Tag: hiking

OC’s Ancient Wonders

Image courtesy of OC Parks Facebook page

OC Parks and the Dr. John D Cooper Archeological and Paleontological Center invite you to OC’s Ancient Wonders on Saturday, September 9 at Mile Square Regional Park. This free, educational family event will present Orange County’s rich heritage of natural history, prehistoric animals and plants, and Native American culture to the community.

The event will feature displays of local fossils and Native American artifacts, educational crafts and hands-on activities for kids of all ages, archery demonstrations, Native American storytelling, guided hikes led by Naturalist for You, a volcano demonstration, and a butterfly tent by Western Monarch Guardians.

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Schedule of events:

  • 11:45 AM – Guided hike by Naturalist for You

  • 12:30 PM – Volcano demonstration

  • 1:15 PM – Native American Storytelling by Jacque Tahuka-Nunez of Journeys to the Past

  • 2:00 PM – Guided hike by Naturalist for You

Archery demonstrations and Butterfly tent available throughout the day

  • When: Saturday, September 9, 2017 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Where: Mile Square Regional Park, 16801 Euclid St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708 (The event will be located at the park’s Nature Area and Archery Range)
  • Cost: Event is free. Parking is $5 per vehicle
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Hikes & Bikes

hikesnBikesPRL

If for some reason you can’t make it out to visit one of our National Parks this weekend to celebrate our National Park’s 100th birthday, here’s a few local hikes and a intermediate bike ride you can take part in.

These guided hikes and the bike ride are all courtesy of our Orange County Parks and are all FREE – just cover the parking!

Saturday, August 27, 2106

Intermediate Bike Ride: Shoestring Canyon, Loma Ridge, to the Back Side of The Sinks – Irvine Ranch Open Space
Join a strenuous, extremely challenging early morning mountain bike ride through Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve. Riders will visit the East Sinks Viewing Deck and gain beautiful vistas of Agua Chinon Canyon and beyond.

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Driving directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more events in Limestone Canyon,click here.


Online Registration

Date:  8/27/2016
Time:  6:00 AM – 8:00 AM
Laurel Loop Geology Hike – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Enjoy an afternoon of unspoiled canyon views and learn about the geology of this area.  The rocks and fossils reveal fascinating stories about the park’s ancient environments. This will be a 3.5-mile hike over steep and uneven terrain (600-ft. elevation gain).

  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (20101 Laguna Canyon Rd, just south of El Toro Rd intersection).
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.


Online Registration

Date:  8/27/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Walk with a Naturalist – O’Neill Regional Park
Join O’Neill Regional Park naturalists and learn about the animals and nature of Trabuco Canyon. This will be a light to moderate walk on mostly paved roads.

  • All ages welcome.
  • Fee: Free
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle

Event is conditional on the weather.

Date:  8/27/2016
Time:  9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Guided Nature Hike – Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park
Join the Park Ranger for a one mile nature hike in the beautiful Bell Canyon area of Caspers Wilderness Park. Hike lasts approximately one hour and is suitable for all ages.

  • Contact park office for hike updates.
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle (day use fee).
  • Meet at the Old Corral Day Use Area.
Date:  8/28/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
Bird Walk – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Spot year-round and summer resident birds with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists on this 2-mile hike over uneven, sometimes steep terrain (up to 200-ft. elevation gain) through one of the most diverse plant communities in the United States.

  • For ages 12 and up (minors must be accompanied by an adult).
  • Wear hiking or walking shoes and bring your binoculars. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (west side of Laguna Canyon Rd/SR-133, just south of El Toro Road).
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.


Online Registration

Date:  8/28/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 10:30 AM
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Playing and Staying in Big Sur

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Big Sur is one of the “must-see places” in  America and located on one of the most iconic road trips in our Country, Highway 1, a designated American National Scenic Byway. With approximately 85 curvy miles between San Simeon and Carmel, this stretch of highway hosts breath-taking views of both the mountains and the coast.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

You could definitely stay in the car and drive through Highway 1 and be awestruck by its beauty (I’ve done that) or you could spend some time there and enjoy it to the fullest. Big Sur has plenty to do for the outdoor enthusiast. From hiking, to waterfalls, to the purple sandy beaches –  Big Sur is amazing!

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

You can spend the day to discover Big Sur by stopping along the highway and visit places like Mc Way Falls, Pfeiffer Beach and the Bixby Creek Bridge. We wanted to go on some hikes, see the redwoods and feel the purple sand of the beaches in Big Sur.

AndrewMoleraBeach1We decided to camp in Big Sur and made our base at the Fernwood Resort. To make reservations you simply call them, that’s right – no internet reservations here. The friendly staff at Fernwood Resort, answers the phones (crazy right?) checks the dates your interested in and lets you know what’s available. Take note – campsites fill up quick as most of the campers I talked to while we were there book their camping spots a year in advance.

