Craig Regional Park in Fullerton is in the most urban location of the regional parks I’ve visited. It’s right across the Imperial Highway near Brea Mall. On the weekday we visited, I observed many visitors in high heels or suits walk over to the park with their sack lunches. Once you are inside the gates, the mall and busy city streets fade away–the only reminder of the outside world is the whooshing sound of the 57 behind the soundwall. Many thanks to Lisa for recommending!
Location of Craig Regional Park in Fullerton: I took the 57 Freeway towards Brea and took the Yorba Linda Blvd. offramp. Turn right from the offramp onto Yorba Linda Blvd. and take your next right onto State College Blvd. Follow it quite a few scenic miles to the park entrance on your right (just before Imperial Highway). A more direct route would be to exit the 57 at Imperial Highway, make a left onto State College, and another quick left into the park entrance. Remember, this is a regional park so you need to have your annual pass or pay the fee. MAP to Craig Regional Park in Fullerton
Recommended by: Lisa (see italics for her tips)
- Very hilly and lush, lots of room to run around and roll in the grass
- Plenty of different play areas to choose from spread throughout the park
- Our favorite one is across the parking lot from the lake – my toddler runs back and forth from the play structure to the bridge and has a blast.
- With so much space to run around and plenty of picnic tables, it seems like it would be an awesome place for a birthday party.
- Let’s call Lisa’s favorite playground “Playground #1” (they don’t really have #’s). It’s at the back of the park. Follow the signs from the entrance. The bathroom is literally steps from the playground and there are shady picnic tables and picnic shelters. There are plenty of swings, an old-style dome jungle gym, 4 horse ride one toy, and two fun play structures with fast slides. It’s closest to the lake and bridge across the lake to the sports park.
- “Playground #2” is halfway back to the entrance. The bathroom is not as close here, but in the middle of the day the smaller structure was shaded. It’s a very big playground with red standing teeter-totters, ride on motorcycle toys, swings, and bright orange slides.
- “Playground #3” is right next to the nature center (open on weekends) and entrance. It’s more for smaller children. It just has one structure, limited parking, and no swings.
- Can be extremely busy around holidays and if there are lots of parties going on. Lots of people driving in circles trying to find a spot to park.
- Coyote territory! There is a sign posted way off to one end of the park that says “coyotes present” but I doubt they just stick to the area around the sign.
- Fee for parking. If you don’t have an annual pass – you should get one!
- Pay parking lots – $3 weekdays, $5 weekends, and $7-$10 on holidays.
- Drinking fountains and restrooms all over the park
- Very nicely raked sand play surfaces on the playgrounds
- Many shaded picnic shelters available for reservation or on first-come, first-served basis
- Grills paired with many of the picnic areas
- The Ted Craig Shelter is absolutely huge and it would be great for a big company picnic. Did you know the official OCParks.com site has a whole reservation system for the shelters? Here’s the link for reserving shelters at Craig and other OC Parks.
- For more information, link to the OFFICIAL OC Parks page for Craig Regional Park.
Originally published in October 2009.