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May 16 Marks Opening for Parks, Camping & Parking Lots

Orange County is reopening over 60,000 acres of regional and wilderness parks along with camping on May 16 after a two-month long shut down.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to reopen parking lots across the county this weekend with the exception of beach parking lots which will remain closed.

Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do stated in a Press Release “Many Orange County residents do not live within walking distance of a park, especially our seniors and disabled residents,” said Vice Chairman Andrew Do, First District Supervisor. “Now all residents have the opportunity to access County parks while adhering to social distancing guidelines.”

Beaches

Orange County beaches are open for recreational activities with the exception of Thousand Steps in Laguna Beach. Beach parking will remain closed and some beaches have implemented a curfew.

Beaches opened May 6 under phase two of The County of Orange Beach Re-Opening Plan.

Orange County beaches that are open for recreational use according to OCGov.com:

  • County Beaches in South Laguna Beach (Aliso, Table Rock, West, Camel Point and Treasure Island beaches):  6 a.m. until 10 a.m. weekdays only. Closed weekends.
  • Thousand Steps Beach open but access way and restroom are closed.
  • Capistrano and Poche Beaches: 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.
  • Salt Creek and Strands Beaches: 5 a.m.-12 a.m. daily.
  • Baby Beach: 5 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.
  • Bayside Beach (at Newport Harbor Patrol) – 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.

While county beaches are open, only permitted activities will be allowed.

  • Permitted: Non-stationary activities like walking, running, swimming, surfing, paddling, boating, kayaking, etc.
  • Not Permitted: Sunbathing; building sandcastles; bringing coolers, umbrellas, grills, etc.; volleyball, spikeball and other group activities.

Camping & Fishing

Campsites at O’Neill Regional Park and Caspers Wilderness Park will reopen for camping this weekend.

Campsites will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and reservations are not being accepted at this time. Campsites will be limited to allow for social distancing and be spaced out accordingly.

Irvine Lake will be opening this weekend as well to allow fishing and parking.

Michelle Steel, Orange County Supervisor, said, “Public health and safety continue to be the County’s top priority,” said Chairwoman Michelle Steel, Second District Supervisor. “By opening up our regional and wilderness park parking lots, residents will be able to enter County parks directly and have easy access to healthy family activities.”

Parks

Orange County regional and wilderness parks are being opened for recreational use on Saturday, May 16. Restrooms will reopen at parks starting Saturday as well.

“The physical and mental health of the Orange County community is important to me, and I believe it’s time we start to get back to normal,” said Orange County Supervisor Donald Wagner in a press release. “Opening the parking lots so residents can spend time in our regional parks is the right thing to do.”

Below is a list of parks that will be opening:

  • Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park
  • Carbon Canyon Regional Park
  • Caspers Wilderness Park
  • Clark Regional Park
  • Craig Regional Park
  • Irvine Regional Park
  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
  • Laguna Niguel Regional Park
  • Mason Regional Park
  • Mile Square Regional Park
  • O’Neill Regional Park
  • Peters Canyon Regional Park
  • Riley Wilderness Park
  • Santiago Oaks Regional Park
  • Tri-City Regional Park
  • Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
  • Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park
  • Wieder Regional Park
  • Yorba Regional Park
Photo by: Kristen Wilcox

What’s Closed

Orange County is leaving high-touch and inside facilities closed during quarantine. Playgrounds, picnic areas, nature centers, interior facilities and historical parks will remain closed.

Below is a list of active closures:

  • All public events, programs and activities canceled.
  • Playgrounds are closed.
  • OC Parks Headquarters is closed.
  • Park Offices at Carbon Canyon, Clark, Craig, Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Mason, Mile Square, Santiago Oaks and Yorba regional parks are closed.
  • The Nix Nature Center at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park is closed.
  • The Muth Interpretive Center at Upper Newport Bay is closed.
  • The Interpretive Center at Clark Regional Park is closed.
  • The archery range at Mile Square Regional Park is closed.
  • All nature centers at regional parks are closed.
  • Arden: Helena Modjeska Historic House and Gardens are closed.
  • Irvine Ranch Historic Park is closed except for Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the Farmers Market.
  • Old Orange County Courthouse is closed.
  • We are suspending new reservations, permit requests and annual pass sales.
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May 16 Marks Opening for Parks, Camping & Parking Lots