Hikes You Have to Try in Lake Forest
Orange County is full of beautiful communities with incredible architecture and technology. Cities are full of diverse communities and shiny buildings offering some of the best of modern civilization—but sometimes, we just need to go on a walk through nature!
Luckily for those in and around Lake Forest, nature is the name of the game. Lake Forest is a very new city, only being officially incorporated in 1991, but the region has a rich history of being a beautiful environment, from the trees to the lake and the wonderful parks. So, if you’re looking for a great hike to take, this is the place for you! Here are some hikes you have to try in and around Lake Forest.
For an intermediate trail that’s still got some kick to it, hikers will love Serrano Creek Trail. It runs 7km starting from the corner of Bake Parkway and Toledo Way and ending near the corner of Glenn Ranch Road and Portola. The trail is not shaded by trees and falls under direct sunlight, so make sure to take water, sunscreen, and other necessary items.
Dogs are welcome as long as they’re on a leash, but do be aware of your surroundings. The trail is shared by bikers and is also mountain lion and rattlesnake territory. The trail is always right between two major roads, however, so you’re never more than a quarter mile or so away from civilization.
Somewhat easier than the last trail, Aliso Creek Bikeway is fairly true to its name. This trail is also about 7km long and is quite popular among bikers and runners—and is probably better suited to them. If you’re looking for an easy path to get some mileage in, this is a great option. Dogs are welcome on a leash.
It isn’t the most scenic of routes, but it connects Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park with O’Neill Regional Park, and has plenty of benches along the way should you need a break or two. This path is also generally stroller friendly.
For a bit more of a climb and some more mileage, the 20k Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park path is a great option. There are plenty of nice downhills to help you relax and move quickly, but the uphills might leave you out of breath.
This is not a bike trail, so you shouldn’t run into a lot of traffic. There should be water available, however, as well as the opportunity to scope out some wildlife. Bunnies and deer can be found along the trail, but also mountain lions and rattlesnakes. Be careful!
At just over 23km, this is the longest trail on our list, but not terribly difficult either. It runs parallel to Arroyo Trabuco Trail and, even though it cuts through some pretty densely populated areas, it isn’t the most populated trail. If you’re looking for a nice hike with some solidarity, this is a great option.
Water is available from the water fountains at the bathrooms and the climb isn’t too bad. The way back is relaxing, too, since most of the trail back is a nice downhill. Expect to catch glimpses of rabbits, deer, snakes, coyotes, tarantulas, and even owls.
Lake Forest is a wonderful city with plenty of green spots to enjoy nature, the weather, and get away from the city for a bit! These are our favorite trails for hiking, but there are certainly other great options in and near the city. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know!
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