Land of Los Jilgueros

Los Jilgueros Preserve Hike in San Diego County

It’s not often you find a 46-acre freshwater marshland gem hidden between a busy highway and a suburban neighborhood. Thank the Fallbrook Conservancy for Los Jilgueros Preserve and its tranquil 2-mile perimeter loop that’s a boon for bird enthusiasts. Start exploring from the eastern trailhead. Sycamores, oaks, bird houses, and authentic 1920s farm equipment line the wide path, which is adjacent to green grassy fields that provide a contrast to the wetland dominating the area. This park is especially rewarding for birders, who will find their first treat after just over half a mile. Here at the northernmost point of the park lies a nifty little pond that is home to a surprisingly large variety of winged specimens, including wood ducks, mallards, coots, and snowy egrets. Continue along the north fence to the Firescape Demonstration Garden, showcasing native drought-resistant plants. Ahead, next to a red-tailed hawk sculpture, you’ll find a two-way junction. Take the westernmost path for a boardwalk over the marsh.

BONUS BRUNCH: Just up the road is the 30-acre Grand Tradition Estate and Gardens, where you can enjoy brunch, numerous waterfalls, a heart-shaped lake (yes, lots of weddings here!), and beautiful garden varieties. Gardens entry is $7.50, open 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. every day—call ahead in case of a special event.

Los Jilgueros Preserve is off of Mission Rd., north Fallbrook High School (Stage Coach Lane). Look for a sign and turn-in for the park on the east side of Mission Rd. To get to the gardens, continue north on Mission for a block and turn right on Grand Tradition Way. The preserve is dog-friendly!

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Bouquet of Waterfalls

    Like a good love letter, some of the best hiking trails are short and sweet. Cue the hike to Bouquet Falls in Santa Clarita Valley’s Bouquet Canyon.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    New Rules of the Trail

    As some parks around California begin to re-open, we came up with tips for being responsible on your outdoor adventures. Let’s do our part so we can all keep enjoying the parks.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Big Time Hike

    This is the largest grove of giant sequoias in Yosemite. We recommend this grand tour hike at 7.5 miles which includes a spectacular overlook.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    All Roads Lead to Rogue

    Idea for your next road trip: Go Rogue! The Rogue Valley in beautiful Southern Oregon has some of the state’s best hiking, swim holes, and wineries, and the charming historic towns of Ashland, Medford, and Jacksonville.

    View

Trending Stories Northern CA

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Tam Slam!

    This 8-mile (round-trip) hike is a pure classic, with redwoods, water-flows, and soaring views of the coastline. Oh yeah, and that ladder!

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Easiest Best Hike in the World

    Choose the easiest and most view-rewarding hike in Yosemite. Okay, we’ll go first: the combination of hiking to Sentinel Dome and Taft Point. Both of these lookouts are within a couple miles of each other on Glacier Point Road

    View
  3. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Road Trip Ahead: Oregon Outback

    Remote open spaces, camping under true Dark Skies, hiking and biking trails galore, wildlife refuges, and hot springs! Plan your road trip to the Oregon Outback this summer.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Nice Ring to It

    This tiny but mighty open space preserve on the Tiburon Peninsula can often exhibit a wide range of wildflowers late into the season, not to mention one of the most jaw-dropping views of the bay.

    View