For those of us who live in North Tustin, Peters Canyon Regional Park is a great place to stroll. With 4-5 miles of trails, you have your option of walking it, running it, biking it, horsebacking it, or even painting it. (If you’re a painter, join the group that paints on canvas by the edge of the reservoir.) Don’t come here to get away from the City (many of my neighbors are here at any given time), and don’t expect stellar views (there are too many backyard pools to peek into). Do, however, come here if you happen to live nearby, need to walk your dog, and would like to get some fresh air in. If you’re not into “Disneyland Hikes,” (i.e. crowded), don’t come during “Disneyland Hours,” which are weekend mornings and afternoons. Britta’s dog-friendly assessment: four paws up.
A view of the Reservoir from the Lake View Trail at sunset on Valentine’s Day. In the picture: my three Valentines.
Valentine’s Day. I skipped out of work just in time to make a sunset stroll around the Lake View Trail. In the 30 minutes or so it took for us to complete the loop, we crossed paths with three other people. Maybe it was Valentine’s Day… maybe it was a Tuesday evening, but the fact that the park was DESERTED made it quite romantic. And the sunset made it quite beautiful. Some pictures below:
The reservoir from the parking lot at sunset.
The girls getting antsy to start their walk. Only slightly wound up.
Coneflower, replanted cactus, and a willow branch along the Lake View Trail.
A view of the Reservoir from the top of the Lake View Trail.
Our visit on February 11, 2012:
I came here with a girlfriend to get a quick workout in before going to the open house at Blackmarket Bakery in Irvine. The way we saw it, we could eat more pastries if we pre-burned some calories.
Along the Willow Trail.
Willow Trail. The trail of black-willow trees was opened today so we strolled through it. (The forest here provides a nesting habitat for the endangered least Bell’s vireo.) After the birds have raised their young, they migrate to Mexico for the winter. Note: The Willow Trail is closed from March 15 to September 15 to allow the birds to breed undisturbed.
The Lakeview Trail, east of the Reservoir.
The Lakeview Trail, north of the Reservoir.
A runner on the Lakeview Trail, east of the Reservoir.
Lakeview Trail. You really don’t come here for the view. Any direction you look, you’re surrounded by rooftops, swimming pools and tennis courts. On the bright side, the reservoir/water feature is nice, and flowers off the trail add color to your walk.
The eucalyptus forest between the Peters Canyon Trail and Easte Ridge View Trail.
Peters Canyon Trail. This place was named after James Peters, a farmer who planted eucalyptus trees in the lower part of this canyon while the property was under lease to James Irvine. The eucalyptus forest isn’t something you’ll see in most wilderness areas because these trees were imported from Australia during the Gold Rush era. The original purpose to provide quick-growing lumber for railroad ties, but due to weak sapwood in the younger trees, this ended up being a complete bust. Dubbed “gasoline trees” by firefighters, these trees have been known to explode in fires, and as a result are seldom planted anymore.
Our visit on January 22, 2012:
Dogs in the flowers.
I loved that I caught a bee on the flower. So for now, this is the official Trailing Friday header photo.
Free parking. We parked the car on the street at the south end of the park… and thought we were uber cool by bypassing the $3 park fee… until the ranger wouldn’t let us onto the trail. Evidently, after a rain (and this was the day after one), the trails are closed. Who knew? So we strolled around for a bit and got back in the car.
We’ll be back soon, because this is considered our “home” trail.
Kim and the gang
- Afoot and Afield in Orange County, Jerry Schad (Santiago Creek / Anaheim Hills, Trip # 7)
- 50 Hikes in Orange County, Jerry Schad (Peters Canyon Loop, Trip # 21)
Other Recommended Reading:
- Brian and Ashley’s Hiking Blog (April 2011): Peters Canyon Regional Park
- Nobody Hikes in LA (March 2011): Peters Canyon East Ridge Loop
- Greene Adventures (January 2010): Peters Canyon East Ridge View Trail (we hiked this with the Greene’s in 2010 and are in some of their photos)