The Lifestlye Blog of "HaM"
The past couple of weeks have been so busy especially with Christmas and New Year’s being back to back, it was difficult to find time to relax between the holiday shopping and family visits. So, I scheduled a morning hike with one of my closest friends with kids at Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange County, California. Santiago Oaks is 1,269 acre park in the city of Orange that many mountain bikers, hikers, and equestrians frequent.I have not personally biked at Santiago Oaks yet, but plan to in the future so look forward to that post.
Today was all about family.
From our home, the park was a short, 15 minute drive off the 55 Freeway at Katella exit. Being that we had small children with us, we opted for the on-site parking which cost $5.00. We were given a map listing of all the various hikes. Since my friend had hiked there previously, he took the lead in choosing our hike with knowing how much a toddler can withstand.
From the parking lot, we went straight into the first hiking area which was a narrow, dirt path surrounded by trees, but so much where you’d be scared of animals lurking in the bushes.
Our son really enjoyed holding one of the many sticks and branches you can find along the path and drawing lines on the floor.
The path is easy and suitable for children, but strollers are not recommended since there are wooden steps to go up and lots of gravel and dirt paths. The incline is not difficult but it definitely is not stroller friendly. We put our 7 month old in an Ergo and it worked out fine.
A great resting area for the kids was at the half-way mark where they were rewarded with a fairly large pond and rocks on the ground that they can toss for fun. It felt like they could be entertained for hours throwing rocks and it gave us a good opportunities to sit and chat, because that’s what was best about the hike: being away from the busy city life and spending time with friends and family. Below are a couple pictures of the kids enjoying themselves while the adults made sure they didn’t know themselves into the pond. It was a windy day in Orange County with Santa Ana winds blowing so we made sure the kids did not blow into the water.
Once we finished our long break tossing rocks, we were greeted with more scenic hiking and nice features. The next portion of the hike featured a gravel trail with large rocks which was a nice change up. Here is a picture of my wife’s silhouette holding my son Hunter’s hand.
Next, we crossed a small stream by walking on man-made cylinder shaped steps. The kids had fun leap frogging from step to step and my friend’s daughter asked to go back and do it again.
Once we finished our hike, we headed over to the picnic area to snack on some sandwiches we brought with us. There were plenty of tables and lots of space for the kids to run.
Next to the picnic area, there was a small playground suitable for children ages two and up.
In all, we had a wonderful day at the park and look forward to doing it again soon. If you have any other parks or suggestions for us, feel free to leave a comment.
To learn more about Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange County, CA, please click here.