Edna Spaulding Nature Trail (P.O.I.)

Trip Date: 12/24/2013

Location: O'Neill Regional Park

Permit/Pass: Day use ($5), O.C. Parks Annual Pass ($55).

Trails: OC Parks MapGTN Mileage Map

Directions: From the 241 Toll Road take Santa Margarita Parkway east for a bit over a mile before coming to Plano Trabuco Road. Turn left here and follow the road as it narrows and turns west, becoming Trabuco Canyon Rd. Drive 1.8 miles to the entrance to O'neill Regional Park, just after the road takes a sharp bend to the north. After passing the pay station, turn right and follow the road back to the Live Oak Day Use area. There is parking here, and the trailhead is at the northwest corner of the area.

Trail sequence: Edna Spaulding Nature trail 

Type: Balloon loop

Distance: 1.0 miles

Elevation: Min. - 787', Max. - 1092'


Rating: Easy-Moderate (factors: rocky trails, steep sections)

Synopsis: This isn't your run-of-the-mill, great-for-Grandma-and-the-baby nature trail. This one, which travels through very pretty coastal sage habitat, gains decent elevation fairly quickly and traverses some quite rocky sections. There are numbered markers that are explained by little pamphlets picked up (and hopefully returned) at the beginning of the trail.


Edna Spaulding Nature Trail - O'neill Regional Park

Turn by turn:

  -- Begin by sliding around the gate and walking up the road, where very quickly a couple of trail split off to the left. The first one is the Edna Spaulding Nature trail (the one that immediately ascends is Live Oak trail). Take the first left and grab a pamphlet out of the box if you're going to do the interpretive walk. Number one is off the left side of the fork in the path that you come to in a few yards.

  -- At the first marker, the trail turns left (west) and ascends the hillside. This path turns south, then back to the north as it continues to climb, eventually paralleling a fence-line.

  -- After about a third of a mile you reach to top of your climb and a bench. Here the trail turn back to the southeast and descends all the way to the trailhead, where you'll turn right (south) to return to your car.


Photo Gallery: Flickr