Another Hidden Hike: Mentally Sensitive Trail

Start out on this moderately difficult 4-mile hike walking northwest on a paved ridgeline fire road (Aswut Trail), which has some of the county’s best vistas. Undeveloped Aliso Canyon lies on one side and on the other you’ll have expansive views down into Laguna Beach and the ocean. Then dip into the park via its least-known entrance.

Hidden Hikes: Black Star Falls

Black Star Canyon has a reputation as a haunted spot, but it really should be known for its spectacular seasonal waterfall. The 6½-mile hike is glorious, but strenuous. It entails following the creek bed, wading through water, dodging poison oak, and climbing a couple of boulders. From the parking area, follow the paved road for half a mile, then turn right onto the dirt road.

Seven First Date Ideas in Orange County

1. Take a HikePart of Crystal Cove State Park, El Moro Canyon is an undeveloped valley east of Newport Coast that offers miles of trails leading to stunning ocean views. (All-day parking is $15.) Opt for a relatively easy 3½-mile outing, or the more arduous 8-mile trek. Afterward, treat yourselves to lunch or dinner at The Beachcomber just steps from the sea. Need other trail options? Our October “Great Hikes” issue has nine more. Check them out at Crystal Cove State Park, 871 N. Coast Highway, 949-494-3539; The Beachcomber, 15 Crystal Cove, 949-376-6900,

8 Garden Parks in Laguna Beach Perfect For Taking a Summer Stroll

Meander through Orange County’s most famously verdant city.

An O.C. Hike That Will Make You Feel Like You’re in Arizona

A relatively easy out and back trail that's great for the whole family.

7 Cool O.C. Summer Trails to Do With the Whole Family

Spring hikes in Orange County are a breeze, but summer outings require more planning. High temperatures, strong sunlight, dry brush, and snakes are your...

State Park Escapes: Parks here at home

Save money! Get a discount for Moro Cove Campground at Crystal Cove State Park until March 18. Sunday through Thursday is 40 percent off, and...

Los Pinos Peak Hike

One of the tallest summits in Orange County.

The Birds of Orange County

Ranger and I were passing through Tucson that afternoon during monsoon season. Sheets of rain. Pounding thunder. The frightened beagle-husky-Chihuahua crawled into my lap....

Best of 2015: Q&A with Virginia Webber

Q&A with Virginia Webber, volunteer trail guide for the Irvine Ranch ConservancyWhy a guided hike? It’s a really wonderful entry into the open space. We...