Looking for stroller-friendly walks around lakes in Orange County? We surprisingly have more lakes than you’d expect!
Before smart watches and FitBits, I would get requests to map distances of popular walks. That’s not really the purpose of this post – more helping you find some walks by the water that work with strollers.
All distances are approximate.
Remember – it’s NEVER okay to feed the wildlife. Please, please, please refrain from feeding ducks. We may have done it as kids, but it’s been proven to be very unhealthy for the ducks and for the environment.
Also, be aware that many of the lakes encourage waterfowl to hang out and so there may be a lot of droppings on the sidewalks or around the route. It’s better some times of year vs. others – so just have a Plan B in mind if you encounter it. I also like to report to the city so they can be aware of the issue when it happens (take pictures!).
Lake Walks in Orange County
Lake Mission Viejo
I was so excited the first time I took this walk, but there is really only one stretch along Alicia where you can actually SEE the lake. The rest of it is along the busy streets of Alicia, Olympiad, and Marguerite. However, it’s a good hike with some elevation so it’s popular with those exercising.
- Route around Lake Mission Viejo
- Distance = 3.2 miles
- Nearest playgrounds:
Rancho Santa Margarita Lake
Rancho Santa Margarita Lake is managed by SAMLARC. The sidewalk winds all the way around the lake. Be on the lookout for turtles and waterfowl.
- Route around Rancho Santa Margarita Lake
- Distance = 1 mile
- Nearest public playground:
Woodbridge Lake (North Lake in front of Woodbridge Shopping Center in Irvine)
This is one of my favorite sidewalk hikes. I always see turtles and some really cool birds when I walk this loop. Plus, Woodbridge Village Shopping Center is at the beginning and end of this loop so you can get a coffee or have a meal.
- Distance = 1 mile
- Route around Woodbridge Lake
- Read my blog post all about the play structure and restaurants at Woodbridge Village Shopping Center
Heritage Park Lake in Irvine – Lake Loops
The lake at Heritage Park is a feature of the park so it’s not quite as big as the ones I’ve mentioned.
- Distance of Lake Loop = .22 miles Route around Heritage Park Lake in Irvine
- Distance of Longer Loop = .57 miles Route around Heritage Park Longer Loop
- Read my blog post about Heritage Park in Irvine
Tri-City Park Lake in Placentia
- Distance of inner circle = .6 miles Route for INNER LOOP
- Distance of the outer circle = .9 miles Route for OUTER LOOP
- My blog post about Tri-City Park in Placentia
Mile Square Regional Park (2 lakes) Fountain Valley – Pay entrance fee
- Combine any of the routes to make for a longer walk.
- Small Lake Loop = .31 miles Route for Small Lake Loop
- Palm Island Lake Loop = .57 miles Route for Palm Island Lake Loop
- Walk from Lake-to-Lake = 2.7 miles (out and back) Route for Lake-to-Lake Route
- My blog post about Mile Square Regional Park and the Mile Square Park Nature Area
Huntington Beach Central Park
- Library and Lake Loop = 1.42 miles Route for Library & Lake Loop
- Lake and Shipley Nature Center Loop = 1.42 miles Route for Lake & Shipley Loop
- Read my post about Huntington Beach Central Park which has maps to get a great understanding of potential walking routes
Walnut Canyon Reservoir Loop Anaheim
- Distance = 2.1 miles
- Route around Reservoir
- Official City of Anaheim page for Walnut Canyon Reservoir
Yorba Regional Park Lakes Loop Anaheim – Pay entrance fee
- Distance = 1.58 miles
- Route for Lakes Loop
- My blog post about Yorba Regional Park with playground information
Craig Regional Park Fullerton – Pay entrance fee
- Distance = 1.38 miles (Route for Loop around Craig Regional Park)
- My blog post about Craig Regional Park with playground information
More routes to be added:
- Clark Regional Park (Buena Park)
- Carbon Canyon Regional Park (Brea)
- Irvine Regional Park (Orange)
- Mason Regional Park (Irvine)
Originally published in July 2014.