Away from the coast we travel this time forty-five minutes to the Ramona Grasslands Preserve.
Near the town of Ramona, this Preserve is open to the public for hikers, joggers, birders, and even horseback riders. I found this to be true as I was two inches from stepping in a huge pile of horse droppings. A quick shuffle and I missed it. A few minutes later I passed by the culprit, as rider and horse were enjoying a stroll through this area of prairie grasslands, rolling pastures, and wet habitats.
This is what to expect when out in nature.
The Reserve is about ten minutes from the town of Ramona which is about 45 minutes northeast from San Diego.
For as far as you can see there is wide open land which actual encompasses 3521 acres, however, only 480 of those acres are available to the public.
Additional trails are planned for the future, but it is nice to know that there will never be homes or human development on these lands.
Walk the four-mile trail to enjoy vast grasslands, old trees, and possibly wildlife. I only saw squirrels who popped their head out once in a while then scurried back in their hole as you approached. Not much bird action although they say that eagles have been seen here.
The information sheet at the gate said that there were coyotes, snakes, and mountain lions. My walking companion mentioned how cool it would be to see a mountain lion, of which I looked her and said, “Are you kidding me!!?” She proceeded to tell me, but only if they are far away. Mountain lions are huge and can run 40-50 miles per hour, for a short period versus a human male at 8 miles per hour. Let’s see how that works out for you.
There was a stretch where the trail goes off into a heavy tree and brush area where nobody was going. In my quest to see some birds I followed that trail until I got spooked out. However, a minute later I heard the voices and laughter of about four people leaving that same place. See, no big mean mountain lions to worry about.
Although you can walk way further than we did, it is something to see with old trees, large boulders, and empty hills. There are homes in the distance too, but they don’t take away from this scenic valley.
The drive here from the coast was also spectacular which made the whole experience enjoyable.
This is a great Sunday drive and worth the price of gas, well that depends on how much you paid.
But, it is certainly an interesting place.
Luckily, we didn’t see any mountain lions and I didn’t have to try to outrun them at my pace of probably 2 miles per hour.
Only harmless squirrels…my kind of day.
Story and Photos: Debbie Colwell
Parting Shot: One of the many birds in the area.