About a year ago, I was browsing around on Google Maps (one of my favorite ways to discover new places to explore in my backyard), saw the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve in Newport Beach, and randomly decided to drive there.
I’m a huge fan of simply being outdoors, and absolutely love the place. Recently, I decided to check it out again.
The preserve is a nearly 135-acre space where three sensitive species (the California Gnatcatcher, San Diego Cactus Wren and Burrowing Owl) can be found. It’s also home to six rare/endangered species of birds, and sees up to 35,000 birds during winter migration. Combined with the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve, it totals about 1,000 acres of open space. There’s also a fee free interpretive center available right near the preserve parking lot (which is also free!) with educational exhibits and, panoramic views of the Bay.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve is really an awesome spot if you like the outdoors, watching wildlife, jogging/biking/walking, and hiking, although the trail is flat and is really more of a dirt path to walk or jog on. It’s also a perfect place to spend some time in nature either with yourself, a friend or a few, or the family.
Be sure to check it out if you’re ever in the area 🙂
(P.S. The parking lot is located near the intersection of University Drive and Irvine Avenue. Going Southeast on University Drive, the lot will be to your right.)