Apple of Your Eye

Hike and see fall colors at Oak Glen Preserve near Yucaipa

That fall feeling is definitely in the air and on display at the Oak Glen Preserve. Located near Yucaipa in none other than Oak Glen, and surrounded by apple orchards, this 909-acre preserve offers a glimpse at the variety of habitats found throughout southern California. Seeing the colorful leaves in the trees is an added bonus during this time of year.

sunflowers on a trail at Oak Glen Preserve near Yucaipa

HIkers' boots amid fallen apples on the ground at Oak Glen Preserve near Yucaipa

Hiker in a redwood grove at Oak Glen Preserve near Yucaipa in Oak Glen Southern California

The main loop is an easy 2-mile (round-trip) trail weaving through the preserve nestled at the base of Wilshire Peak, Cedar Mountain, and Oak Glen Peak. Along the way there are multiple spur trails that can be added to your hike for additional mileage and different sightseeing options (trail maps available at the kiosk at the entrance or online at the preserve’s website). As you set out from the 114-year-old Los Rios Rancho Apple Farm, the trail meanders along Sunflower Lane, which, as the name suggests, is a path lined with vibrant sunflowers.

Wetland at Oak Glen Preserve in Oak Glen Southern California

Continue on the main path and check out some spur trails for variety, including the Conifers of California. Hear a faint sound of hammering? That’s probably an acorn woodpecker stashing its treasures in tree trunks along this stretch of trail. The highlight of the Conifers of California section is a peaceful redwood grove at the southeast end of the spur. Once back on the main loop there are immediately two more spur options: Aquatic Ecosystems and Wetlands Boardwalk. Both of these take you through different water habitats, ponds and wetlands.

Hiker entering a forested area of Glen Oak Preserve in Glen Oak Inland Empire Southern California

Hiker at a deck overlooking a wetland at Oak Glen Preserve in the Inland Empire Southern California

The main loop then passes through an area of deciduous forest (ideal for getting you into the autumnal spirit) before the next spur option through chaparral. The final spur option along the trail is to Preservation Point, a strenuous undertaking that will add 1.8 miles to your total hike mileage but offers some cool vistas for anyone up for the challenge. All in, if you take every spur trail, the total mileage clocks in at 4.8 miles. Go long, go short, just go.

Apple cider donuts and apple cider slushy at Snowline Orchard in Yucaipa

APPLE CIDER DONUTS AND SLUSHIES: Snowline Orchard (39400 Oak Glen Rd.) is just a couple minutes west of the preserve and they’ve got apple cider donuts and apple cider slushies. While you’re there you can also do wine tasting, cider tasting, apple picking, and find plenty of apple treats at the farm store.

The Oak Glen Preserve is located at 39611 Oak Glen Rd. in Oak Glen, directly across the street from Los Rios Rancho apple orchard. From the I-10, exit on Live Oak Canyon Rd./Oak Glen Rd.and head north for approximately 11 miles. The preserve will be on the right side of the road. Free admission. Preserve is open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Dog-friendly!

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Up Umunhum

    Rising from the Santa Cruz Mountains, Mount Umunhum is one of the Bay Area’s highest points, reaching an impressive 3,486 feet. With the new 7.4-mile (round-trip) addition to the Bay Area Ridge Trail, locals can finally step up to its peak.

    View
  2. Cross It Off Your Bucket List

    Crosstown Trail San Francisco may be one of the most beautiful city walks in America, passing through less-visited nooks and crannies while also taking in greatest hits, including mosaic stairways.

    View
  3. Kirby Your Enthusiasm

    Just west of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin is one of the Bay's most-accessible secluded beaches. Kirby Cove is accessed by hiking or biking a 1-mile fire road down to the beach, where the reward is an all-time classic Golden Gate view.

    View
  4. Napa's Wild Side

    It’s wine country’s Amazon. Cutting 50 miles through the famous Napa Valley and emptying into San Pablo Bay, the gentle Napa River is an ecological—and recreational—delight. And Napa Valley Paddle helps you enjoy it.

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Sponsored

    Weekend Sherpa Podcast: Take it Outside

    Adventure for your earbuds. What's new in the world of the outdoors? Listen to Weekend Sherpa co-founders discuss local hikes, beaches, bike rides, camping spots and all kinds of travel and adventure in California and beyond!

    View
  2. Secret Trail at Torrey Pines

    Find cliff climbs, sandy strolls, and secret hikes throughout “America’s finest sandy stretch" at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve in San Diego County.

    View
  3. Secluded Royale

    Panoramic coastal views and a killer leg workout combine on this 2.7-mile (round-trip) out-and-back hike to secluded Coast Royale Beach in Orange County

    View
  4. Border Field State Park

    Border Field State Park is the southernmost point in California as well as one of the last beautiful undeveloped coastlines in the state. Visit this natural refuge for a 4.5-mile hike featuring important history and wildlife habitats, plus stunning SoCal beach scenery.

    View