4 Historical Trails in Orange County

Photograph by Emily J. Davis

The Olinda Oil Museum Trail, Brea
Located deep in the hills of Brea, this trail is a walk through history. The museum nearby showcases antique oil operation tools, the original Olinda oil well, and an old field office. The 12-acre park pays tribute to the industry that helped the city establish itself. The 2-mile loop crosses bridges, climbs hills, and drops into a shady canyon, making it perfect for a relaxing stroll. Go far enough and there’s another vintage oil well. At the top, you can spot Carbon Canyon Dam, Chino Hills State Park, and sometimes even Catalina Island. Just keep an eye out for rattlesnakes, especially on warm days.

Wagon Wheel Canyon Loop Trail
City: Trabuco Canyon
Distance: 2.7 miles, loop
Surface: Natural
Details: Stay cool under the shade of oak woodlands and stop to admire the display of Studebaker wagons, which played a role during Westward Expansion, California’s Gold Rush, and the Civil War.

Tustin Branch Trail
City: Tustin
Distance: 2.8 miles, out and back
Surface: Natural
Details: Take your dog on this neighborhood walk that traces a former railway line corridor that served the county’s local citrus and agriculture industry from the late 1800s to the mid-1950s.

Santiago Creek Trail
City: Orange
Distance: 7.6 miles, out and back
Surface: Natural and paved
Details: This multiuse trail passes through many points of interest, including the site of the first orange grove in the city (planted in 1872).

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