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Oak Glen Preserve

Oak Glen Preserve offers you the opportunity to observe many species of plants and wildlife, including redwoods, sequoias, birds, butterflies and waterfowl, while hiking along a short loop trail that passes alongside a couple of streams, ponds and wetlands. The hike also includes the California Trees Trail, an interpretive trail describing various trees and interesting facts about the area.

Exploring The Preserve

The Oak Glen Preserve is administered by The Wildlands Conservancy and is located on the Los Rios Rancho in Oak Glen. They have done a great job of developing trails and water features along with developing educational programs for children. They have also provided picnic tables, benches and decent restrooms for your convenience. The preserve is open daily 8am to 5pm.

The preserve has a well maintained loop trail, approximately 1.5 miles in length and moderately steep, that wanders through oaks, woodlands and pines. The trail is well shaded most of the way. Portions of the trail run adjacent to nearby streams. Benches are provided in many locations throughout the preserve, so you can take a break or just relax and enjoy your surroundings.

When we hike the Oak Glen Preserve loop trail, we usually travel down the eastern portion first. This way, we can save the best features for last. The direction we take on the trail loop is to travel downhill from the parking lot, past the ranger station, then past the lower parking lot until you connect with the eastern portion of the trail. This downhill portion of the trail heads down to the lowest point of the trail, passes through a group campground (I believe that's what it is) and then continues on and arrives at a small pond. While you are at this small pond, if you have a moment, you can use the watering bucket to water the nearby saplings if necessary.

Just passed the pond, you will come to a fork in the trail. These two trails will merge back together shortly, so either of the trails will route you to the upper pond and wetlands. The trail section closest to the stream is well shaded. We continue hiking the loop by traveling up this western portion of the trail to the upper pond and wetlands.

Just to the east of the upper pond, you will find an interpretive trail, the California Trees Trail, that wanders through a grove of trees that includes Redwood, Incense Cedar, Sequoia and others. It is a short, relaxing, well-shaded and informative walk. From here it is just a short walk back to the Los Rios Rancho parking lot.

During your walk be sure to watch and listen for birds. We have observed several different species small birds, waterfowl and birds of prey in Oak Glen Preserve. The waterfowl are attracted to the larger ponds and wetlands. We have seen the Wood Duck, Ruddy Duck, Ring-Necked Duck and many other waterfowl at these pond and wetlands. Also watch for butterflies. On a visit in October of 2011, we saw over 30 Dogface Butterflies. For a list of more sightings in this area, you can view our Sightings and Observations Log and search on "Oak Glen Preserve".

The Wildlands Conservancy

The Wildlands Conservancy, headquartered in Oak Glen, is one of the largest conservancies in the country and has preserved a substantial amount of wildlands throughout CA. They preserve land through a strategic process that accumulates smaller parcels (similar to pieces of a puzzle) into what eventually becomes one larger parcel (a finished puzzle). For more information about additional preserves under their administration, visit The Wildlands Conservancy website.

Where To Eat

For a snack, stop by Snow-Line for some Mini Apple Cider Doughnuts or sample their varieties of Apple Cider. Our favorite is Raspberry Apple Cider. In September, you can pick fresh raspberries to take home and enjoy. They are tasty on their own, on vanilla ice cream or in cereal.

If it is a cold day, stop by Mom's Country Orchard for a delicious hot apple cider.

For complete meal, grab a home-cooked meal at Law's Oak Glen Coffee Shop. Be forewarned however, the portions are more than generous - wear expandable pants. The downside to eating here is that it's very difficult to save room for dessert. But you can't leave without trying their Apple Pie a la mode topped with Cinnamon Sauce - it's awesome! On one of our visits we ordered the "Sweep Up" for breakfast. We planned to divide it between the two of us. They brought out a huge breakfast. Just as we were preparing to divide it in two, the waitress came out with a second huge breakfast - the other HALF!!! We ended up coming back later in the afternoon for our Apple Pie a la mode - after our walk through Oak Glen Preserve. After that, we loosened our belts and wobbled out to the car and headed home.

Maps and Directions for Oak Glen Preserve

You can find directions to Oak Glen Preserve at The Wildlands Conservancy website.

Updated: December, 2012

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