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Tamarisk Park in Lake Forest

Tamarisk Park in Lake Forest

Tamarisk Park in Lake Forest is tucked up in the foothills above Trabuco.  The park was upgraded in Summer 2014 to remove the old-fashioned metal merry-go-round from “the olden days” when we were kids to a new Landscape Structures plastic spinner which looks reminiscent of a jacuzzi tub.  I wonder what will happen when it rains? The new park also has shade covers and a new restroom which are nice additions.

tamarisk park lake forest - view from above

The whole reason why I visited this park in the first place back in 2011, was because we were out exploring parks in Mission Viejo when I asked some moms for advice.  I love asking for advice!  I always get the best tips. 

This one moms says: “Oh, you have to try this park down the road that has an old-fashioned merry-go-round!”  It took me a while to figure out she was talking about the spinners from my childhood playground days.  Then we spent the next several minutes talking about how much fun we used to have on that particular piece of play equipment.

My kids don’t think the new version goes fast enough, but at least Lake Forest tried to preserve the idea!

tamarisk park lake forest - slides

Directions to Tamarisk Park in Lake Forest: From Interstate 405, take the Lake Forest exit and head towards the mountains.  Turn left at Trabuco and get in the right hand lane.   Make a right onto Peachwood.  Take Peachwood up the hill to where it almost ends and turn left on Tamarisk.  The parking lot is past the chain link fence on your right – or you can park up on the street and take the stairs down. [Address: 22001 Tamarisk, Lake Forest]  MAP TO TAMARISK PARK IN LAKE FOREST

tamarisk park lake forest - shaded treehouse play structure


  • I like parks that are not busy – and this one was deserted on our visit!
  • I always go to the is park right before sunset and the light is so beautiful and the place is so peaceful!
  • The spinner is definitely still a draw and the whole playground is designed like a treehouse
  • The playground is situated higher than the baseball fields/soccer/basketball court – but lower than the street – and has a beautiful view of Orange County at sunset. You can even see the Great Park orange balloon some days.
  • Large grouping of picnic tables near the parking lot (away from the playground). This used to be on grass, but now the tables are on decomposed granite.
  • Easy to see the kids and plenty of room to roam
  • Walk the path around the grassy area. Let the kids run, run, run!
  • A few benches at the playground
  • Bridges and rocks to climb
  • 2 bench swings, 2 baby swings, and a tire swing — plus two black stallions for riding
  • Nature connection: Wandering around the edges of this park is especially interesting.  We saw hawks, jays, and other birds in the brush outside the far end of the park. There are also lots of bunnies.
tire swing

Be Aware:

  • We were here on a baseball practice night, but no one was at the playground. Could be busy if games are scheduled here.
  • You might want to go with friends just for buddy system safety since the park isn’t really visible from street level (although there are homes above the park).


  • Dedicated parking lot
  • Play surface: bark
  • Restrooms are by the parking lot
restroom building

Checklist (continued):

  • Drinking fountain near the playground and near the picnic tables
  • New shade covers over the playground, plus shade trees at the edges and over the benches
  • Full basketball court, soccer field, baseball diamond, and new walking trail along the perimeter of the park
  • Large area of picnic tables with some shade from trees – but it’s very far away from the playground
  • Official City of Lake Forest park information for Tamarisk Park
  • Nearby public library: Foothill Ranch Library
picnic area

Nearby parks:

grassy hill at edge of playground

Originally published in August 2011.