City Hiking Guides

A Guide to the Best Fullerton Hiking Trails

POSTED ON July 21, 2022 BY Ralph S.


Introduction

Welcome to the hidden gem of Orange County—the city of Fullerton. Known for its vibrant cultural scene, diverse community, and rich history, Fullerton is also home to some of the best hiking trails in Southern California.

Located south of cities like Newport Beach and La Habra, Fullerton offers a variety of parks and open spaces that are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.

So if you’re looking for a nice spot to unwind and recharge, or if you plan to visit the area, check out this guide to the best Fullerton hiking trails.

Parks and Trails

Fullerton boasts several parks and trails that cater to different levels of hikers. Whether you prefer an easy stroll or a challenging hike, there’s something here for everyone.

Here is a list of the best locations to explore:

Fullerton Loop MTB & Hiking Trail

  • Location: Fullerton, CA
  • Distance: approximately 11.2 miles (18 km)
  • Hiking Duration: 2-3 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Loop

Located in the charming city of Fullerton, CA, the Fullerton Loop MTB & Hiking Trail is a great spot for outdoor enthusiasts. With a total distance of approximately 11.2 miles (18 km), this moderate trail offers hikers and bikers the perfect opportunity to explore the stunning natural landscapes of Southern California.

The great trail starts at the Fullerton Sports Complex and takes you south through lush green hills, providing breathtaking panoramic views along the way. You can also bring your dogs along, as they are allowed on the trail.

As you make your way through the loop, you’ll come across a nice spot to stay and take in the beautiful surroundings. It’s worth noting that, although this area is safe, it’s always best to be cautious when exploring new trails. Be sure to bring enough water to stay hydrated during your hike.

Panorama Trail

  • Location: Fullerton, CA
  • Distance: approximately 1.52 miles (2.4 km)
  • Hiking Duration: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Out and Back

Located in Orange County, CA, the Panorama Trail is one of the best places to experience the great outdoors in Fullerton. This 1.52-mile (2.4 km) out and back path is perfect for hikers of all levels, with a moderate difficulty level that will challenge you without being too strenuous.

The trail starts at the sign near the east entrance of Panorama Trail and takes you through lush greenery as you make your way up a slight incline. As you ascend, take in the beautiful scenery and enjoy the peaceful sounds of nature surrounding you.

At the halfway point, you’ll reach an opening with a stunning view overlooking Fullerton and its neighboring cities. From there, get ready for a gentle descent as you make your way back to the starting point.

Juanita Cooke Trail via Laguna Lake Park

Laguna Lake Fullerton, CA

  • Location: Fullerton, CA
  • Distance: approximately 4.7 miles (7.6 km)
  • Hiking Duration: 1-2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Type: Out and Back

The Juanita Cooke Trail via Laguna Lake Park is a nice trail for hikers of all levels. It offers the perfect opportunity to explore the city’s natural beauty at your own pace.

The trail starts at Laguna Lake Park and takes you south through charming neighborhoods, providing scenic views of the surrounding landscape. The trail is well-maintained and offers plenty of photo opportunities, so don’t forget to bring your camera along!

Along the way, make sure to take a quick stop at one of the designated areas to admire the peaceful lake or enjoy a picnic with your friends or family. And don’t worry about running out of water, as there are plenty of water fountains along the trail to keep you hydrated.

Mountain View Park

Mountain View Park, Fullerton, CA

  • Location: Fullerton, CA
  • Size: 2 acres (0.008 sq km)
  • Number of Trails: 1
  • Total Length of Trails: approximately 0.25 miles (400 meters)

Mountain View Park is a little slice of paradise nestled in the heart of Fullerton, CA. With its convenient location near the east Coyote Hills, this 2-acre (0.008 sq km) park is a popular spot for both locals and visitors alike.

The park offers a single trail that spans approximately 0.25 miles (400 meters), making it a perfect destination for a quick hike or jog in the beautiful California sunshine. Whether you’re looking to get some exercise, take some photos, or simply relax and enjoy a picnic, Mountain View Park has plenty to offer.

At sunset, the park can get quite crowded as people flock here to capture the stunning views of the sun setting. So if you’re planning to visit during this time, expect to share the space with others who also want to catch a glimpse of this breathtaking sight.

Hiking on the Best Fullerton Nature Parks

With easy access to the city and free parking available at most locations, Fullerton is a hiker’s paradise. However, some of these parks can get crowded during peak months such as August and October. So, expect to share the trails with others who also want to take in the stunning natural beauty that Fullerton has to offer.

Here are the top nature parks that offer great hiking opportunities:

Hiltscher Park

Hiltscher Park trail, Fullerton, CA

  • Location: Fullerton, CA
  • Size: 15.96 acres (0.065 sq km)
  • Number of Trails: 1
  • Total Length of Trails: approximately 1.39 miles (2.2 km)

Nestled in the heart of Fullerton, Hiltscher Park is a hidden oasis waiting to be explored. With its prime location just minutes away from the bustling downtown area, this 15.96-acre (0.065 sq km) park offers a peaceful retreat for anyone looking to escape the city’s hustle and bustle.

The park features one main trail, the 1.39-mile (2.2-kilometer) Hiltscher Park recreational path, ideal for a leisurely walk or jog. As you make your way through the park’s gates, get ready to be captivated by the beautiful scenery and lush greenery that surround you.

Be sure to bring your camera along, as there are plenty of photo-worthy spots throughout the park. And if you’re lucky enough to visit during sunset, take a moment to chill and watch as the sky is painted with vibrant hues of orange and pink.

