The City of Fullerton Ca., in the north of Orange County, has approximately 28 miles of recreational trails, which are spread throughout the city.
Hikers, equestrians, mountain bike riders, walkers, and joggers take advantage of these scenic trails.
On Wednesday afternoon, Hiking Stick and camera in hand, I spent 4 hours walking 4 of the trails in the network, from Downtown Fullerton to the border with Buena Park, a total of 8 miles or so.
There are 11 Featured Trails with Info Links on the city website, and 8 other trails that are listed on the site, and related interactive maps.
In Orange County, if you know where to look, there are corridors of nature within the urban landscape, and what one finds in Fullerton is a prime example.
The OCTA Bus #43 will take you to within a block of the start of the Juanita Cooke Trail, by dropping you off at the Jack in the Box at Harbor Blvd., and Berkeley.
The trail entrance is on Berkeley, west of the intersection, and can't be missed, as can be seen in the picture above.
A wide dirt, and sawdust, trail leading you away from the city into a quiet forest-like landscape between residential houses.
Eventually you come to the Hiltshire Trail Connector, a spot with some unique benchs lay claim to the landscape, near a water fountain, and a private garden.
As I rest a minute I notice a few walkers, joggers, and cyclists, coming down the trails.
An interesting thing along the trail is that you can see into the backyards of some homes, and that many homes have wooden, brick, or concrete steps leading from the trail to their lock gates, allowing them easy access to the trail when ever they want it.
The lack of graffiti anywhere I walked is refreshing, and I saw families, and also individuals walking their Dogs.
For bicyclists this trail has the option of riding a rugged parallel trail set above the main trail, and many of the trails in the system are of a narrow, bumpy, winding nature popular with Mtn. Bikers, so everyone has to be on the lookout for foot, and pedal traffic, and share the trails safely.
Eventually you come to an old Stone and Iron Bridge that crosses over a railroad track that dissappears into the canyon on either side of the bridge (That's the tracks just behind me in the picture!)
Sit here awhile, and ponder not just all the beautiful trees you have encountered already, but the natural landscape around you at this moment, in this spot where the only sounds you hear are those of birds chirping in the trees, and sky.
If, like me, you like to write, and are looking for a nice quiet place to contemplate your navel, and get in touch with your muse, these trails provide plenty of spots to do so.
After a stretch where you walk through a canyon where the homes are high above you on one side, and mostly below you on the other, giving you a real feeling of aloneness, the trail spends a bit of time parallel to a residential street until it reaches Laguna Lake Park, at Hermosa Dr. and Lakeside Dr.
Laguna Lake is a wonderful spot for fishing, and bird watching, walking, and cycling along the south shore trail as it become the Bud Turner Trail on the otehr side of the lake, and heads past the Equestrian Center.
I saw some Hispanic men, some young, some old, alone, and in small groups, spread around the lake, fishing for Catfish, Bass, and Trout.
I saw a man waking with his 3 daughters age 3 to 10.
I saw couples, young, and old, walking around the lake, and bicyclists as well.
There are picnic tables around the lake, and restooms, and parking lot on the west end.
One of the fun things is the opportunity to get up close, and personal with the feathered residents of the lake.
Just don't feed the little darlings!
Mallard and Wood Ducks, and a couple of noisy Geese, all trying to ignore the 2-legged intruders into their paradise. ;-D