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El Dorado Nature Center

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Lakes, woodland, turtles, easy walk, perfect for kids
Near:Long Beach, CA
Distance:2 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:0 ft
Hike Time:1 hours
Trail Condition:Well maintained trail

Summary: Take a peaceful 1 or 2 mile hike in this oasis of greenery and woodland in the midst of urban Long Beach. Once you step inside the nature center you enter a special world with two beautiful lakes, forested trails, turtles basking in the sun, and blue heron swooping over the waters. There is an amazing diversity of wildlife.

Across the street from the Nature center is the huge El Dorado Regional Park, with bike trails, more lakes for fishing, a miniature train kids can ride, and several playground areas. Turn this into picnic outing with the family. Thanks to Bob Carley for suggesting this hike!

Trailhead: Take the southbound 605 towards Long Beach and exit at Spring Street, turn right, then left into the El Dorado Nature Center. (Lat:33.80986 Lon:-118.08575)
Trail Guides for El Dorado Nature Center:
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers
Ranger Contact: El Dorado Nature Center (562) 570-1745
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Jim Zuber, who has posted  104 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews  Page 1 of 5   Submit your own review
Reviewed by Bob C on 10/29/2013
I am the one who suggested this hike to Jim Zuber. Contrary to what Chris reviewed on 8/24/12 the berry brambles have not taken over most of the area. Seems to me Chris interjected some politics into his review. I was there on 10-26-13 and did 6.6 miles, alternating the 1 and 2 mile trails. This is a great place to get some miles on your legs if you don't have the time to go into local mountains. I saw many families having a wonderful time and a raccoon gave 3 families an adventure as it searched for fish in between washing up in the stream. Rangers are still present in the vast EL Dorado Park of which the Nature Center is part. 1 parking fee gets you into both or you can purchase a yearly pass and go as often as you wish. Enjoy!

Reviewed by Chris on 8/24/2012
This place has some nice stands of oak and other trees, but 75% of this nature center is a total mess ! Berry brambles are taking over most of it. More natives need planting and the old trees that are there are getting choked out by sucker trees and rogue non-native plants. Also, this place is very poorly managed. Who spends 500,000 on a foot bridge??? They could have gone to a local weld shop and had the pieces welded for 10-15 thousand and had it installed by local volunteers. But hey, it's only money! Ths place should be privately run. The city will most likely reduce hours since they are spending all the city money on retired city workers and retired teachers. They already announced the rangers will all be fired in October.

Reviewed by Bob C on 8/21/2011
I was there Saturday. The area is growing back nicely after non native plants were removed last year. I did 11 miles alternating the 1 and 2 mile hikes, reversing, etc. Nice if its not convenient to go to the San Gabriels or OC. Regarding the parking charge, you can get a year pass thru Long Beach. This gets you in free.

Reviewed by Julie on 9/12/2010
The trail is very nice and shady. It is perfect for kids and my son loves it. Many things that the kids would love to see from here, the lake, turtles, birds....very green everywhere. Would love to go again...but yeah, $7.00 fee.

Reviewed by Nikki on 7/13/2010
really nice to escape the city for a bit, while still only being 5 minutes from starbucks and all you can eat Chinese food. great for kids, out of shape people,and elderly. the $7 parking fee is kind of alot for what you get, but after the walk you can relax in the expansive park across the street.

Reviewed by Bob C on 4/13/2010
The restoration is complete. They rerouted some of the streams, removed non native plant species, etc. This is a gem in the city! It'll be awhile for some areas to be filled in, etc. Still enjoyed it.

Reviewed by Heather on 1/9/2010
This is a very beautiful hike. However, if you are the type of hiker who likes serenity, this hike is not for you. The center is far too family friendly and has more of a recreational park feel. Too many people and too many small children along with the background noise from the 605 freeway made this a very noisy and not a peaceful hike.

Reviewed by Katie on 10/18/2009
Sections of the trail are now closed down for rehabilitation. They are removing tress not native to the area and lining the lakes with riverbed rocks. The only part open is a mile trail in the beginning of the park. I would suggest calling to see what trails are open before visiting. Other than that, I have a year pass and enjoy visiting 3 to 4 times a week!!!

Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: California Hiking, California Trails, California Hikes, Los Angeles County Hiking, Los Angeles County Trails, Los Angeles County Hikes

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