Orange County is home to much more than a few roller coasters and professional sports teams. The county is decorated by parkland and natural preserves, much of which is accessible and brimming with dog-welcoming trails. Well-disciplined pet owners and their well-meaning dogs are invited to explore and enjoy the great, if unexpected OC outdoors.
Laguna Beach Dog Park
20672 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92652
Three miles inland from the Pacific Coast Highway you will find the beautiful, historic Laguna Canyon. A tree-lined creek bed and the Laguna Coast Wilderness preserve beckon walkers and their well-behaved pets. Leash laws are strictly enforced in California state parks, so if you relish a bit of freedom during your walk, follow Route 133 to Laguna Beach Dog Park. The dedicated dog park itself is vast with plenty of space for running, fetching and cutting loose. Dogs are allowed to run free in the park, though must be leashed entering and exiting the park and while walking the surrounding area. The park is open from dawn until dusk every day except Wednesday, when it is closed for maintenance.
Huntington Beach Trail
103 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
From Huntington State Beach to Bolsa Chica is three miles of safe, well-maintained, wholly accessible pathways. This beautiful, potentially lengthy walk offers up as much exercise and inspiration as you and your pets desire. Dogs are allowed on the multi-use trail. The trail is designated multi-use so you will have to contend with bikers, hikers and walkers who may not understand how cute and friendly you think your dog is, so your pet must be leashed and controlled at all times. Do not stray from the trail or parking lot. Dogs are not permitted on Huntington State beaches at any time.
Irvine Regional Park
1 Irvine Park Road
Orange, CA 92869
The city’s most recognizable public land is also its most welcoming. Whether you, or your dogs, favor grassy parkland or sylvan woods, Irvine Park provides an ideal setting to walk about with your hounds and unwind. Stroll across a sprawling lawn, circumnavigate a lake or skirt a ravine, you and your pets will benefit greatly from the serenity, variety and opportunity. Irvine Park is home to an abundance of skittish wildlife as well as several miles of equestrian tails, so please keep dogs leashed in all areas for the duration of your visit.
Related: Best Dog Walking Services In OC
Corona Del Mar State Beach
3100 Ocean Blvd.
Newport Beach, CA 92660
One of the most breathtaking dog walking areas is also the most restrictive. If you can follow the rules, the reward is an ideal ocean paradise for you and your best friend. Dogs are allowed on the beach, with a leash, either before 10 a.m. or after 4:30 p.m. The city of Newport Beach is explicit that the person charged with the control of any animal on the beach be in possession of a doggy clean-up paraphernalia and be “competent to restrain the dog.” Definitions of competency vary, but do try to err on the side of caution.
Yorba Regional Park
7600 E. La Palma
Anaheim, CA 92807
Who says Anaheim is only fun for kids? Located conveniently right in the heart of the OC, the grass-covered oasis of Yorba Regional Park is a welcome respite for the road and pavement weary. One mile in length, and 140 acres in total, Yorba Park is abundant and pleasing to the eye and canine. Trails “meander” all throughout the park for use by cyclists and pedestrians, as well as dog walkers. Dogs are required to remain leashed at all times.
Related: Best Off-Leash Dog Areas In OC
Christopher Schmidt is a freelance writer experiencing and espousing the glory that is Orange County. Driven to travel, drawn to sports, spirits and celebrity, Chris’ work can be found on