Best Nature Trail (2007)

Trabuco Canyon Trail

You'll be handsomely rewarded, after driving through the unsightly OC suburban sprawl that clutters what were once acres of rolling hills, the moment you hit the tip of Cleveland National Forest. Once there, head toward our favorite trail, Trabuco Canyon, for one of the county's most serene hikes. Getting there is a little tricky, but worth it once you get past the bumpy Holy Jim trail entrance (not recommended for fragile cars). Only the beginning and end of the trail is shaded, but once you're well along the 2.6 mile jaunt, you'll be blissfully absorbed by wildflowers, huge sycamores, oaks and even an old gold mine filled with scurrying salamanders.

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