Oso Lovely

Hiking Orange County's Oso Creek Trail

Murals, mosaics, and a charming maze meet fall colors on a 2-mile loop hike in Orange County’s Oso Viejo Community Park. Starting on Oso Creek Trail, head toward the village green, passing grassy fields, public workout machines, and festive murals. Descend the stairs and cross the bridge over the soothing sounds of the creek, following signs for the hedge maze to the left. You’ll quickly enter a peaceful riparian corridor with a prominent grove of coast live oaks along the trail. Shortly after, towering California sycamores currently painted in gorgeous fall colors shade the path.

After passing a community-built peace obelisk honoring 9/11 victims, you’ll reach the Victorian-influenced hedge maze with stepping-stones endearingly painted by local children. After you’ve found your center, continue for 0.25 mile (passing a butterfly garden that’s far more active in spring) and cross over the next bridge. On the other side is a mosaic path with stunning columns made from recycled glass. Continue to the right until reaching a sharp left, veering uphill. Take this path, passing a school playground filled with adorable bear statues (Oso Viejo means “old bear” in Spanish) before returning to your staring point. Oso good.

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To get to Oso Viejo Community Park, take the I-5 to the La Paz Rd. exit and head east. After 1.5 miles, turn left onto Veterans Way, which runs right into the community center parking lot. Walk behind the buildings and find the sign for Oso Creek Trail. Dog-friendly!

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