FernwoodResort10

Highway 1 is filled with gorgeous resorts, inns and camping spots along the way. The Fernwood Resort came as a recommendation to us and I’m glad we stayed here. We were fortunate enough to scoop up a couple of cancellations for our trip.

Fernwood16One the first night, we stayed at camp site #63 – This campsite is located along the river on the other side of the bridge after entering the campsite. My first thought upon pulling up to our campsite was that the space was small, beautiful but small. We got out, set up camp and realized there was plenty of space.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

As it turns out your campsite goes all the way down to the river, you can actually set up your tent near the river (just be careful if rain is in the forecast). Each campsite comes with a picnic table and a fire ring. All of the campsites along the river surprisingly have electricity and water and most importantly easy access to the river. You fall to sleep to the gentle sound of the river.

FernwoodResort13
Fernwood17
FernwoodResort12
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The campsites located on the opposite side are set among the Redwood Trees but do not have electricity and water. The restrooms, free showers, a dishwashing area (with hot water) and a coin operated laundry area are all conveniently located to all of the campsites.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

As for our second night we moved to “primitive” Tent Cabin # 8 – which means a cabin with no electricity or bathroom. The Tent Cabins sleep 4 are also located along the river, have a picnic table and fire rings.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

The Tent Cabins do offer a little more privacy as they sit between the Redwood trees. Our girls loved playing inside the cabin while my husband and I prepared meals and sat around the campfire with the sound of the river below us.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

There are trails that leads down to the river from the tent cabin sites, my girls had a blast playing in the river.

ProjectrefinedLife.com
ProjectrefinedLife.com

The restrooms were a short walk from the Tent Cabins as well as private coin operated showers rooms. The downside for me was that the dishwashing station was located on the other side of the camp near the tent camping sites.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Fernwood Resort also offers Adventure Tents (a Tent Cabin with electricty, a bed, night stand, lights and bedding), a Motor Lodge, Fully Furnished Cabins with bathrooms and kitchens, RV sites and group camping spots. If you arrive here and realize you forgot something, don’t worry – they’ve got you covered.

FernwoodResort9
FernwoodResort8

There is a very fully stocked market (which includes vegan and vegetarian options), a very fully stocked camping supply store, a restaurant with an outside patio with heaters and a ping pong table, an Ice Cream shop (that serves very healthy servings) and live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

A couple of things to consider – if were a camper, the camp sites are a little higher then your usually campsites (still far less than a motel room) and you can only get Wi-Fi service in the store/restaurant area, so be prepared to unplug during your stay.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Both Pfeiffer Beach and Andrew Molera State Beach are located within 5-10 minutes from Fernwood Resort. Staying here gave us the the perfect opprtunity to explore Big Sur, see the Redwoods, play in the oceans purple sand, play in the river, relax by a campfire and of course  – make s’mores! How perfect is that!

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Fernwood Resort has a gorgeous walking trail (great for the littles) a hiking trail and also happens to be home to one of the very rare “Albino” Redwood.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

I highly recommend Fernwood Resort, no matter what level of adventure your at. If your looking to stay in a room, relax in a cabin or rough it in a campsite, they have something for you. You can’t go wrong staying here while you while you discover this beautiful area of California.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Happy exploring!

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Weekend Hikes

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

I thought I’d start the Weekend HIkes post early this week so you could pre-register and plan your weekend. It could be I’m just eager to get out there for some sort of hiking adventures. Remember the OC Parks guided hikes are always free just cover the parking.  Get out there and discover a new trail!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Let’s Go Hiking! – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Do you want to take a hike with other nature enthusiasts? Enjoy a 3.8-mile, moderate (600-ft. elevation gain) hike through Laurel and Willow Canyons with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers. You will experience a variety of plant communities, from Coastal Sage Scrub to Oak Woodland and enjoy a view of the ocean at the top. Minimal interpretation, but questions welcome. The terrain can often be rocky and uneven.

  • Participants should bring water, a hat, a snack, and wear proper hiking shoes.
  • Ages 15 and up.
  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (20101 Laguna Canyon Road, just south of El Toro Road intersection).
  • For questions call: 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri & 949-923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3/vehicle.

Register Online

Date: 7/2/2016
Time: 8:00 AM – 10:30 AM
First Saturday of the Month Morning Hike To The Redwood Grove – Carbon Canyon Regional Park
Join OC Parks’ trained staff on the first Saturday of the month for an easy 1.1-mile early morning interpretive hike to the park’s Coastal Redwood grove. You will use your 5 senses to engage with nature as you stroll to the Redwoods. You will also have an opportunity to learn about our native plants along the trail. The hike begins at 8:30 a.m. from the park’s Nature Center.


Participants should remember water, sunscreen, hat and hiking shoes.

