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Hike to Patriot Trail in San Juan Capistrano

It’s Memorial Day weekend, and a great time to talk to our children about the meaning of the holiday. It can be hard for children to understand war and freedom depending on their age. Taking them for a walk along Patriot trail to the 9/11 memorial can make it easier.

About Patriot Trail

Trail in San Juan Capistrano

Trail entrance to hiking in San Juan Capistrano

Orange County Hiking Trails

Yesterday, we took our kid to San Juan Capistrano to walk Patriot Trail. While we were walking along the hiking trail, it gave us a chance to talk to our children about the meaning of the holiday. Plus, we were at peace by the surrounding panoramic views of Orange County.

What to Expect

Hiking Patriot Trail in San Juan Capistrano

Butterfly along hiking trails in Orange County

The kids took their time along the trail to ask us questions that they might have. Also, we made many stops to admire all the beautiful flowers and butterflies. At the end of the trail, the children came upon a flag pole (where there is normally an American flag flying – but was not flying yesterday).

At the base of the flag pole was flowers that someone had left for the men and women who have lost their lives for our Country. There was also a mailbox at the memorial where our children had a chance to leave a thank you message for the military. It was a memorable day with our children honoring the men and women who have given us the gift of freedom in America.


Family Friendly Hiking Trails

Best family hiking trails in Orange County

Panoramic View of Orange County

Where is it located? The trail is located in San Juan Capistrano. Coming on the 5 freeway (south) exit at Pacific Coast Highway, and turn left at the light. Follow Camino Las Ramblas to the very end, and there is plenty of parking where the street dead ends. This is where you start the trail.

American Flag

Mailbox to send letters to veterans

Kids hugging an American Flag pole

Flowers for veterans along patriot trail

How to find the flag? There are a couple of trails that lead to the Patriot Trail. Follow along the wide dirt path (keeping left) at every fork in the road until finding the Patriot Trail sign where you will make a right.

Family Friendly

Family Hiking in Orange County

Cactus Flower

Patriot Trail in Orange County

What to expect. The trail is wide and well paved (you could easily bring a stroller with big wheels). The trail took our family about 2 hours, so bring plenty of water. There are only a couple of slight inclines until the end where there are three large inclines. Overall, it was easy for our 7 year old to do the trail, and I would recommend it for children of all ages.

Pets Welcome

View of San Juan Capistrano


Pets! There are a lot of dogs on the trail, so if you have a dog, feel free to bring them along. There are doggy bags at the start of the trail to make picking up dog “messes” along the way.

Have a wonderful time getting close to nature with your children along this beautiful nature trail in Orange County.

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  1. We are moving to a home that backs up to Nature Trail in Meridian Canyon, San Juan Capistrano. Just how big is this nature area? Any animals? Plants?

    • It is a huge nature area. Yes, there are a lot of plants and animals + lots of hiking trails


  1. Memorial Day Hike Along Patriot Trail - OC Mom TV | OC Mom TV - […] Happy Memorial Day! Today is the perfect day to take a hike along Patriot Trail in San Juan Capistrano…
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