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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

The writings of Don Juan Ortega on the Rancho Ortega Blog are the personal views of the author. This blog is not authored by nor does it have any affiliation whatsoever with any other person, place or entity using the name "Rancho Ortega" (or any similar name).

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Opening a Rancho Mission Viejo Trail System

Living adjacent to Rancho Mission Viejo has a number of great benefits, including the open space, abundance of wildlife and rural character of the area.  But access to and use of the Ranch lands has thus far been non-existent to residents of surrounding communities.  Even the Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo is largely off-limits to visitors, with the exception of certain defined areas or scheduled events.  What good is all that open space if it’s kept behind barbed wire fencing and “no trespassing” signs?

We can understand the ecological and environmental reasons why the trustees of the Reserve would want to limit foot, bike and vehicle traffic to sensitive habitat.  In addition, much of the Ranch is still a working ranch and we understand that recreational use in these areas is problematic.  But the property is being transitioned from a privately held ranch to the public land of a new city.  With an eventual size of over 32,000 acres, certainly the public can be given more access to the Reserve than it currently has, particularly in the form of trails that will connect the various villages and planning areas of the Rancho Mission Viejo development.  We previously discussed Rancho Mission Viejo Company’s obligation to extend and connect the San Juan Creek, Ladera Ranch and Wagon Wheel trails as part of the Ranch Plan.  We’d also like to see more of the trails on the Ranch opened up to residents as well.

With that in mind, we were very happy to read this on Rancho Mission Viejo’s Facebook page:

Screen shot courtesy of Rancho Mission Viejo Facebook Page

It sounds as though a comprehensive trail system through the Ranch may be established in tandem with the Ranch Plan development.  We may have to wait for it, but that’s a good start.  Thanks, Rancho Mission Viejo!

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