2,036 acres.
Starting in March of 2011, nearly 200 new coastal live oaks were planted at the park in a park restoration project that is also a mitigation measure being fulfilled by OC Waste & Recycling.
Santiago Oaks Regional Park provides the visitor with a sense of removal from the urbanized environment. The native plant life coupled with the specimen forest in the Rinker area provide an atmosphere of relaxation and serenity. The park has a series of interconnecting trails suitable for equestrians, hikers and mountain bikes. The park trails also provide access to the Anaheim Hills Trail System and offer spectacular views of northern Orange County.
The nature center, which opened in the summer of 1981, offers exhibits and programs on various natural history topics. Park Rangers provide a variety of interpretive activities including nature walks, slide programs and films. Group programs are provided for a nominal fee and must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance. Nature programs for the general public are conducted on weekends dependent upon staff and volunteer availability. Contact the park office for more information or click the link for Events and Programs.
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.
Many people enjoy celebrating July 4 at OC Parks, and with the holiday falling on a Saturday this year, even more people may visit. Planning your visit ahead of time and knowing the rules can help make for a more enjoyable holiday.
Most importantly, fireworks are not permitted at County parks on July 4 or any other day.
Expect increased crowds at parks, particularly regional parks. Parking lots may fill early, and once they do no additional vehicles will be permitted in the park. All shelters will be available only on a first-come, first-served basis and one person must be present at all times to hold the shelter. No reservations are accepted for July 4.
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.
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.
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.
Making Orange County a safe, healthy, and fulfilling place to live, work, and play, today and for generations to come, by providing outstanding, cost-effective regional public services.
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