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O'Neill Regional Park

O‘Neill Regional Park is located in  Trabuco Canyon along the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. The park was established in 1948 by the O‘Neill family who donated the first 248 acres. Throughout the years, the park has increased in size through various donations and today it’s 3,321 acres.  The park offers overnight camping with plenty of campsites, bathrooms and even hot showers. The day use fees are a reasonable  $2.00 M-F and $4.00 on the weekends.  Enough of the background, the mountain biking here is what we are most interested in and yes it has that too. This was my first time to the park so unfortunately the biking review is limited but first impressions are always  important and they are very good!  There are plenty of fire roads, stream crossings, hill climbs and even a sprinkling of single track. Put all of this in a beautiful canyon filled with Oaks,  Sycamores and green meadows and you have a true Biking Destination!

(Click thumbnail for larger view. Click the "X" in right top corner to close the window)

A nice vista.  But as you will see on the next pic that development is all around.  There is even a golf course either in or next to the park so you can get in 18 after the ride.

At least these are nicely designed and up high.   

This is the start of the Arroyo Trabuco Trail. The trail starts out a little sandy but  firms up nicely. The trail is mostly double track and fire road for the first 3 miles  but then gets interesting as you enter an Oak groove for the last mile of the trip. There are several small stream crossings so plan on getting a tad wet.  I'm sure glad I bought that rear mud guard.  This trail must get real interesting after a heavy rain.

This stream actually crosses the Tijeras Creek Trail but since it's the only stream picture I took, this is  as good as any place for it.

The Arroyo Trabuco Trail starts out uneventful but soon there will be some nice tight twisting single track.  Riding on the weekend must be a challenge since this is a two-way trail.

The park has a variety of incredible Oak trees which makes it very popular for photographers and hikers. 

You can look but you can't touch!

That's about it.  I only rode the Arroyo Trabuco Trail and then instead of coming back the same way I took the Tijeras Creek Trail which was a mistake since it's mainly fire road.  I ended up on Antonio Parkway trying to figure out how to get back to the park entrance.  Next time, I will try the Live Oak Trail but that will be another adventure.  Make sure to pick up a trail guide at the ranger station and do your homework on the trail layout since it's a little confusing the first time.   This park has huge potential and I know there are many fun trails but that's the fun of mountain biking, sometimes you have to earn it!

For more info click here.

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