The Jeffrey Open Space Trail is a special place where history and nature grow together.
The 3.5 mile long linear park wanders through meadows, forest groves, and public art exhibitions.
Along the way, historical markers trace 500 years of local history – from 1510 when Spanish explorers first sailed the California coast to 1864 when James Irvine bought the Irvine Ranch, to modern times with the creation of the Irvine Master Plan and the city.
The trail is divided into three parts – each with historical depictions of a new era.
The first segment on Portola Parkway contains several mosaic tile landmarks that illustrate early history, from Native American villages in the 16th century to California statehood in 1850.
Tiled monuments along the Jeffrey Open Space Trail trace the country’s history back to the 16th century.
The second section of the trail covers the history of the Irvine Ranch from 1864 onwards. Engraved concrete slabs and mosaic benches describe the first railroad to cross the ranch. the rise of the citrus industry; and the introduction of flight over an Irvine bean field.
This segment also includes one of Irvine’s most unique art installations: 14 wooden posts rising from the ground, perhaps reminiscent of Stonehenge. These were the vertical beams that supported the floor of the Irvine Valencia Growers’ warehouse that once stood here.
The third segment of the trail shows the master-planned city of Irvine from the late 20th century to the present day.
Information on stone benches describes the transformation of the Irvine Ranch.
Designed by award-winning landscape architect Richard Roy, the Jeffrey Open Space Trail is a $ 30 million public facility that stretches over 76 acres and runs uninterrupted through three villages.
The stacked stone tunnels and gas lamp-style lampposts were inspired by 19th-century Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed New York’s Central Park and is considered the father of American landscape architecture.