One of my favorite hiking spots in Orange County is the Newport Back Bay. It has all the best things I look for in a place to take a hike with Cash. It has a view of the bay, places where there’s great incline, 10.5 mile loop, sites of beautiful houses, and you can take your dog on all the trails!
When you take your dog to the Back Bay be prepared for the other animals. There’s a lot of dog walkers and people on horses. Apparently there are rattle snakes and bobcats but I have never even seen one in all the years I’ve been hiking there. There are some raccoons, coyotes (especially around dusk and dawn), rabbits, nearly 200 species birds, and lots of rodents and harmless gopher snakes. There’s nothing to be worried about if you do see any of these animals.
Some of the rules of having your dog with you in the Back Bay is that the dog is required to be on leash, although I have seen many people get away without a leash as long as the dog is behaved and there’s no bikers around. Make sure to always pick up after your dog– there are dog bags located on the loop and by the parking lot. There’s no sign saying anything but it’s best to stay on the trails and out of the mud because it can disrupt the ecosystem of the microorganisms. I however did not get this memo till after Cash and I got stuck in the mud…
When you’re exploring the Back Bay there are many enchanting spots. There’s a spot with a little bridge, trees, and running water. There are steps that lead down to the bay. You can walk by the back of houses that overlook the bay. There’s even a Science Center where you can learn more about the Back Bay and the wildlife there. http://www.newportbay.org
If you prefer to ride a bike or even a horse there are trails for bike riders and horse trails. There are some trails where you can’t take your bike or horse but there will be signs to guide you.
To get to the Newport Back Bay, the closest freeway is the 55. The cross streets for the parking lot are Irvine Avenue and University Drive, and it’s right across from the YMCA. Parking is free!
I hope you guys enjoy the Back Bay as much as I do!
xoxo Terra Newell