Yorba Regional Park has been acknowledged by locals for many years as the ideal place to relax with family and friends and enjoy casual recreation, peaceful scenery, and shade aplenty. This thin, linear park is just over a mile long but offers casual biking opportunities, a riverside equestrian trail, beautiful water features, and amenities galore.
Yorba Park has earned a reputation in Orange County as the perfect spot for picnics and family gatherings. A staggering estimated 400 picnic tables and 200 barbecues dot the landscape, many of them in shady areas below trees or picnic shelters. There are seven group shelters, one of which can accommodate 250 people, available with prior reservations. These rentals range from $100-$300 depending on the size. Parties will also need to purchase a permit from the County for any licensed outside vendors they wish to employ.
Six playgrounds, as well as horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, and two baseball fields, attract active families and sport lovers. The park also features flat, gently winding bicycle trails suited for casual riders, families, and beginners. No worries if you come without bikes, the Wheel Fun shack by the lake restrooms provides a variety of vehicles for rent by the hour. For those looking for a more intense workout, the bike trails are connected to the Santa Ana River Trail. This can be taken northeast to the Orange County line, or about 20 miles southwest to Huntington Beach.
Parking at the main entrance off E. La Palma Avenue is, like most OC Parks, $3 during the week and $5 on the weekend. Free parking can be found in the Yorba Athletic Park lot on the southwestern end of the park.
Yorba Park was originally envisioned as a water-oriented retreat, and that planning is still easily recognizable today. Four spacious lakes with connecting streams offer relaxing recreational opportunities. Adults with fishing licenses and children under the age of 16 can cast a line and kick back waiting to catch a catfish, trout, bluegill, or bass. The placid water also attracts model boat aficionados (electric watercraft only).
Paddleboats and kayaks are available for rental from the Wheel Fun shack. To maintain the purity of the water and protect the aquatic habitats, swimming and wading are not permitted.
In recognition of the City of Orange’s 130th birthday, a host of renovations totaling about $2.1 million were made to Yorba Park. Prior to April 2018, dogs were permitted in the park but had to be leashed unless they were in a small, fenced-in play area. Now Yorba Park features a spacious, clean dog park with shady trees, picnic tables, and watering stations where dogs can run and play much more freely. Separate areas are designated for large and small dogs.
The renovations to the park also included a brand new bathroom facility, fresh landscaping, and a new walking path. In response to popular demand from bikers for years, a new street path now connects to the Santiago Creek Bike Trail, linking Yorba Park to Grijalva Park and Hart Parks, providing even more opportunities for longer rides.
The land that is now known as Yorba Regional Park was originally part of an enormous cattle ranch and farm owned and operated by Bernando Yorba in the 1800s. After his family left the property, it was still used for agriculture for many years until 1972, when Orange County purchased the 166-acre site for $3.6 million. Yorba Park became a top priority project for the County, and was opened to the public in December of 1976 as its official bicentennial project.
Shea Costales is an old-soul hippie with a passion for outdoor exploring. You can usually find her doing yoga in a local park, grubbing at the newest burger shack, or petting your dog.