SADDLEBACK VALLEY : Parking Spaces Help Hikers Hit the Trail

To serve South County hikers, bikers and equestrians, a new parking facility has opened as a central point for trails that lead as far west as Aliso and Wood canyons and connect to 12 miles of paths in the recently expanded O'Neill Regional Park.

On Glen Ranch Road between Portola Parkway and El Toro Road, the two-acre lot was planned mainly to serve the popular Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park but will also benefit nearby areas.

With room for 100 cars and 25 horse trailers, "this is the largest staging area we have for any of our wilderness parks," said Tim Miller, county parks supervisor. "It's a really important element for the recreational community."

It also has the advantage of being on a relatively quiet side street, contrasted with Whiting Park's main entrance on busy Portola Parkway. The cost for parking at the new lot is $2.

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