  • All ages (small children may have to be carried).
  • Meet at Nature Center located at east end of park.
  • Cost: FREE!
  • Registration: call (714) 973-3160 or email carboncanyon@ocparks.com
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle
  • Rain will cancel hike.
Date: 7/2/2016
Time: 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Walk with a Naturalist – O’Neill Regional Park

Join O’Neill Regional Park naturalists and learn about the animals and nature of Trabuco Canyon. This will be a light to moderate walk on mostly paved roads.

  • All ages welcome.
  • Fee: Free
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle

Event is conditional on the weather.

Date: 7/2/2016
Time: 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Explore the Bay Family Hike – Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
An easy hike for families of all ages to learn more about Upper Newport Bay and enjoy its trails.  $0 $0Hike will be on paved and dirt trails. $0 $0Bring sun protection and water. $0 $0Meet on the patio of the Muth Interpretive Center. $0 $0Event is free, registration is not required.  $0 $0
Date: 7/2/2016
Time: 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Family Hike – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Come and enjoy an easy, 2.5-mile family hike over moderate but uneven terrain (45-ft. elevation gain). Starting at the James Dilley Preserve we will hike one of the most diverse areas of the park to Barbara’s Lake and back. Hike is led by Laguna Canyon Foundation naturalist volunteers.

  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve (I-5 or 405 south to 133 south to stoplight at 73 toll road; make a U-turn, go 1 block. Dilley is on the right).
  • For questions call: 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri & 949-923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3/vehicle.

Register Online

Date: 7/2/2016
Time: 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Guided Nature Hike – Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park
Join the Park Ranger for a one mile nature hike in the beautiful Bell Canyon area of Caspers Wilderness Park. Hike lasts approximately one hour and is suitable for all ages.

  • Contact park office for hike updates.
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle (day use fee).
  • Meet at the Old Corral Day Use Area.
Date:  7/3/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
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Hikes & Bikes

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Once upon a time, there lived a girl who couldn’t wait for the weekend to come so she experience outdoor adventures right here in Orange County. These outdoor adventures included hiking and mountain biking. She would travel miles and miles to experience scenic hiking adventures and to ride her bike over dirt and rocks, okay – so maybe she just traveled 50 or 60 miles from the Inland Empire.

That girl was me and now I live here in Orange County, so my drive is much shorter. Although I could find adventure in the Inland Empire, summertime was always 10 -15 degrees cooler in Orange County.

I feel completely spoiled by our gorgeous surroundings and love that Orange County Parks provides guided hikes and biking adventures for FREE! So if you’re a local or traveling from a distant (or not so distant) land be sure to check some of our beautiful parks out this weekend, just bring some money for parking and pack a lunch.

 Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Birds of Weir Canyon – Irvine Ranch Open Space
Join a moderate-paced birding walk through the beautiful oak woodlands of Weir Canyon Nature Preserve.

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Driving directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more events in Weir Canyon, click here.


Online Registration

Date:  6/25/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Birding Walk – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Learn, practice or just enjoy spotting summer and year-round resident birds with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists on this 1.5-mile hike over primarily flat, but uneven terrain through one of the most diverse plant communities in the United States. No experience necessary!

  • For ages 12 and up (minors must be accompanied by an adult). Wear hiking or walking shoes and bring your binoculars (Limited binoculars available on loan.)
  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Rd/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405).
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.


Online Registration

Date:  6/25/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Walk with a Naturalist – O’Neill Regional Park
Join O’Neill Regional Park naturalists and learn about the animals and nature of Trabuco Canyon. This will be a light to moderate walk on mostly paved roads.

  • All ages welcome.
  • Fee: Free
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle

Event is conditional on the weather.

Date:  6/25/2016
Time:  9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Family Hike: Agua Chinon – Irvine Ranch Open Space
Enjoy an early evening family hike in Agua Chinon while watching for native plants and animals in Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve.

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Driving directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more events in Limestone Canyon,click here.


Online Registration

 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Guided Nature Hike – Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park
Join the Park Ranger for a one mile nature hike in the beautiful Bell Canyon area of Caspers Wilderness Park. Hike lasts approximately one hour and is suitable for all ages.

  • Contact park office for hike updates.
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle (day use fee).
  • Meet at the Old Corral Day Use Area.
Date:  6/26/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
Introduction to Mountain Biking – Aliso & Wood Canyons Park
Join Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer Mountain Bike Trail Assistants on this beautiful 8-mile bike ride (400-ft. elevation gain) on uneven terrain. Learn mountain biking basics and trail etiquette while enjoying the canyon views.

  • Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Ranger Headquarters, 28373 Alicia Pkwy (from southbound Aliso Creek Rd, turn right on Alicia Parkway, first right on Awma Road, then left into parking lot).
  • Please come prepared with a bike suitable for off-pavement riding, sturdy shoes, helmet, gloves, water and snack.
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2200 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.
  • Please sign-up online using link below.


