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The Wildlands Conservancy at the Oak Glen Preserve

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The one thing that I was not expecting to do when apple picking with my kids in Oak Glen was to find one of the best nature preserves in Southern California. The Wildlands Conservancy at the Oak Glen Preserve is located right on the Los Rios Ranchos property, and our family could have spent the entire day exploring the vast amount of trails.

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We noticed the preserve while picking apples at Riley’s Los Rios Rancho, and walked over to see what it was all about before leaving for lunch. There was a docent at the opening of the preserve who talked to us about their mission, gave our kids a learning guide, and helped us to pick a trail that would fit into our schedule for the day.

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As we started to walk along the trail, there was a vast amount of unique plants, bushes and trees that all had informational plaques to tell our children what they were. We started our hike by walking around hummingbird hill. It was a beautiful botanical garden flourishing with hummingbirds living free in the wild.

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My favorite hike was the Conifers of California. Our family felt like we had stepped right into the Sequoia National Park while being surrounded by giant sequoia trees. It was the perfect place to sit and relax while our children learn about the trees from one of the multiple child educational learning stations located throughout the preserve.

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We ended our visit by watching the ducks and fish swimming around the duck pond. The water was clear enough to see giant catfish swimming in the water below the floating dock. It was one of the most beautiful places I have visited in my life with miles of nature surrounding the pond.

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There is so much to see and explore when visiting The Wildlands Conservancy. Admission is FREE to visit, but they do accept donations. There are plenty of restrooms and drinking fountains, but I do recommend bringing water (and lunch to eat at one of the many picnic tables hidden throughout the preserve).

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Don’t miss bringing your children to explore this hidden gem while apple picking in Oak Glen this fall. The trails and parks are open daily from 8 am to 4:30 pm. The gates to the preserve close at 5 pm. It is located at 39611 Oak Glen Road in Oak Glen.

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