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Aliso & Wood Canyons Regional Park
This park offers a nice variety of beginner through advanced rides, and is perfect for introducing the first time off-roader to the joys of the sport. Try Sycamore Run for the virgin rider. For the advanced rider, try Cholla/Rock-It or Cholla/Mathis. Wildlife abounds here. Bobcats, snakes, hawks and many more visitors frequently share the trail.



Information, Rides and Parks:
Cholla-Mathis LoopRide, Intermediate, Loop, Off-road, Distance: 10.0 miles, Gain: 950 feet
Sycamore RunRide, Easy, Out/back, Off-road, Distance: 6.0 miles, Gain: 300 feet
Wood Canyon, up Cholla, down Rock-ItRide, Intermediate, Loop, Off-road, Distance: 11.0 miles, Gain: 800 feet
Directions:
To reach the park from Interstate 5, take the Alicia Parkway exit, proceed west (approximately 4 miles). 1/4 mile past Aliso Creek Road is AWMA Road, turn right crossing over a bridge; parking is on your left.

Parking:
Dirt parking area

Fees:
$2.00, requires exact change in an envelope

Water:
None

Facilities:
Port-a-potties at entrance and ranger station 1 mile in

Address:
Parking 1,000 feet south of Aliso Creek Road and Alica Parkway, Laguna Niguel

Phone:
(949)923-2200

Additional Park Info:
HISTORY
Aliso Creek formed the boundary line between two modem day Indian tribes, the Juaneņo and the Gabrieleņo. Since the time of the Portola Expedition, this land, originally part of the 1842 Rancho Niguel Mexican Land Grant, served as a sheep and cattle ranch. Lewis F. Moulton came into possession of Don Juan Avila's 13,000 acres. By the turn of the century he and his partner Jean Pierre Daguerre added another dimension to their holdings, leasing thousands of acres for raising barley and beans. The death of Daguerre in 1911 and Moulton in 1938 led to the management of the rancho by their wives and heirs of these pioneer families. Portions of the ranch were sold in the 1960s which are now Leisure World, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel and Aliso Viejo. In April of 1979 the Mission Viejo Company made an offer of dedication of 3,400 acres to the County of Orange in keeping with the County's Master Plan of preserving open space, now "Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park." Other major dedications were made by AVCO Community Developers (493 acres), Shapell Industries (25 acres), Laguna Sur (147 acres). In addition the County of Orange purchased other parcels of land including the 90-acre Hobert McCaslin acquisition. The City of Laguna Beach purchased 727 acres in upper Wood Canyon and the Moulton Meadows area.

PALEONTOLOGICAL/ARCHAEOLOGICAL HISTORY
Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park features many interesting geological formations, and is a storehouse for both archaeological and paleontotogical sites. Perhaps the best example of marine fossils in south Orange County is within the northeastern section of the park.

Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park features 3,879 acres of scenic canyons, rock formations, oak woodlands, fresh water marsh and tranquil creekside riparian communities. This semiwilderness park provides trail use for hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians. Other popular activities include bird watching, nature study and photography. A wide variety of native wildlife and plants inhabit the park including some 91 species of birds.

This expansive park sits at the south end of the Laguna Greenbelt. Its canyons harbor a pastoral feel unmatched in Orange County. Favored with petroglyphs etched by native people, Aliso & Wood Canyons are natural wonders still to be enjoyed.

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Aliso & Wood Canyons Regional Park
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Last updated: Friday, January 13, 2005