The Arroyo Trabuco is on the eastern edge of Mission Viejo. It is what we see when we stand at the back of La Paws Dog Park or Curtis Park or anywhere along Olympiad/Felipe Road and look east. A portion of it is overlapped by O’Neill Regional Park. O’Neill Regional Park terminates to the south around Matt Davis Memorial Park, but the Arroyo Trabuco, and Trabuco Creek, continues south. There are trails along the bottom of the Arroyo and through the park. For more info, go the the Orange County Parks page.
The Arroyo Trabuco is a beautiful riparian area and worth a day or two to walk and explore it, alone or with a buddy. Again, heed all the park rules, regulations and guidelines.
The first bridge and parkway in the area that crossed the Arroyo was Santa Margarita Parkway in the 1980’s. Then came Oso Parkway in 1992 and then Crown Valley Parkway about 10 years later.
When I was there, I saw oak, sycamore, various forms of cactus, lupine, sagebrush, mustard flowers, poison oak, California Morning Glory and some others I could not identify. I saw red-tailed hawk, turkey vultures, various smaller birds, a roadrunner, a beehive in an oak tree, squirrel, rabbit and heard lots of creatures I never saw.
The trail and regional park is maintained, and bikers and hikers and equestrians all use and enjoy the trail. It does get bumpy, uneven and/or sandy in many areas.
The oak and sycamore trees are so majestic and amazing. Their size and beauty command your attention. They have been around a long time. Pretty dense in many areas. Also see Oso Creek Trail.