Sign-up link

Date:  6/26/2016
Time:  8:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Intermediate Mountain Biking – Aliso & Wood Canyons Park

Catch beautiful canyon views on this 10-mile ride over steep and uneven terrain (1,600-ft elevation gain) with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer mountain bike trail assistants. This is for INTERMEDIATE riders with mountain biking experience. Appropriate mountain biking equipment required.

  • Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Ranger Headquarters, 28373 Alicia Pkwy (from southbound Aliso Creek Rd, turn right on Alicia Parkway, first right on Awma Road, then left into parking lot).
  • Must have helmet, gloves, hydration; a snack is strongly suggested. Be prepared for varied weather in the canyons.
  • This bike ride is not for beginners.
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2200 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.
  • Please sign-up online using link below.


Sign-up link

Date:  6/26/2016
Time:  8:30 AM – 10:30 AM

 

Meditating in Nature – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Relax in nature this spring with park staff and Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers.  Enjoy a short walking meditation (1/2 mile), breathing and energization exercises, and sitting meditation. Bring a blanket, pillow, and clothing in layers in case the evening is cool.

  • No experience necessary.
  • Ages 16 and up.
  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Rd/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405).
  • For questions call: (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.


Online Registration

Date:  6/26/2016
Time:  5:45 PM – 7:15 PM

 

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Every Kid in a Park

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

 My family and I just got back from our “Kick-off” to Summer trip by visiting a couple of our National Parks – compliments of our 4th grader. We used my daughter’s Every Kid in a Park pass to visit Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park and Yosemite National Park.

Every Kid in a Park sample pass

I was more than excited last year when President Obama introduced the “Every Kid in a Park” program that provides every fourth grader and their families free admission to our national parks and recreational sites for a full year! I’ve talked about this program before but it’s such a wonderful program I have to remind everyone to take part in this program.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

If your child will be entering the fifth grade in the fall, you still have time to visit our National parks for FREE! The “Every Kid in a Park” program began in the fall and runs through August 31st. For all of you with children heading into the 4th grade in the fall, their pass will be valid on September 1st.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
My Forth Grader basking in the sun and the mist of Yosemite Falls. ProjectRefinedLife.com

We were in Yosemite this weekend while President Obama and his family were visiting the park. I thought is was awesome that he was there talking about the program that we were there taking advantage of. Although we didn’t stand in the meadow and wait to see the president, we did see the helicopters and experienced the excitement and security measures of having the President in the park at the same time.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

According to the White House 80% of American families live around cities where children spend more than 53 hours every week glued to their electronic devices. This initiative is a push to get kids and their families outdoors and active and hopefully inspire a love for nature.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

If you’re the parent of a child who just finished up their 4th grade year – get out there and experience our National Parks this summer for FREE. I’ll be writing a post soon about our experience at the parks, where we stayed and any tips that might be helpful for you and your family.  In the meantime, #Findyourpark here. I’m looking at our calendar to schedule some more time at our National Parks this summer!

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Weekend Hikes

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Here’s a list of your guided Weekend hikes in our gorgeous OC Parks. Get out there and enjoy nature!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve – Irvine Ranch Open Space
Although this isn’t a guided hike, this is your chance to explore normally not available. Discover designated trails available for self-guided access for hiking, biking and equestrian use through Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve.

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more events in Limestone Canyon,click here.

Online Registration

Date: 6/4/2016
Time: 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM
First Saturday of the Month Morning Hike To The Redwood Grove – Carbon Canyon Regional Park
Join OC Parks’ trained staff on the first Saturday of the month for an easy 1.1-mile early morning interpretive hike to the park’s Coastal Redwood grove. You will use your 5 senses to engage with nature as you stroll to the Redwoods. You will also have an opportunity to learn about our native plants along the trail. The hike begins at 8:30 a.m. from the park’s Nature Center.


Participants should remember water, sunscreen, hat and hiking shoes.

  • All ages (small children may have to be carried).
  • Meet at Nature Center located at east end of park.
  • Cost: Free
  • Registration: call (714) 973-3160 or email carboncanyon@ocparks.com
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle
  • Rain will cancel hike.
Date: 6/4/2016
Time: 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
What’s in Your Backyard? – Irvine Ranch Open Space

Learn about native animals while hiking 3 miles through Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve.

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Driving directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more events in Limestone Canyon,click here.

Online Registration

Date: 6/4/2016
Time: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Walk with a Naturalist – O’Neill Regional Park

Join O’Neill Regional Park naturalists and learn about the animals and nature of Trabuco Canyon. This will be a light to moderate walk on mostly paved roads.

  • All ages welcome.
  • Fee: Free
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle

Event is conditional on the weather.

Date: 6/4/2016
Time: 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Explore the Bay Family Hike – Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
An easy hike for families of all ages to learn more about Upper Newport Bay and enjoy its trails.

