Turtle Rock Nature Center – Free

Maruska —  June 12, 2017
Turtle Rock Nature Center

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The Turtle Rock Nature Center is another hidden gem in Orange County. First take the kids to explore the nature center and then go for a walk along their beautiful woodsy trails. This place is just beautiful, lots of fun and free. Your kids will love it and so will you.

What to expect:

  • You can first spend some time inside the nature center that has fun and educational games and displays.
  • Afterwards walk the trails which are beautiful and wind through different Southern Californian habitats. You can see all kinds of plants and animals, such as crayfish, turtles, ducks, hummingbirds, rabbits, squirrels, and lots of lizards.
  • Along the path there is a small creek that ends in a beautiful pond that attracts ducks, and lots of other insects. We even saw several red fish in it.
  • Make sure to find the super fun labyrinth. The kids and I always run after each other and see who reaches the end first. I know it is a silly game, but I love hearing my kids laughing while I am running after them.
  • Next to the labyrinth, you can find one of those clocks that uses the position of the sun to tell time. Your shade will tell you what time it is.
  • They recently added three new activities, a tree stump tic-tac-toe, a giant checkerboard and a jump touch station. You can borrow the checker pieces and the tic-tac-toe tokens from the office.
  • Take a picnic with you and stop at the Turtle Rock Community Park just outside the nature center. There are two terrific playgrounds and lots of grassy areas.


  • Make sure to grab the scavenger hunt sheet before leaving the nature center. My kids still love searching for bugs and other nature items while walking the trails.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Most of the trail is in the shade, so you can also visit on a hot day.
  • The trail is paved, so feel free to bring a stroller.
  • The trail is fairly short so this place is perfect for toddlers. My son used to hate getting out of his stroller, but when I took him here, he actually didn’t mind walking while exploring nature. So this place is perfect if you have a little one that loves sitting in a stroller.


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