In Santa Ysabel, CA, just a minute drive from the Julian Pie Company, is a 6,347 acre place to burn off excess calories from apple pie and cinnamon ice cream. The Santa Ysabel Preserve is filled with oak woodlands and native grasslands, along with the animals that depend on these habitats. Although we didn’t see any wild turkeys, bald eagles or deer (like my friend saw here last week), we were perfectly entertained observing ants (including a white velvet ant, otherwise known as a female wasp), lizards, hawks, squirrels and grasshoppers. Besides eagles, regulars on the preserve are snakes, coyotes, and bobcats, so we have a lot to look for upon our return.
The Santa Ysabel Nature Center was built in 2019. It is a 6,000 square foot beautiful facility with interesting interactive exhibits regarding the wildlife and history of the area. Besides rangers, the entire time we were here, we saw one hiker on the trail, and that was it.
There is so much to explore in San Diego County. It doesn’t seem like there is enough time in the year (but summer vacation is a start).