Robert E. Ward Nature Preserve

Los Coyotes Trail: Nora Kuttner

  • Location: Fullerton, CA
  • Size: 72 acres (0.29 sq km)
  • Number of Trails: 1
  • Total Length of Trails: approximately 0.64 miles (1.1 km)

Located just west of the Coyote Hills in Fullerton, CA, the Robert E. Ward Nature Preserve offers visitors the chance to explore and appreciate California’s native plants and wildlife. The preserve features one main trail, the 0.64-mile (1.1 km) Nora Kuttner Trail, which takes you through the heart of this serene sanctuary.

Before entering the preserve, make sure to sign in at the register and obtain permission to explore this beautiful park. As you make your way through the east side of the park, be on the lookout for some of the various plant species.

With its open meadows and nice walking paths, this nature preserve is perfect for anyone looking for a quick but peaceful hike.

Craig Regional Park

  • Location: Fullerton, CA (Google map)
  • Size: 124 acres (0.5 sq km)
  • Number of Trails: 1 main loop
  • Total Length of Trails: approximately 2 miles (3.2 km)

Located in the northern part of Fullerton, Craig Regional Park offers a variety of hiking opportunities for everyone to enjoy.

The park’s main trail, the Craig Regional Park Nature Trail, starts at the southern end of the park near the picnic area and winds its way through some scenic areas before looping back around to the starting point. This trail takes approximately an hour to complete and is rated as easy, making it suitable for families with young children or anyone looking for a leisurely stroll through nature.

As you begin your hike, keep an eye out for the wooden sign that marks the start of the Nature Trail. Along the way, you’ll come across a few benches where you can take a break and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. And don’t forget to sign in at the register before starting your hike.

Hillcrest Park

Hillcrest Park in Fullerton

  • Location: Fullerton, CA
  • Size: 37.8 acres (0.15 sq km)
  • Number of Trails: 1 main loop
  • Total Length of Trails: approximately 2 miles (3.2 km)
  • Hiking Duration: Approximately 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Type: Loop

Nestled in the heart of Fullerton, Hillcrest Park offers visitors an unforgettable hiking experience. The park’s main trail, the Hillcrest Stairs Trail, takes you on a journey through the park, showcasing its natural beauty and breathtaking views.

As you make your way along the trail, take in the stunning scenery that surrounds you. On one side, you’ll see lush greenery and open spaces, while on the other side, you’ll catch glimpses of the city below and the water fountain. This well-maintained trail is perfect for hikers of all levels, from beginners to experienced hikers.

If you’re looking for a challenging hike, make sure to take on the famous Hillcrest Stairs. This iconic feature of the park consists of 204 steps and is a popular spot for locals looking to get in some exercise. And don’t worry, you can always pause for a break and enjoy the scenery before continuing on your trek.

East Coyote Hills Preserve

Coyote Hills Golf Course, Fullerton, California.

  • Location: Fullerton, CA
  • Size: 133 acres (0.54 sq km)
  • Number of Trails: 4 main trails
  • Total Length of Trails: approximately 5 miles (8 km)

The East Coyote Hills Preserve is the perfect choice for those looking for a longer and more challenging hike. Located on the eastern edge of Fullerton, this 133-acre (0.54 sq km) park boasts four main trails that take you through a diverse landscape of hills, wetlands, and grasslands.

Each trail offers something different for hikers to experience. The East Coyote Hills Trail, which is the longest at 1.79 miles (2.8 km), takes you on a loop around the park and offers stunning views of the surrounding areas. The Central Trail is a 1-mile (1.6 km) out-and-back trail that leads to a scenic overlook, while the North and South Trails take you through wetlands and grasslands.

Powder Canyon via Black Walnut Trail Loop

  • Location: La Habra Heights, CA
  • Distance: 2.5 miles (4 km)
  • Hiking Duration: Approximately 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Type: Loop
  • Map: trail map

Nestled in the picturesque city of La Habra Heights, California, the Powder Canyon via Black Walnut Trail Loop awaits hikers and nature enthusiasts alike. This 2.5-mile (4 km) looped trail offers a moderate level of difficulty and showcases the beautiful landscapes and vegetation of the north region.

Starting at the parking lot on Hacienda Road, hikers can embark on their journey by taking the 1.4-mile Powder Canyon Trail. This trail is perfect for hikers of all levels, as it offers moderate terrain with some inclines and scenic views of the surrounding canyons, downtown Los Angeles, and the San Gabriel Mountains.

After completing the Powder Canyon Trail, hikers will then join the 1.1-mile Black Walnut Trail. This trail is popular among horseback riders and offers more challenging terrain with steeper inclines. As you make your way through the trail, keep an eye out for the beautiful wildflowers and wildlife that call this area home.

Conclusion

Hiking trails offer an escape from the everyday hustle and bustle and provide an exciting opportunity to experience nature’s beauty. No matter where you go, our bestselling Silverlight socks will be of value on any hike:

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Boasting the perfect climate and terrain for outdoor activities, Fullerton is the perfect place to explore. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, Fullerton’s hiking trails offer something for everyone.

If you’re searching for a perfect weekend getaway, put on your hiking boots and discover Fullerton’s hiking trails; they won’t disappoint.

Don’t leave without checking other trails with our city hiking guide.


RALPH S.

Ralph S. is the founder of Silverlight, an avid hiker and trail runner he enjoys spending time outdoors, riding his motorcycle and swimming at the beach when he's not busy replying to customers or developing new Silverlight gear.

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