Each weekend, I like to get a start on my daily 10,000 steps with a hike.  Last Saturday, I chose Bommer Canyon, one of my favorite spots in the city.

Bommer is a local gem tucked away and curated for our enjoyment and appreciation. And with spring in full bloom, it offers something for everyone, from young families with kids to athletic mountain bikers to spirited retirees.

William Schmidt Boger, of Cypress Village, enjoys exploring Irvine’s open spaces.

I set my step-tracker at the trailhead, just off Shady Canyon Road, and took Bommer Meadow Trail, an easy 1-miler to the historic Cattle Camp, a rustic 15-acre park that makes a perfect destination.

Sharing the trail

All around me, I could hear the sounds of cooing, chirping, squalling and even an occasional neigh as early-morning equestrian riders passed by – a nice reminder that these trails are shared by many.

For a while, I shared the trail with Tom, 72, a retired doctor who lives in a nearby neighborhood. He said he enjoys venturing out past the Cattle Camp a few times a week to stay active. The natural dirt trail makes it easy on his joints, while the nearby ocean breezes keep temperatures down.

Just past a small pedestrian bridge, we saw quail and rabbits dart across the trail and wildflowers blooming among the tall grass: wild hyacinth, Indian paintbrush and California poppies with their petals of orange and yellow.

Historic Cattle Camp

Bommer Canyon is really a tale of two worlds: For most of the 20th century, it was a bustling cattle operation where Irvine Ranch cowhands rounded up the herd each year.

In 2002, Irvine Company donated 2,200 acres to the city of Irvine to establish the Bommer Canyon Open Space Preserve and make it available for hiking and biking activities.

Today, you can see the remnants of the old world at the Bommer Canyon Cattle Camp, nestled under a canopy of 100-year-old sycamores. The camp’s recent $6 million remodel makes you feel like you just stepped into a charming Western ranch.

From there, backcountry trails lead to a ridgeline where you can hike all the way to the waters of Crystal Cove – a hike for another day! This time, I turned for home. At the trailhead, my watch showed that I had walked 6,894 steps in just over an hour – a perfect way to start the day.