Friday, March 11, 2011

Sinks Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Today we had the opportunity to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for the sinks viewing area. The sinks are referred to as the "Miniature Grand Canyon of Orange County". The ribbon cutting ceremony was to officially open the newly constructed viewing platform that overlooks the sinks. The viewing platform was installed to prevent erosion of the geologic feature caused by people getting close too close the edge of the sinks. The viewing deck is well constructed and best of yet it offers sweeping vistas of the sinks and the wilderness beyond it. This sinks geological feature is well worth the hike to go see it. However, even though its nick names is the "Miniature Grand Canyon of Orange County", it is obviously not the same size as the Grand Canyon, but in our opinion is a breath taking area to see. In our personal opinion it is a vista that you would normally find in one of our nation's national parks.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was well planned by those at the Irvine Ranch Conservancy and the people at O.C. Parks. The plan was for one group of hikers to hike one trail to the site, for a group of mountain bikers to ride to the site from another trail, and for a group of equestrians to ride their horses to the site from another trail. The ceremony was timed well, with all three groups converging on the sinks at the same time from three separate trails. The ribbon cutting ceremony was lead by Orange County Supervisor Bill Campbell and other O.C. Park Officials and was well done.

I want to highlight for our readers that TOMORROW is a wilderness access day for the Limestone Canyon Wilderness Area where the sinks are located. This means that you can hike to the sinks tomorrow at your leisure and are not required to sign up for a docent lead hike. Normally, you need to sign up for the hike through the Irvine Ranch National Landmark website since the hikes are usually lead by highly knowledgeable docents. Tomorrow is a great opportunity for the public and our readers to go view the sinks from the newly dedicated viewing platform. (If you cannot make it to the area tomorrow, sign up for one of the docent lead hikes to the area. You will find that the docents who lead these hikes have a wealth of knowledge about the surrounding area and you are sure to learn new things about the surrounding wild lands when on the hike.) The trailhead for the hike is at the Augustine Staging Area, by Santiago Canyon Road, where the bridge goes crosses over the road close to the Irvine Lake. We are going to do a post about the hike and will have trail information on the location this evening. We have provided pictures from today's ceremony in this post. Check out our Facebook Page where we have posted many more pictures of the hike and ceremony. For more information on the wilderness access day click Here.

Here is the information for the wilderness access day hike from the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks website:

Wilderness Access Day - Limestone Canyon
Trail lovers, this one is for you. Enjoy self-guided access in Limestone Canyon. Designated trails will be open for self-guided hiking, biking and equestrian from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.Participants MUST check in and register at the Augustine Staging Area prior to accessing the trail system. 

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