  • Hike will be on paved and dirt trails.
  • Bring sun protection and water.
  • Meet on the patio of the Muth Interpretive Center.
  • Event is free, registration is not required.
Date: 6/4/2016
Time: 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Family Hike – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Come and enjoy an easy, 2.5-mile family hike over moderate but uneven terrain (45-ft. elevation gain). Starting at the James Dilley Preserve we will hike one of the most diverse areas of the park to Barbara’s Lake and back. Hike is led by Laguna Canyon Foundation naturalist volunteers.

  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve (I-5 or 405 south to 133 south to stoplight at 73 toll road; make a U-turn, go 1 block. Dilley is on the right).
  • For questions call: (949) 497-8324
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.

Online Registration

Date: 6/4/2016
Time: 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Guided Nature Hike – Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park
Join the Park Ranger for a one mile nature hike in the beautiful Bell Canyon area of Caspers Wilderness Park. Hike lasts approximately one hour and is suitable for all ages.

  • Contact park office for hike updates.
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle (day use fee).
  • Meet at the Old Corral Day Use Area.
Date:  6/5/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 9:15 AM

 

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Hikes & Bikes

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It’s a Hikes & Bikes kind of weekend! Although the list is short it’s a sweet one. No matter what you choose – make sure to get out there this weekend and experience nature.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Intro Cardio Fitness: Weir Canyon Rifle Range Loop – Irvine Ranch Open Space
Join a slower intro-to-cardio hike that incorporates a little more for interpretation along a trail that passes by coastal sage scrub, grasslands and oak woodlands in Weir Canyon.

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Driving directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more events in Weir Canyon Nature Preserve, click here.


Online Registration

Date:  5/14/2016
Time:  7:00 AM – 8:30 AM
California Native Plant Hike – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Learn about the seasonal life of California Native Plants with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists on this enjoyable 2.5 mile hike (45-ft elevation gain) over moderately uneven terrain.

  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve (405 South to 133 south to stoplight at 73 turn-off; make a U-turn, go 1 block. Dilley is on the right).
  • For questions call: (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.


Online Registration

Date:  5/14/2016
Time:  8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Family Bandito Bike Ride to Dripping Cave – Aliso & Wood Canyons Park
Join a band of bike wielding young explorers on a ride to Aliso’s most intriguing attraction. We’ll learn the mysterious legends of this famed bandit hideout as well as about its previous inhabitants – the Acjachemen people.

  • For those who can comfortably ride 5 miles (150 ft. elevation gain) on dirt trails with some sandy sections.
  • Children ages 8 and up, or younger if peddled by an adult.
  • Bike, helmet, water, snack, and weather appropriate clothing/shoes are required.
  • Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Ranger Headquarters, 28373 Alicia Pkwy (from southbound Aliso Creek Rd, turn right on Alicia Parkway, first right on Awma Road, then left into parking lot).
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2200 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.
  • Please sign-up online using link below.


Sign-up Link

Date:  5/14/2016
Time:  9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Guided Nature Hike – Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park
Join the Park Ranger for a one mile nature hike in the beautiful Bell Canyon area of Caspers Wilderness Park. Hike lasts approximately one hour and is suitable for all ages.

  • Contact park office for hike updates.
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle (day use fee).
  • Meet at the Old Corral Day Use Area.
Date:  5/15/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
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Hikes & Bikes

hikesnBikesPRL

Hit the trails this Earth Day weekend and enjoy one of the FREE Guided Hikes or Mountain bikes rides in one of our Orange County Parks. The guided hikes & bike rides are always free just cover the parking.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Extreme Cardio Hike: Fremont, Blind, Weir Canyons – Irvine Ranch Open Space
Join a fast-paced, early morning extreme cardio hike in Fremont and Weir canyons. This approximately 12-mile cardio hike, completed in 3 hours, includes a 2,000-foot elevation change and is for experienced, physically fit hikers.

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Driving directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more activities in Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve, click here.


Online Registration

Date:  4/23/2016
Time:  7:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Geology Hike at Little Sycamore – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Enjoy an afternoon of unspoiled canyon views while learning about the geology of this area. The rocks and fossils reveal fascinating stories about the park’s ancient environments. Meet at the Nix Nature Center to begin this highly interpretive 3-mile hike (400-ft. elevation gain), on sometimes steep, uneven and rocky terrain. Led by Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists.

  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Road/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405).
  • For questions call: 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri & 949-923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.
  • Please sign-up online using link below


Online Registration

Date:  4/23/2016
Time:  8:30 AM – 11:30 AM

 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Guided Nature Hike – Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park
Join the Park Ranger for a one mile nature hike in the beautiful Bell Canyon area of Caspers Wilderness Park. Hike lasts approximately one hour and is suitable for all ages.

