O’Neill Regional Park (Coyote to Live Oak Trail)

Beautiful view of the trail near the parking lot

What a beautiful warm day it was after the rainstorm!  We were more than ready for a long hike but many of the trails were closed due to muddy conditions. We also started the hike later than usual so we only had enough time for a short hike. So we researched a bit and found O’Neill Regional Park, located at 30892 Trabuco Canyon Road, Trabuco Canyon, CA, 92678 or here

I love exploring new places! We were surprised by how dry this trail was…there were still some areas of wet dirt, but not too bad. Our first view and it was gorgeous; lots of towering trees and green everywhere!


This was the official map and we took the yellow highlighted route…approximately 3 miles

We headed for the nature center but unfortunately they were closed due to lack of volunteers. 😦 (One day I would like to volunteer for wonderful parks likes these! I’ll be sure to thank one of the volunteers the next time I see one at a nature center). The kids were disappointed as they pushed their faces into the glass doors looking in. Regardless, there were lots of pamphlets and ranger recommended hikes. We studied the map a bit and since it was getting warm already (high 70s/low 80s), we decided to do a nice short loop…round trip less than 3 miles. We initially wanted to go to Vista Point but weren’t sure if the kids would make it, but it’s nice that everything is connected. Live Oak Trail goes to Limestone Canyon and Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park; we’ve hiked those in the past year and they were breathtaking.  I will include posts on those hikes later.

This was the paved path from the parking lot to the trail heads.

We walked along this paved road for a bit until we got to the trail head. It was perfect for bicycling and we saw a young family riding their bikes around. Also, we saw quite a few people riding horses and they went up the same trail we did.


The trail quickly started ascending…up above the original paved path below

We walked single file along the trail and enjoyed all the green scenery. Rain is much needed and it definitely changes how everything looks for the better. (Can you imagine the blooms this Spring? I’m looking forward to it! But it could be especially tough for allergy sufferers). This part of the trail was shaded but it kept climbing up and up. The kids needed some help up going up steep steps especially with wet dirt beneath them in some spots, but otherwise it was a great workout. The air was so fresh and the temperature perfect. I was enjoying every moment of this hike.

This was such a good workout for the gluts! Kept climbing and climbing



Pretty soon we were out of the shaded part. Absolutely beautiful views but it felt hotter than what it really was with the sun directly overhead. My little one wanted to be carried and that was tough going up. Good thing we didn’t plan on going to Vista Point! Luckily we were almost at the junction of Coyote Trail and Live Oak Trail and we could enjoy the view there with a good snack.

Gorgeous! On the right side, there’s a track of new houses. I didn’t focus on that side as much in my photos
Taking it all in! 🙂
At the junction! Time for a well deserved rest and snack break.
This was the turn around. After this climb, it started going downhill and then things were shaded again.

After a well deserved nice snack, we started down the Live Oak trail. Again beautiful views all around, and the kids enjoyed seeing different native plants growing along the trails. There were occasional hikers and bikers that were also enjoying this trail.

Heading downhill
Fragrant blooms





It was a quick trip down Live Oak Trail. Before we knew it, we were almost back. We passed by a beautiful trail of towering trees.

This is so inspiring! Like a painting

A great short hike for a Sunday afternoon! Kids were happy to get out after being inside with the rain and this was so scenic as well. Grateful there is still so much beauty and nature close to everything. We will have to go back to explore the nature center and playground nearby (forgot!) and there are camping facilities that we will need to try out in the near future.

Thanks for reading this post!

Until our next adventure…


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