Lake Calavera Preserve is the largest of Carlsbad’s thirteen nature preserves. It includes intersecting walking/biking trails, boardwalks, a few small streams, a man-made reservoir and the remnants of an ancient volcano. The 22 million year old volcano plug (Mount Calavera) is one of only three volcano plugs in Southern California. A volcano plug is formed when magma within the vent of an active volcano hardens. If this doesn’t cause the volcano to erupt due to the pressure of the trapped magma inside, the volcano surrounding the plug erodes over time, leaving just the plug intact.
These hiking trails are popular but the specific trail we were on, which goes by shady oak trees and over boardwalks, was not busy this morning. We spent close to an hour throwing seeds, leaves, and sticks into a flowing stream. A1 needed outdoor toddler time, to do important toddler business. A hilarious highlight of the day was listening to a rodent munch on weeds that we watched slowly pull into his home.
There are several entrances to the preserve, but I like to park in Oceanside, off of Skyhaven Lane.