Taking a Laguna Niguel Lake walk is one of my new favorite pastimes. I’m no stranger to the park, but discovering the lake walk is pretty new to me. I always have my OCParks annual pass and frequent the main playground. There’s a sweet spot just before sunset when the park is gorgeous and not many people are there. I’ve written about various elements of Laguna Niguel Regional Park over the years, but the walk around the lake brings me lots of joy.
This map is a bit out of the way, along the sidewalk behind the entrance booth — but it does a good job of outlining your course around the lake which you can extend into a 3mi / 5K course or route.
Take a Laguna Niguel Lake Walk
Where to Park to Take a Laguna Niguel Lake Walk? I’m a bit of a fuddy-duddy when it comes to parking. I feel like if you are going to use the park, then PLEASE pay for parking to help support its upkeep. Okay, lecture over. Once inside the park, I like to start my walk from near the entrance. There is ample parking in multiple lots to the left and right of the entrance. As you are driving in, the lake is out of view on your left.
You’ll simply head up the sidewalk towards the lake and it will turn into a wide dirt path. In the spring, the hills are lush and green.
OCParks stocks this lake and fishermen are frequent visitors. You might also see a white pelican floating by, like the one above (different from the California Brown Pelicans you usually see at the beach).
Invasive mustard might also be spotted after winter rains. Not good for the native wildlife at all, but some humans like to take family photos near the yellow blossoms.
I like to look up and sometimes get rewarded with an Osprey taking a break from fishing for meals in the lake.
Once you get to the end of the dirt path on the La Paz Road side of the lake, you’ll cross a wooden bridge and continue your loop back towards the entrance.
OR you can go towards Crown Valley Community Park on the paved path. I haven’t taken this leg of the path yet, because it’s usually quite isolated. But I want to try to bike ride that way with the family.
You can either take the “low path” or the “high road” at this point.
The low path gets you very close to the water where you might have better luck spotting birds. I usually opt for walking above on the street to stay out of the way of the fishermen. Just be aware of cars on the road.
Depending on the time of year you go, the acacia might be blossoming? So you’ve been warned if you suffer from allergies! I love these blossoms because they remind me of a Dr. Suess book.
If you see some bare branches in the eucalyptus trees, you might spy some cormorants there. They also grab food in the lake and I think the large volume of their droppings kills off the vegetation on the trees. Luckily, most of the branches hang away from the walking path.
- Parking costs $3-$5 unless you have an OCParks annual pass (this is a good place to buy one!)
- Trail might be closed after rain – but if it is you can potentially walk the road around the park
- Restroom buildings by the playground and there is a portable toilet on the La Paz side of the lake and a more portables near the fishing area side
- OCParks updates their website with info on fish stocking schedules
More Laguna Niguel Regional Park Posts:
- Main playground — with fun playground VIDEO preview!
- Smaller playground near tennis courts
- Official Laguna Niguel Regional Park information from OCParks