  • Contact park office for hike updates.
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle (day use fee).
  • Meet at the Old Corral Day Use Area.
Date:  4/24/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
Birding Hike -Aliso & Wood Canyons Park
Spot spring and year-round resident birds, with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists on this moderate 2-mile, level  hike over uneven terrain through one of the most diverse plant communities in the United States.

  • Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Ranger Headquarters, 28373 Alicia Pkwy (from southbound Aliso Creek Rd, turn right on Alicia Parkway, first right on Awma Road, then left into parking lot).
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2200 Sat/Sun
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle
  • Ages: 12 and up (minors must be accompanied by an adult)
  • Wear hiking or walking shoes and bring your binoculars!
  • Reservations Required Online (link below)


Sign-up Link

Date:  4/24/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Introduction to Mountain Biking – Aliso & Wood Canyons Park
Join Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer Mountain Bike Trail Assistants on this beautiful 8-mile bike ride (400-ft. elevation gain) on uneven terrain. Learn mountain biking basics and trail etiquette while enjoying the canyon views.

  • Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Ranger Headquarters, 28373 Alicia Pkwy (from southbound Aliso Creek Rd, turn right on Alicia Parkway, first right on Awma Road, then left into parking lot).
  • Please come prepared with a bike suitable for off-pavement riding, sturdy shoes, helmet, gloves, water and snack.
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2200 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.
  • Please sign-up online using link below.


Sign-up link

Date:  4/24/2016
Time:  8:30 AM – 10:30 AM
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Happy Birthday John Muir

ProjectrefinedLife.com
ProjectrefinedLife.com

Happy Birthday to John Muir, writer, naturalist, and advocate of U.S. forest conservation.He founded and was the first president of the Sierra Club and helped establish Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks as well as help to protect the Petrified Forest and Grand Canyon.

In celebration of his birthday – “John Muir Day” is each April 21st  a day to recognize that our well being, our survival depends on the conservation of an ecologically sound natural environment. Take this day to inspire others and carry on the movement created John Muir.

If you have any plans of going the the San Francisco area – don’t miss out on visiting the Muir Woods. It is amazingly beautiful and the trails are surrounded by trees and a beautiful stream. Put this Family Friendly hike on your “must do” list.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

If you’ve ever thought of Hiking the John Muir Trail, The Pacific Crest Trail Association website has everything you need to know from planning, to permits, transportation to where to get more supplies while on your journey.

John Muir Trail

Happy Hiking my fellow nature lovers!

 

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Weekend Hikes

WeekendHikesHit the Trail this weekend with one of these guided hikes provided by our Orange County Parks. The guided hikes are free, just pay for parking and get know some new trails!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Cardio Hike: Limestone Canyon and The Sinks – Irvine Ranch Open Space
Explore beautiful Limestone Canyon, coastal sage scrub, grasslands, and oak woodlands during a challenging, fast-paced cardio hike.

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Driving directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more activities in Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve, click here.


Online Registration

Date:  4/16/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Keep It Wild Volunteer Day – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Come on out and help restore the wild lands we so enjoy! There’s no better way to start a Saturday morning than by joining OC Parks and Laguna Canyon Foundation staff in an invigorating project of non-native plant removal and/or planting native plants. Help us make a healthier environment for the native wildlife and for ourselves.

  • Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Rd/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405).
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: Free for Keep it Wild volunteers!
  • Please sign-up online using link below.


Online Registration

Date:  4/16/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Explore the Bay Family Hike – Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
An easy hike for families of all ages to learn more about Upper Newport Bay and enjoy its trails. 

  • Hike will be on paved and dirt trails
  • Bring sun protection and water
  • Meet on the patio of the Muth Interpretive Center
  • No fee or pre-registration required
Date:  4/16/2016
Time:  10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
California Native Plant Hike – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Learn about the seasonal life of California Native Plants with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalist on this enjoyable 2.5 mile hike (45-ft elevation gain) over moderately uneven terrain.

  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve (405 South to 133 south to stoplight at 73 turn-off; make a U-turn, go 1 block. Dilley is on the right).
  • For questions call: 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri & 949-923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.
  • Please sign-up online using link below.


Online Registration

Date:  4/16/2016
Time:  8:30 AM – 11:30 AM

 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Beginning Fitness Hike in Weir Canyon – Irvine Ranch Open Space
Join a fitness-focused 5-mile hike over mainly level trails passing through coastal sage scrub, grasslands, and oak woodlands.

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Driving directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more activities in Weir Canyon Nature Preserve, click here.


Online Registration

Date:  4/17/2016
Time:  7:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Guided Nature Hike – Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park
Join the Park Ranger for a one mile nature hike in the beautiful Bell Canyon area of Caspers Wilderness Park. Hike lasts approximately one hour and is suitable for all ages.

