Wandering the Bolsa Chica Wetlands

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve Trail is a 4.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Huntington Beach, California, that features beautiful wild flowers and many different species of birds! You can also find several species of marine life, reptiles, and mammals while exploring the reserve. Bolsa Chica is also home to Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes and Southern Pacific Rattlesnakes, both of which are venomous. Click here for more information and the Do’s and Don’ts when walking in rattlesnake territory.

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The scenic coastal wetlands in Newport Beach

Nestled in the center of busy streets, multi-million dollar homes and shopping malls is a small body of water that is teaming with life: the Newport Back Bay. The reserve encompasses the inland delta that connects the Upper Newport Bay and Newport Harbor.

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Hiking in Malibu Creek State Park

Malibu Creek State Park is a sprawling, magical landscape; complete with massive jagged mountains, cliffs, and vast gorges that were formed over two million years ago.

Just 25 miles from downtown Los Angeles, the park has over 4,000 acres, featuring hiking, fishing, bird watching and horseback riding opportunities. There are 15 miles of stream side trail through oak and sycamore woodlands and chaparral-covered slopes.

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Afraid Of hiking solo?

Hiking is one of the few activities where there is no shortage. There are countless mountains to conquer, waterfalls to see and views to take in.

Nature offers something that being indoors simply can’t. It is motivating to walk among the trees and tramp along the trails, focusing on nothing more than the path ahead. You notice the shape of broken tree branches, how a blade of grass reacts to the wind flowing through it, and how clouds form into shapes and images.

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The haunting history of Ortega Highway

A scenic road winding through mountains, pine forests and pastoral valleys, connecting South County and Lake Elsinore, is a crucial link for commuters, and a weekend thrill ride for motorcyclists, and also a dumping ground used by criminals who wait for the cover of night. It is the stuff of mystery novels, a place where people with secrets push them over steep cliffs or bury them under a thick layer of brush.

The 44-mile Ortega Highway is a twisting two-lane stretch that connects Riverside and Orange counties via the Cleveland National Forest — and it has a killer reputation.

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The history of Crystal Cove State Park

Orange County may not be known for its hiking, mountain biking and other outdoor adventures, but the free-spirited outdoorsman/woman knows much better. I’ve been exploring Orange County for two years and have never found myself unsatisfied by all of its opportunities.

The history of Crystal Cove is as fanciful and seemingly unreal as the place itself. Archeological findings indicate that as far back as 4,000 years ago, Native Americans camped at the small natural cove near Los Trancos Creek during the summer months, feasting on mussels, crabs, and sardines.

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Abalone Sea Cave & Portuguese Bend Palos Verdes

Smoke from fires set by Native Americans, hunting game on the hillsides overlooking San Pedro Bay, inspired Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo to name this natural harbor Bahia de los Fumos or “Bay of Smokes.”

On October 8, 1542, when Cabrillo noted in his log that the bay “is an excellent harbor and the country is good with many plains and groves of trees,” this indented coastline was little more than swampy marshland. Though the expedition did not go on land during their brief visit, they did speak with a group of Gabrielinos in a canoe, who told them there were other white men in the interior (probably survivors of the ill-fated Coronado expedition). Over the next century, other European explorers infrequently skirted Palos Verdes shores, leading natives to tell tales of the ominous “great houses on the sea.”

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Take in the views from Point Vicente

Set on the curve of a steep cliff, where it has stood since 1926, the San Vicente Lighthouse is a historical beauty that continues to renew its usefulness with every passing night. The Vicente Lighthouse has long been one of the area’s jewels. To the landsman, the lighthouse is a scenic delight and continual attraction to tourists, photographers and painters. To the mariner, the lighthouse is an aid to navigation, which marks the northern end of the Catalina Channel on the Pacific coast.

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The not-so-hidden mansion ruins of Malibu’s Solstice Canyon

Just off the Pacific Coast Highway, between Pepperdine University and Point Dume, Solstice Canyon, is an unusually scenic hike to the ruins of a once-grand private estate.

img_9994In 1952, “supermarket magnate” Fred Roberts and his wife Florence commissioned an architect to design a modern home for them at their family ranch at Solstice Canyon in Malibu. Fred had begun buying land in the area in the 1930s, eventually amassing almost 1000 acres.

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The Paramount Ranch Western Town

In 1927 Paramount Pictures purchased 2,400 acres in the hills between Malibu and the Valley for use as a “movie ranch.” The property had rolling grasslands, oak & walnut groves, streams, and canyons – everything they needed to create the illusion of wilderness.

After World War II the studio sold the property where parcels were sold to private investors. In 1952 Bill Hertz bought 326 acres that still bear the Paramount name, where he turned the land into a western town. In 1980 the National Park Service purchased the land and revitalized the old movie ranch.

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