Coyotes and Anxiety-Free Nighttime Dog Walks in Mid-South OC

I live in a hilly area, so nighttime walks with my two little dogs is an anxious experience for me. I’m hyper-vigilent, geared up with a noise-maker, flashlight, spray, always looking around for the evil coyote that wants to eat my small dogs ….

I’ve found a good solution – I pile the dogs in the car and go to any number of locations, depending on how much time I have, where I am, etc.

Most un-enclosed shopping malls work real well if they have continuous, or near-continuous sidewalks to minimize need to walk thru the parking lot to get from one point to another, and have at least some grassy area.

The places I go to most:

Mission Viejo Lake Shopping Center at Marguerite Pkwy & Vista del Lago. Lot’s of grass.  There can be coyotes very late/wee hours, but I’ve dog-walked there for several years and haven’t seen one yet.  I feel more secure with the people around who can come to help if needed.

Mission Viejo – Pavillions shopping center at Marguerite Pkwy & Oso. Works in a pinch if it rains (day or night).

Mission Viejo – City Hall/Library. Wonderful grassy area. After the library and City Hall close, the parking lot becomes a good, safe area to walk the dogs as well.

Irvine – the shopping center on Walnut @ Jeffrey (off the 5) where the 99 Ranch Market is located as well as my vet, Camino Pet Hospital.  Works in a pinch if it rains (day or night). There’s another shopping center across the street but the overhead cover as not as good if it’s raining, and lacks the ability to walk straight along the sidewalks without having to cross traffic areas-a little dangerous.

Laguna Hills – The area behind and next to Trader Joe. Lot’s of grass and walkways.

Laguna Niguel – The Von’s Shopping Center on Alicia Parkway & Pacific Park.

And my dogs’ personal pick:

Irvine Spectrum.  Lot’s of other people with dogs day and night.

For Day Time Walks ONLY
If you’re looking for a new place for great daytime walks:

The Oso Creek Trail in Mission Viejo is an incredible place to walk your dog. The road is paved or you can use the dirt trail. Not too busy on weekday mornings and the scenery is beautiful.

Wilderness Glenn Park off Los Alisos. It has some beautiful wooded areas and large oak trees.

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