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Jan Duquette guides walkers and hikers along the trails of southern Orange County. Courtesy photo
Jan Duquette guides walkers and hikers along the trails of southern Orange County. Courtesy photo

By Steve Breazeale

As a professor of kinesiology at Saddleback College, Jan Duquette has been teaching fitness classes for more than 30 years and happens to be an avid hiker and amateur historian of the trails in Southern California.

Duquette is now bringing her knowledge and love of the outdoors to the public in the form of Take a Hike OC. Duquette acts as a tour guide for those interested in traversing the trails that dot the area. She is currently taking interested walkers and hikers on trips through San Clemente, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, Mission Viejo and other neighboring cities. The walking trips cater to the casual enthusiast while the hiking trails offer more of a challenge.

For Duquette, exploration is in her blood. In the 1980s, she would go on cattle roundups with her father, who was connected to the equestrian world in the area. Some of those same trails Duquette and her father used to round up cattle, like near Bear Brand Ranch in San Juan Capistrano and Rancho San Clemente, are still intact and she takes the groups along the same paths, providing insight to how it used to be.

“I used to know all the original trails. The cities have done a great job maintaining them … The people love it and the biggest thing is being outside and meeting other people,” Duquette said.

For more information on Take a Hike OC visit

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