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Rancho Santa Margarita
Parks & Recreation

  • Rancho Santa Margarita Parks & Recreation is provided as an aid in finding parks & recreation in Rancho Santa Margarita.
  • Rancho Santa Margarita Parks, events and how to reserve parks for parties etc..
  • The Orange County beaches are a great place to enjoy the almost perfect Orange County weather and here's a way to check them out.
  • Even if there are no ocean beaches near you in Rancho Santa Margarita , it doesn't take long to get to the beach. Check out the Orange County Surf and Sand page and see what's cookin' for the day, but be careful it's not your skin cookin'.
  • This is where it's at in Rancho Santa Margarita and we're growing every day, please check back often. If there's anything you would like to see us add please Email Us

Amusement Parks

None Currently Listed

City Parks

None Currently Listed

Community Parks

Altisima Park
30082 Melinda Rd
Melinda Rd & Altisima
2 Tennis Courts, 1 Lighted Basketball Court, 2 Athletic Fields, Covered Grill & Picnic Area, Performance Stage and Jr. Olympic Pool
Arroyo Vista Park
29661 Avenida De Las Banderas
Avenida De Las Banderas & Arroyo Vista
Jr. Olympic Pool, 2 Athletic Fields, Covered Grill & Picnic Area, 3 Tennis Courts, Volleyball Court and Tot Lot
Canada Vista Park
24328 Antonio Pkwy
Antonio Pkwy & Avenida Empresa
2 Athletic Fields and 1/2 Basketball Court
Central Park
30842 La Miranda
La Miranda & El Paseo
Grill & Picnic Area, Tot Lot and Skating Facility
Cielo Vista Park
21921 Avenida De Los Fundadores
Avenida De Los Fundadores & Alma Aldea
2 Tennis Courts, Grill & Picnic Area and Tot Lot
Estrella Vista Park
29883 Plushstone
Plushstone & Ametrine
2 Tot Lots
Lago Santa Margarita Beach Club
21472 Avenida De Los Fundadores
Avenida De Los Fundadores & Santa Margarita Pkwy
Grill & Picnic Area, Boating, Swim Lagoon, 2 Volleyball Courts and Fiesta Room
Mesa Linda Park
29546 Via Ladera
Via Ladera & Antonio Pkwy
2 Tennis Courts, Covered Grill & Picnic Area, Basketball Court, Volleyball Court and Tot Lot
Monte Vista Park
21682 Buena Suerte
Buena Suerte & Avenida De Las Flores
Jr. Olympic Pool, 2 Tennis courts, Grill & Picnic Area, Athletic Field, Basketball Court and Tot Lot
Solana Park
21601 Via Regresso
Via Regresso & Melinda Rd
Jr. Olympic Pool, 2 Athletic Fields, Covered Grill & Picnic Area, Basketball Court, and Tot Lot
Tijeras Creek Park
23082 Avenida Empresa
Avenida Empresa & Antonio Pkwy
3 Athletic Fields, Picnic Area and Tot Lot
Trabuco Mesa Park
31504 Avenida De Las Flores
Avenida De Las Flores & Antonio Pkwy
3 Tennis Courts, Covered Grill & Picnic Area, Basketball Court, 2 Athletic Fields and Tot Lot
Vista Verde Park
22576 Alma Aldea
Alma Aldea & El Corazon
1 Athletic Field, Picnic Area, Exercise Station, and Tot Lot
To request your reservation, complete the Park Reservation Form and send it to Pete Morris, Parks and Recreation Manager, by email at, by phone at (949) 459-5964 or in person at the Altisima Park office.
Click here for the Park Reservation Request Form it's a PDF format form. You will need to print out to reserve for your next occassion.

Have you wondered where all the parks in RSM are? Click here for your RSM Park Map (it's a PDF) It will download a map of park locations for your convenience.

Facts About the Lake

People are naturally drawn to water; they enjoy how it feels, looks, smells and the sounds that only water can make. There are times when water encourages meditation and tranquility; other rimes amusement, fascination, enchantment and inspiration, The mood created by the aquascape is ever changing.


Plants in this group are desirable as they grow and thrive by mearly floating on the water surface. They afford shade and use nutrients restraining algae growth. the roots provide fish spawning habitat and newborn protection. Floating aquatic plants reduce evaporation by 10% on surface area covered.

Water Lilies are spectacular aquatic plants that all but command that you push back, relax, and enjoy life. They provide color that is not equaled by any other flowering plant. They give surface coverage, provide temperature reduction, retard algae growth with their shade, have a demand for nutrients, and prevent water loss from the surface due to evaporation.


