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Day Hikes Around Orange County
by Robert Stone (Day Hike Books)
Back Bay Drive follows the east shore of the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve, where the ocean’s salt water mixes with the nutrient-rich freshwater from San Diego Creek, the Santa Ana Delhi Channel, and various side streams. The 752-acre wetland is the largest remaining estuary in southern California and one of the finest birding sites in North America. This hike follows the paved Back Bay Drive, a multi-use road for hikers, bikers, and occasional one-way vehicles. The road hugs the east edge of the wetland sanctuary along the base of 100-foot eroding sandstone cliffs.
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