Fill Up on Fallbrook

Visit Fallbrook California for Hiking, Eating, and Drinking

Meet Fallbrook, self-proclaimed avocado capital of the world. But there’s more greenery here than the toast-friendly fruit. This small town in northern San Diego County has more than 10 nature preserves.

Explore two less-visited hiking havens: Hellers Bend and Dinwiddie Preserve, then stroll down the eclectic main street. Start at Hellers Bend in southern Fallbrook, a 2-mile (round-trip) half-paved, half-dirt track hike.

Head through the gates and down under majestic oaks and along a babbling brook. The paved path then ascends 500 feet over the next half-mile, gaining beautiful vistas over the town of Fallbrook and beyond to Monserate Mountain, and even the Palomars.

At the peak of the preserve there’s a bench for more view time, and from there the trail becomes a narrow dirt path in a residential area before ending at a fence. Head back to your car and head north to the Fallbrook Land Conservancy.

You can park at the lot and check out the Wildlife Sculpture Garden on a very short 0.2-mile loop. Afterward, cross the street to the Dinwiddie Preserve for a quiet half-mile stroll among oaks and sycamores.

BONUS FALLBROOK: Avocados aside, Fallbrook’s got plenty to explore. Park at the Fallbrook Library, a beautiful eco-friendly building with a charming shop of gently used books. Next, pass the Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Society (good to explore!) and get a coffee at local cafe Brooktown before walking north on Main Avenue.

There are plenty of nature murals along the way, a village square with sculptures, and plenty of boutique—and avocado-tique—shops (check out the art map). We like Caravan, an eclectic joint with global products, and the Spoiled Avocado—get the avocado fudge for a genuine Fallbrook treat! If you’re hankering for a big meal and craft beer after your hikes, we recommend Oink and Moo, a locals’ favorite with barbeque classics and a creative variety of burgers. Regardless, be sure to pick up some Fallbrook avocado memorabilia.

To get to Hellers Bend Preserve, take the I-5 or I-15 to the CA-76. Take the Mission Rd. exit and head north for 1.4 miles and turn left onto Hellers Bend Rd. The preserve is on the left after 0.2 mile (park before the curve on the street). To get to Dinwiddie Preserve and the Fallbrook Land Conservancy lot, go back to Mission Rd. and head north for 2.7 miles, turning right onto Stage Coach Ln. The conservancy offices and lot will be on your left in 1 mile. Finally, to get to the Fallbrook Library, continue on Stage Coach Ln. for 1.8 miles, turn left at Alvarado St., and in 1.5 miles the library will be on your left. 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. 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
  3. Strolling With Sam

    Most people come to Samuel P. Taylor State Park for the beautiful creekside campground and picnic areas. But the hiking here can be pleasantly peaceful on a short trail featuring old-growth redwood trees.

    View
  4. Sponsored

    Four Ways to Fall for North Lake Tahoe

    As vivid autumn colors start to line the sky and crowds begin to dwindle, North Lake Tahoe’s breathtaking secret season takes over and is a favorite among locals. With turning leaves, crisp air, and 12 towns to explore, North Lake Tahoe is the place to disconnect.

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Apple of Your Eye

    That fall feeling is definitely in the air and on display at the Oak Glen Preserve. Apple orchards and colorful leaves are a bonus, as are the apple cider donuts and slushies you can enjoy post-hike.

    View
  2. 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
  3. Rock Star Hike

    The sandstone giants of Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park might be the coolest damn formations in SoCal. Explore the craggy slabs on a 2.5-mile hike.

    View
  4. Clarity in Claremont

    The majority of Claremont Hills Wilderness Park is inaccessible, rugged terrain but there’s a 4.9-mile moderate loop that’s well-maintained and feels gloriously far away, despite being close to the city.

    View