  • Contact park office for hike updates.
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle (day use fee).
  • Meet at the Old Corral Day Use Area.
Date:  4/17/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
Meditating in Nature – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Relax in nature this spring with park staff and Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers.  Enjoy a short walking meditation (1/2 mile), breathing and energization exercises, and sitting meditation.

  • Bring a blanket, pillow, and clothing in layers in case the evening is cool.
  • No experience necessary.
  • Ages 16 and up.
  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Rd/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405).
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.
  • Please sign-up online using link below.


Online Registration

Date:  4/17/2016
Time:  5:45 PM – 7:15 PM
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National Park Week

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

National Park Week is coming up! Find your Park for FREE April 16 to 24, 2016.  Explore trails, open spaces, at one of your national parks!

The National Park Service is once again partnering with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, to present National Park Week, a presidentially proclaimed celebration of our national heritage.

Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park

Here are some highlights during National Park Week:

  • April 16–24: Visit for free!

    Throughout National Park Week in 2016, every national park will give you free admission!

  • April 16: National Junior Ranger Day

    Explore, Learn, Protect! Kids can take part in fun programs and earn a junior ranger badge or become a Centennial Junior Ranger.

  • April 22: Earth Day

    On Earth Day, if you want to roll up your sleeves and pitch in with a project, look for a park where you can help out.

  • April 23: National Park Instameet

    Join an InstaMeet in a park. Gather in a designated place at a specific time to take photos and short videos to post on Instagram (and other social media) with the same hashtag: #FindYourParkInstaMeet, #FindYourPark, #EncuentraTuParque, #NPS100

  • April 24: Park Rx Day

    Parks will host fun recreational activities that encourage healthy lifestyles and promote physical and mental well being. (Looking to host your own event? Download A Guide to Planning Your Own National Park Rx Day Celebration [561KB PDF]).

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Don’t forget to check out www.nationalparkweek.org. There you can share your national park photos, videos, and tips. While you’re there, learn all about the ways you can help support your national parks all year round.

Try something new this year. Find your park!
Ranger showing girl insect in creek
Image courtesy of nps.gov

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Hikes & Bikes

Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center, Newport Beach, CA
Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center, Newport Beach, CA

The weather is GORGEOUS this weekend. No Excuses….get out there this weekend. Here’s a list of guided hikes provided FREE compliments of Orange County Parks, just cover the parking fee.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

First Saturday of the Month Morning Hike To The Redwood Grove – Carbon Canyon Regional Park
Join OC Parks’ trained staff on the first Saturday of the month for an easy 1.1-mile early morning interpretive hike to the park’s Coastal Redwood grove. You will use your 5 senses to engage with nature as you stroll to the Redwoods. You will also have an opportunity to learn about our native plants along the trail. The hike begins at 8:30 a.m. from the park’s Nature Center.


Participants should remember water, sunscreen, hat and hiking shoes.

  • All ages (small children may have to be carried).
  • Meet at Nature Center located at east end of park.
  • Cost: FREE!
  • Registration: call (714) 973-3160 or email carboncanyon@ocparks.com
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle
  • Rain will cancel hike.
Date: 4/2/2016
Time: 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Explore the Bay Family Hike – Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
An easy hike for families of all ages to learn more about Upper Newport Bay and enjoy its trails.

  • Hike will be on paved and dirt trails
  • Bring sun protection and water
  • Meet on the patio of the Muth Interpretive Center
  • No fee or pre-registration required
Date: 4/2/2016
Time: 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Family Hike – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Come and enjoy an easy, 2.5-mile family hike over moderate but uneven terrain (45-ft. elevation gain). Starting at the James Dilley Preserve we will hike one of the most diverse areas of the park to Barbara’s Lake and back. Hike is led by Laguna Canyon Foundation naturalist volunteers.

  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve (I-5 or 405 south to 133 south to stoplight at 73 toll road; make a U-turn, go 1 block.
  • Dilley is on the right).
  • For questions call: 949-497-8324
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle
  • Follow link below to pre-register

Online Registrtion

Date: 4/2/2016
Time: 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Guided Nature Hike – Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park
Join the Park Ranger for a one mile nature hike in the beautiful Bell Canyon area of Caspers Wilderness Park. Hike lasts approximately one hour and is suitable for all ages.

  • Contact park office for hike updates.
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle (day use fee).
  • Meet at the Old Corral Day Use Area.
Date:  4/3/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride from Irvine to Limestone Canyon – Irvine Ranch Open Space
Enjoy a docent-led mountain bike ride starting on paved Hicks Haul Road trail and continuing through Limestone Canyon, including a stop to visit The Sinks, Orange County’s “mini Grand Canyon.”

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Driving directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more activities in Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve, click here.


Online Registration

Date:  4/3/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Sunday Family Fun Hike – Aliso & Wood Canyons Park
When was the last time you took the family out to hike for pure enjoyment? On this excursion, we’ll focus on fun facts, nature themed games, and wildlife habits while answering questions from your little ones.

  • Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Canyon View Staging Area (from southbound Aliso Creek Road, turn right on Glenwood [turns into Pacific Park] and right on Canyon Vistas. Meet at the entrance to Canyon View Park).
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2200 Sat/Sun.
  • This is a 2-mile (150-ft. elevation gain) hike.
  • For ages 7 and up.
  • Parking: Free.
  • Please sign-up online using link below.


Sign-up link

Date:  4/3/2016
Time:  9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
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Hike the Redwoods!

Did you know you can hike the Redwoods right here in Orange County? Carbon Canyon Regional Park has a ten-acre grove of Coastal Redwood trees. This grove of redwoods were planted in 1975 with many of the trees standing over 100 feet tall. Not bad being that this is far from their normal growing conditions in Northern California.

Carbon-Canyon

image from greenadventures.com

Carbon Canyon Regional Park is adjacent to Chino Hills State Park, which has 14,000 acres of protected park land (which just happens to have some great mountain biking). In addition to their most popular hike (to see the Orange County Redwoods) Carbon Canyon Regional Park has an interpretive center, picnic areas, restrooms, fishing, playgrounds, walking and hiking trails.

To tour the Redwoods at Carbon Canyon you can join OC Parks trained staff for an easy 1.1 mile hike to the redwoods. Use your 5 senses to engage with nature as you stroll to the Redwoods. You will also have an opportunity to learn about native plants along the way.

The hike takes place on the first Saturday of each month. The hike begins at the Nature Center located at the east end of the the park. Remember to bring water, sunscreen, hat and hiking shoes. All ages (small children may have to be carried). Reservations are preferred: call (714) 973-3160 or email carboncanyon@ocparks.com.

  • When: Saturday, April 2, 2016 from 8:30 – 10:00 am
  • Where: Carbon Canyon Regional Park, 4442 Carbon Canyon Rd., Brea CA 92823
  • Cost: Hike is FREE, parking is $5.00
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Weekend Hikes

WeekendHikes

There’s plenty to do this weekend with all the Spring Flings and Egg Hunts but if you have the chance for a hike with the family – here are a few options.

This is Orange County Parks short but very sweet list of FREE family friendly guided hikes for this weekend. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

California Native Plant Hike – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Learn about the seasonal life of California Native Plants with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalist on this enjoyable 2.5 mile hike (45-ft elevation gain) over moderately uneven terrain.

  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve (405 South to 133 south to stoplight at 73 turn-off; make a U-turn, go 1 block. Dilley is on the right)
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.
  • Please sign-up online using link below.


Online Registration

Date:  3/26/2016
Time:  8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Family Hike: Agua Chinon – Irvine Ranch Open Space
Enjoy a slower-paced gradual-climb hike while watching for red-tailed hawks and mule deer. This activity originated in the City of Irvine and travels into OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve.

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Driving directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more activities in Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve, click here.


Online Registration

Date:  3/26/2016
Time:  5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Guided Nature Hike – Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park
Join the Park Ranger for a one mile nature hike in the beautiful Bell Canyon area of Caspers Wilderness Park. Hike lasts approximately one hour and is suitable for all ages.

  • Contact park office for hike updates.
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle (day use fee).
  • Meet at the Old Corral Day Use Area.
Date:  3/27/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
Contact: (949) 923-2210 Add to my iCal: 
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Birding Walk – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Spot native and winter resident birds with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists on this 2-mile hike over uneven terrain (up to 400-ft. elevation gain) through one of the most diverse plant communities in the United States.

  • For ages 12 and up (minors must be accompanied by an adult). Wear hiking or walking shoes and bring your binoculars.
  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve (I-5 or 405 south to 133 south to stoplight at 73 toll road; and make a U-turn, go 1 block. Dilley is on the right.)
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.
  • Please sign-up online using link below.


Online Registration

Date:  3/27/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
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A Hike for Dodgers Fans

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

I know usually focus on hikes in Orange County but this one is so cool I couldn’t help but post it. If you’re a Dodgers Fan – this is the hike for you! Dress in Dodger Blue, get your hiking boots, pack your snacks and plenty of water. Everyone’s Dodgers Hike  has a meetup coming up at Griffith Park.

The hikes are an average of 6 Miles and take approximately 3 Hours. Hikes are at an intermediate level and trail running or hiking shoes are mandatory.

  • When: Sunday, April 3rd, 2016 – meet at 6:30 am, hike begins at 6:45 am
  • Where: Griffith Park Merry Go Round Parking Lot 1, 4730 Crystal Springs Drive
    Los Angeles, CA 90027
  • Cost: FREE

If you want a nice place to grab a lunch and relax after the hike give “The Trails Cafe” a try.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

This place has such an awesome vibe and they have a great selection of vegetarian and Vegan options, coffees and amazing pie.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com
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