Regional Parks and Trails
In June 1950, Rancho Mission Viejo family matriarch Marguerite “Daisy” O’Neill gathered with her son, Richard Jerome O’Neill, and daughter, Alice O’Neill (Moiso) Avery, as well as Alice’s two sons, Tony and Jerome Moiso, to dedicate 278 acres of Rancho Mission Viejo land to the County of Orange for the creation of O’Neill Regional Park. That initial gift of land established a tradition of family open space dedications which lives on today and includes the following regional parks:
O’Neill Regional Park
Encompassing nearly 3,000 acres, O’Neill Regional Park is enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year. They come to picnic under its ancient sycamores and oaks and hike along more than 18 miles of trails. Visitors also have access to a riding and hiking trail which connects O’Neill Park to Doheny State Beach. For more information, visit www.ocparks.com.
Caspers Wilderness Park
Nearly thirty years ago, the Ranch family expanded Caspers Wilderness Park with a permanent contribution of 2,100 acres of Ranch land. That dedication added to what is now a 7,600-acre protected wilderness are nestled between the river terraces and sandstone canyons of the western Santa Ana Mountains. For more information, visit www.ocparks.com.
Upper Chiquita Conservation Area
The Upper Chiquita Conservation Area occupies 1,200 acres of former grazing land in a valley rich with coastal sage scrub and grasslands. It has been protected by the Ranch family in partnership with the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) since 1996. The area was created for the permanent preservation and scientific study of native wildlife. For more information, visit www.thetollroads.com.
Cox Sports Park
The first large-scale regional sports park to be owned and operated by the County of Orange since the 1980s, this 24-acre facility was dedicated by the Ranch family in 2001. The $4.7-million sports park includes two youth baseball and two adult regulation softball fields, one dedicated regulation soccer field, one junior soccer field and three additional soccer field overlays, a children’s play area, a concession building with restrooms and on-site manager’s office, a group picnic pavilion and parking spaces.