Lake Forest Information

Lovely Lake Forest, California is surrounded by the rugged ridges, deep canyons and rolling hills of Orange County's picturesque Saddleback Valley. Incorporated in 1991, this pristine planned community is named for its sparkling man-made lakes, tree-lined avenues and fragrant eucalyptus forests. An outdoor enthusiast's paradise, Lake Forest offers loads of super recreational activities including hiking, tennis, horseback riding, golf, volleyball, boating and swimming.

Lake Forest loves to celebrate, and the city's 27 parks are the lively sites of frequent concerts, festivals and other family-friendly activities. The Fourth of July brings a spectacular parade, while the Autumn Harvest Festival includes a haunted house, live music and kids' games. Award-winning Etnies Skatepark is the largest public skatepark in America, sprawling across 62,000 square feet of amazingly varied terrain, and hosting numerous contests and competitions.

Laced with miles of hiking trails, Whiting Ranch and Limestone Canyon county parks combined boast over 4,000 acres of wooded canyons, rolling green hills, spectacular rock formations and shrub blanketed hills. Highlights of Whiting Ranch include magnificent Red Rock Canyon and scattered remnants of the area's ranchero past. Located to the north of the city, Limestone Canyon Park is accessible by guided programs only, due to sensitive wildlife habitats. Sign up to hike, mountain bike or horseback ride through some of the most spectacular wilderness in Southern California, including the magnificent Sinks rock formation, resembling a mini-Grand canyon.

Lake Forest is home to several historic sites. Intriguing Heritage Hill Historic Park pays homage to the rich history of the Saddleback Valley, and free walking tours are offered weekly. With four beautifully restored historic buildings of different eras, this four-acre retreat includes a Serrano adobe home, the old El Toro School House and historic St. George's Episcopal Church. Special events include a magical Victorian Christmas festival and the Rancho Days Fiesta. Once the home of a renowned Orange County 19th century Shakespearean actress, the Helena Modjeska house was designed in 1888 by legendary architect Stanford White, and is surrounded by lush gardens.

Wine lovers will enjoy local vineyard tours and tastings, including activities at the Tuscan-themed Wine Artist, where visitors can make and bottle their own vintages during fun-filled tasting events. Hamilton Oaks Winery in nearby Trabuco Canyon serves award-winning selections in a cozy tasting room overlooking the majestic canyon. For those seeking a bit of peace in the middle of bustling Orange County, Trabuco Canyon is also home to a small order of Hindu monks, who welcome visitors to stroll the lovely grounds and gardens of their small monastery, enjoying spectacular views of Lake Forest and Mission Viejo.