The Dragonfly is usually the most enjoyable insect to watch near the body of water. Their beauty and wonderful powers of flight attract the attention to all. They also have value as they destroy mosquitoes, gnats, and other pests. They are a very beneficial and attractive group of insects.

Midgets are often mistaken for mosquitoes, they are about the same size, but do not bite. When present, they are seen swarming or dancing in the air close to the ground. They are a nuisance because they develop in great numbers. The Midget body is longer than its wings, and they have fuzzy antennae. The Midge Larvae develops in the water and this larvae acts as food for the Mosquitofish. The larvae are often red and are frequently referred to as "Blood Worms".


There are several types of fish that are stocked in the SAMLARC lake, such as Mosquitofish, Largemouth Bass, Blue Gill, Redear, Sunfish, and Channel Catfish. Mosquitofish eat mosquito and midge larvae and do not require extra feeding. Mosquitofish do not lay eggs but instead bear live offspring. They bear up to 10 fish a month throughout the summer. The young are approximately one-half inches long at birth, growing as large as 2 inches. They become sexually mature at four to five months.

Largemouth Bass prefer warm waters usually in excess of 50 degrees F. They become lethargic and lose their appetite when water is colder than 50 degrees F, remaining in deep water in this torpid state for much of the winter. As water warms in the spring, they move into the shallows, and when the temperature rises to about 65 degrees F, they begin spawning. A female lays between 2,000 and 40,000 eggs, depending on her size. The rate at which eggs develop depends upon water temperature. Under normal conditions, they hatch in 2 to 6 days. By autumn the young fish are from 2 to 8 inches long and precocious ones may attain 10 inches within a year. Within 2 years most reach the 8 to 12 inch range. Under highly favorable conditions they may mature and spawn when 1 year old, but more often Bass do not reach sexual maturity for 2 to 3 years. In general, Bass weighing 3 to 4 lb. are considered good sized fish.

Bass hide and ambush prey from shadows, charging from behind sunken logs, trees and plant beds to catch their meals. If you are in the right place, but are hanging lures and baited hooks on submerged objects, stay there, this is where the big ones live.

Bass feed primarily on fish. Small Bass up to 4 inches in length feed on microscopic live animals, insects larvae, and other invertebrates. Bass 4 inches and up feed on fish. Bass may grow 1-2 lb. per year under optimal conditions. To just maintain its size a Bass needs 3 lb. of fish per pound body weight. For a Bass to gain weight it needs 5 lb. of fish, for 1 pound gain in size. Two hundred pounds of Bass is a good target weight of Bass per acre of water (13.2 acres of SAMLARC lake surface). Over fishing depletes populations causing over abundant forage (food for animals when taken by browsing or grazing) fish, who consume small Bass. Only a few large Bass is a sign of limited cover and food supply.

Bluegill prefer the shallow, rocky, or marginal plant shore. They are generally found in schools near some type of cover. Bluegill feed on a wide variety of animal life. They grow best when water temperatures are 60 to 80 degrees F. Adults are typically 6 to 10 inches long and have been known to reach a weight of 4.75 lb. Bluegill are quite prolific and can spawn four times a year. The peak of spawning is May or early June when water is about 67 degrees F. Six hundred pounds of Bluegill is a good target weight of fish per acre. Bluegill are often planted with Bass as forage.

Redear Sunfish prefer deeper water of quiet, warm dense vegetation. They can spawn several times a year beginning when water temperatures reach 75 degrees F. They feed on the bottom eating snails, clams, and other invertebrates with shells. They grow more rapidly than Bluegill and are generally 6 to 9 inches long. Redear Sunfish also forage for Bass. Redear Sunfish can be substituted for Bluegill when used as forage.

Channel Catfish are the most active of the catfish and they grow quite large. Some fish reach 18 to 19 inches long in four years. Their large size makes them prized sport fish. They spend their days in deep holes and under structures. They feed in shallow water at night and eat young insects with some small fish and plant seeds. Larger fish are mostly fish eaters. Spawning occurs in the spring when water temperatures are between 72 and 82 degrees F. Nests are built in secluded semi-dark sites.

PLEASE NOTE: The minimum size requirements for catch and release is 12 inches. All fish under 12 inches must be returned to the water immediately. Do not try to remove the hook if the fish has swallowed it. If the fish is hooked on other than the lip, cut the line and the fish will absorb the hook.

Regional Parks

O’Neill Regional Park
30892 Trabuco Canyon Rd
(949) 923-2260
While not technically in Rancho Santa Margarita (the entrance is in Trabuco Canyon) this park runs right through the middle of RSM

Theme Parks

None Currently Listed

Water Parks

None Currently Listed

Wilderness Parks

O’Neill Regional Park
30892 Trabuco Canyon Rd
(949) 923-2260
Good Free Stats