Today it is somewhat stormy, but yesterday I went to Aliso & Wood Canyon Wilderness Park, where I've hiked several times before - just not as a local resident!
Near the nature center (it didn't seem open), and the parking lot off Alicia Pkwy, they have several areas with native plants, nature information and here - what they described as "old farm equipment."
To take the creekside trail (not the main, paved roadway leading into the park, where most people take their bikes), follow a small trail leading away from the "old farm equipment."
You will quickly come to a sign marking an Eagle Scout Project. This is a set of stairs and a stream crossing.
I did not wear my hiking boots, so my hike was cut short about half an hour later when I reached a muddy portion of the mowed path that I had been following. But here's the cool stream crossing put there by the scouts. Water levels obviously topped the creek during the recent extreme storms. Every large piece of vegetation had lots of stuff washed into its branches. Now, the creek is small, but pretty fast-moving, with clear, clean water.
I was able to follow this mowed path for approx. 1 1/2 miles before hitting the mudpatch that I didn't want to cross. I could tell there was a gate immediately after it. The smell of fresh-mown grass was intoxicating. I saw numerous small animals (mostly cottontails), many different birds, and a shadowy, brief glimpse of a bobcat.
The grass smelled so good because it was fresh-mown! I passed the guy on the riding mower along the way.
The views were amazing. Even though it is at no point far from a major roadway, it was quiet and still on many occasions. Stopping and looking and listening, the sounds of nature were calming and well-worth a brief walk (VERY easy) into this beautiful wilderness area.