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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, but taking them for a walk along Patriot trail to the 9/11 memorial can make it easier.




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 while being a peace by the surrounding panoramic views of Orange County.



The kids took their time along the trail to ask us questions that they might have while stopping 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.




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.



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.



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! 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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