Hiking in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park is a great escape

John Fredricks
Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park has 23 trails, both paved and dirt, offering "great escapes" for hikers and mountain bikers and other nature lovers (John Fredericks)

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park has 23 trails, both paved and dirt, offering “great escapes” for hikers and mountain bikers and other nature lovers (John Fredericks)

Yes, it’s good to have a routine involved around your educational plans, maybe even a minimum-wage-paying job. But let’s face it, it is easy to get fed up with that everyday agenda you are stuck in. We need an occasional spontaneous spike in this routine to help us appreciate life more.

With that said, may I welcome your gazing eyes to “the Quick Escape,” a bi-weekly travel and outdooring column established to provide ideas for eventful one or two day getaways. Let’s kick this off with something close by.

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park is a quick escape for Saddleback and Irvine Valley College students because the park is a less-than-30-minute drive from each campus. Even with today’s gas prices, it’s not a bad drive.

Whiting’s 4,300-acre layout features numerous bike and equestrian trials, hiking paths and panoramic views of north Orange County. Although this escape will require moderate physical activity, it can suit anyone’s outdooring pleasure. The park is very popular with mountain bikers because the area offers a variety of experience levels ranging from beginning to moderate trials.

If biking isn’t your fancy, lace up your trail shoes and go out for a walk in the woods. Pick a path to fit your preference on one of the park maps. Make sure you check out the great views Whiting has to offer as well. Most days you can see Catalina Island off in the distance.

Horses are allowed in certain parts of the park, so take your large, friendly pet with you if the steed is up for it.

Don’t let the mountain lion warning signs scare you too much. There have not been any attacks within this park to date.

Park maps are located throughout the park, including the dirt parking lot located off Glenn Ranch Road. Here you will pay a $4 fee for park usage – but not to worry, there are plenty of free parking spots in the surrounding areas.

This is a great quick escape for a student with long, lingering class gaps due to the closeness of the park’s proximity.  Enjoy!

Information about Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park is available on the OC Parks website.

 

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