Park-Goers Wait It Out

Users of Orange County's backcountry are getting a bit antsy.

Some entire parks, and sections of others, remain closed because of damage from the winter rains. In some areas, damage is serious enough to require heavy equipment for repair, and reopening the areas could be weeks away.

Parks that are completely closed include Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park in Laguna Niguel, Whiting Ranch Regional Park near Santa Margarita and the inland portions of Crystal Cove State Park. Some of the western areas of Chino Hills State Park, including the Telegraph Canyon and West Ridge trails, are also closed.

That list includes some of the most popular hiking, mountain biking and equestrian areas in the county. Aliso and Wood Canyons may reopen soon, but some of the other areas could remain closed for another two weeks or even more, barring further rain. The damage includes roads and trails that have been completely washed away.

"I'm getting calls about every 10 minutes," said John Gannaway, ranger for Whiting Ranch. "There's a lot of folks champing at the bit to come in."

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