Best Free Picnic Spots Nearby Orange County 2009 - Various locations on Carbon Canyon Road
But who the hell can afford to pay $3 to $7 for parking in these cash-strapped days? Drive farther into the canyon on Carbon Canyon Road, past Carbon Canyon Regional Park, and you can find several fine spots for picnicking—IF you keep your eyes and mind open. Adjacent to a mobile-home park is Samsung Presbyterian Church. If the Korean-American house of worship is open, check in at the office and take the nature walk behind the church that eventually leads to wooden steps rising up a small hill with a big white cross plopped on top. From there, views of the surrounding hills and deep canyons are stunning. Small benches allow for quiet reflection and munching. Prayer and yodeling are optional. Farther in along Carbon Canyon Road is Canyon Market, where a wide clearing and shade trees also afford space for a nice lunch and ogling of choppers lined up in the parking lot. Farther still is the Carriage Hills residential community. Take the entry road to where it ends, and you're surrounded by grassy spots with pleasing hill and canyon views. On your way out of the canyon, near Western Hills Golf and Country Club, the turn-out spaces on the north side of Carbon Canyon Road allow for several picnic options, although you'll likely be more comfortable if you stay in or on top of your ride. Choices include canyon, golf course or quiet neighborhood views, depending on which turn-out you choose.