Wednesday, September 22, 2021
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Nature Center Opens at Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park

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A new 2,600 square foot visitor center is now open to the public at Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park in Laguna Niguel. 

The center was initially approved for construction in 2017 by the Orange County Board of Supervisors and was funded through a grant of $1 million from the California State Coastal Conservancy.

The goal of the visitor center is to provide an educational experience regarding local flora and fauna to park visitors. 

“There are audio excerpts on its cultural history, topographic maps with points of interest with buttons that light up suggested hikes and a lot of background information on plants and animals,” Orange County Park Ranger Bryan Valladares said to the OC Register.

The new center will also be used for large-scale nature presentations.

The Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park consists of 4,500 acres of wilderness and natural land. There are also over 30 miles of recreational trails for visitors to hike on. 

One of the most well-known hiking trails is the Car Wreck trail. It is relatively difficult and takes hikers into the Laguna Beach hills. The longest hiking trail in the park is a shady, flat trail that passes through Wood Canyon.

Other park amenities offered by the park include bird watching, scenic overlooks and bird watching.

Native flora in the region include mature oaks, sycamores and elderberry trees. The park is also home to many endangered and vulnerable animal species, including the North American racer, northern flicker, belted kingfisher and Cooper’s hawk. 

The park opens at 7 a.m. daily and closes by sundown. Visiting the park is free to the public, with a $3 parking fee. 

Henry Lopez is a City News intern for the spring 2021 quarter. He can be reached at