As your local Poway real estate experts, we’ve helped many families relocate to our fantastic community. While people buy for all kinds of reasons, one reason we hear over and over again is that people want access to great hiking trails, parks, and outdoor recreation areas without having to travel too far from home. In the months to come we’ll take you through many of the best hikes and parks in our community to inspire you to get outside, but today we wanted to start by introducing you to Poway’s Blue Sky Ecological Reserve.
Where is Blue Sky Ecological Reserve Located?
Situated on 700 acres off Espola Rd, Blue Sky Ecological Reserve is truly one of the best places to work up a sweat. It’s north of Lake Poway (about a quarter mile from the Old Coach and Bridlewood Road intersection) and encompasses a natural canyon that is filled with native plants, animals, and insects. Open year-round during daylight hours, the park is free to enter.
What Can You Do at the Reserve?
The best way to see and enjoy Blue Sky Ecological Reserve is on foot. Whether you prefer a more leisurely-paced hike or are training for a long distance run, the reserve has many well-groomed trails for you to enjoy.
The reserve’s main trail, the Green Valley Truck Trail, is about four miles out and back from the parking lot to the Ramona Dam. If you make it all the way to the dam, you’ll be treated to gorgeous views of Lake Poway and Mount Woodson in the distance.
A shorter, side path called the Creekside Trail parallels the Green Valley Truck Trail for a quarter of a mile. You can also access the main trail at Lake Poway from the Green Valley Truck Trail if you really want to challenge yourself – you’ll find the sign for Lake Poway about a mile down the trail.
You can also walk your dog or ride your horse along the Green Valley Truck Trail (these animals are not permitted on the Creekside Trail or in the Oak Grove near the parking lot). And no matter what, make sure you stay on the designated trail! This is for your protection as well as the reserve’s.
What Kind of Animals Live in the Reserve?
Many animals, birds, and reptiles called Blue Sky Ecological Reserve home. Rabbits, ground squirrels, hawks, coyotes, rattlesnakes, owls, woodrats, bald eagles, gopher snakes, mule deer, and even bobcats and mountain lions can all be found in the reserve. It’s important to always be aware of your surroundings when hiking, though most of the creatures living in the reserve will not pose a threat to you or your pet unless provoked.
Click here to see more of the animals, birds, and reptiles you may encounter on the trail.
What Plants Can Be Found at Blue Sky Ecological Reserve?
Inside the reserve you’ll find a tremendous variety of plants, bushes, and trees. Look out for cactus, coastal sage, yucca, California poppies, wild roses, hyacinth, oak and sycamore trees. If you look carefully, you may find some of the reserve’s resident animals and birds hiding in the branches or beneath the brush.
And be wary of Poison Oak – several species of this itchy plant grow in the reserve. The best way to avoid it is to stay on the designated path.
Click here to see photographs of the gorgeous plants you may find on your visit.
Who Manages the Reserve?
Blue Sky Ecological Reserve is jointly managed by the City of Poway, the San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The reserve is also generously supported by the non-profit Friends of Blue Sky Canyon who maintains the reserve’s website.
Are There Any Special Events Held at the Reserve?
There are a number of different events that happen at the reserve throughout the year. The latest events can be found on the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve website. They also run a Junior Nature Ranger program for kids. And the reserve works with local schools to offer tours for students that promote learning and teach science concepts. If you’re interested in learning more about the reserve’s work with our schools, click here.
Where Can I Find a Map of Blue Sky Ecological Reserve?
A great map of the reserve is available here, courtesy of the City of Poway.
Is the Reserve in Need of Volunteers?
If you would like to volunteer your time and energy to preserving this beautiful here, check out the volunteer opportunities at the reserve here.
Have you hiked at Blue Sky Ecological Reserve? Tell us what you think in the comments below!
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