Located in the heart of Orange Country, the Serrano Creek Trail provides an easy way to get some exercise and solitude without the need to head north to the Los Angeles area mountains. There are many points to enter the trail, but the most popular one is the parking lot off of Portola Street in Foothill Ranch. This point also separates the north and the south part of the trail.
The southern end of the Serrano Creek Trail starts at Serrano Creek Park, while the northern end, which is part of Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, merges with the other trail in the park .
This multi-purpose trail is great for running, walking the dog, horse riding, and biking. Remember that dogs aren't allowed on the northern section of the trail because it is part of Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. Also, you'll want to avoid this section of the trail during dusk and dawn because of the mountain lion presence. Rattlesnakes are also a hazard in this area. That said, there are much more friendly animals here as well: Deer, cottontail rabbits, and plenty of birds make this a great trail for spotting wildife.
The northern section of the Serrano Creek Trail turns into many different trails within the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, while the southern part ends at Serrano Creek Park. There are some road crossing that can be a little bit confusing, especially at Trabuco Road, but the entrance is usually not too far away and is pretty easy to spot.
The trail can be pretty muddy and slippery after a heavy rain, especially under the tunnel. Note that the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park is generally closed for a couple of days after heavy rain.