The lake at the center of Laguna Niguel Regional Park is a secondary attraction to the lush emerald lawns and sturdy Sycamore trees that adorn the 236-acres surrounding it. This South Orange County Park is a perfect destination for a family day trip.
One of the many members in the Orange County park family, Laguna Niguel Regional Park is dedicated to a wide variety of recreational uses including fishing, boating, hiking, picnicking, as well as biking and jogging on the trails through nearby Woods Canyon Nature Reserve.
The park’s name originates from a local Indian Village which was called “Niguil”, which actually began to take shape in 1970 when a total of 154 acres were acquired. It took three additional years for the park to actually open the gates, and a lot has been changed and added to the park’s facilities since then.
The 44-acre lake which is regularly stocked with catfish, bass and blue gill and trout during the winter month, has been the most improved over the years with the addition of a boat dock, a lake concession building that includes a bait ship and boat rentals.
A magnificent waterfront gazebo, and an area known as Kite Hill that that was developed into a model glider area that attracts aviation hobbyist from all over California each year serve as other focal points of the park
Later, in 1984 however, came the biggest renovations, including the addition of more bicycle trails, expansive picnic shelters, fishing piers, and various recreational areas throughout the park.
There are also lighted tennis courts that offer lessons year-round, horseshoe pits, a par course along the park’s two-mile jogging trail, sand volleyball areas, amphitheater along with a “Tot Lot”– a play-yard paradise for the park’s younger visitors.
Even with all that, the biggest draw for visitors to Laguna Niguel Regional Park is the plethora of picnic areas that are not only equipped with shelters, but sinks, picnic tables, barbecue stoves and electrical outlets.
These designated areas provide outdoor cooking enthusiasts with the perfect setting to grill up their favorites comfort foods while enjoying the clean clear ocean breezes that waft inland from the nearby Pacific Ocean.
Laguna Niguel Regional Park is a great place for the kids to run around and play, while mom and dad relax in the shade, all while feeling they are far away from the chaos of the city in this park which is conveniently located off Interstate 5 in Laguna Niguel
Nearby attractions include the Orange County Natural History Museum, Laguna Niguel Skate Soccer Park and Aliso and Woods Canyon wilderness park.
The hours at the park are similar to most parks in this area in that they are seasonal. In the colder months of fall and winter, the park is open from 6 am to 6 pm. Then when it warms up, the gates are open from sunrise to 9 pm.
Laguna Niguel Regional Park is located in Laguna Niguel. Directions: take the Santa Ana Freeway (5) to the La Paz Road off ramp. Head west four miles to the park entrance. Open: Fall – Winter Hours, 6 a.m to 6 p.m. Open: Spring – Summer Hours, 6 a.m to 9 p.m.Lake Fishing Concessionaire is open weekdays 8 a.m. to 6 p.m and weekends 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The store offers bait and tackle, food and drinks and takes care of the rental boats.
Laguna Niguel lake is a pay to fish the lake and no fishing license is needed. They do come around and check that you have paid so do not try and sneak in some free fishing.
The lake is stocked with trout in the cooler months (November through early April) and also has a population of catfish, bass, black crappie, slab crappie, carp, and bluegill.