“The Oak Canyon Nature Center is a 58 acre natural park nestled in the Ananheim Hills. A year round stream meanders through the park. Consisting of three adjoining canyons, four miles of hiking trails traverse one of the few remaining areas of oak woodland and coastal sage scrub in the area. Native wildlife makes the canyon their home and is just waiting to be discovered. Also located on site is the John J. Collier Interpretive Center, a small museum with live animal and regional natural history exhibits. The Nature Center is the perfect place for you to learn about the wonders of the natural world in a tranquil setting. The trails are ideal for those who are just stepping into the wilderness for the first time or for those more experiences trekkers who are seeking a short hike.” -Oak Canyon Nature Center Trail Guide
The other day, my Daughters and I followed the “Stream Trail”. This very short, easy hike which followed alongside and crossed over the stream several times. The shade from the trees and the moisture in the air from the stream greatly reduced the air temperature and made the hike bearable and extremely enjoyable in the middle of the afternoon heat.
There are some very nice moments along this trail and a good variety of plant, and wildlife to see. There were many, many small lizards running alongside and across the trail as we walked.
At one point the trail pops out of the taller vegetation and it feels like your on a completely different hike. I could feel the heat radiating off of the hot, dry, sun baked ground and took in the aromatic smell of the sage brush toasting in the summer heat.
I found what seemed like a complete change in the variety of plant life to be fascinating. To go from the cool, Oak tree shaded cover to the sun baked, prickly pear cactus’s in such a short distance was really quite an experience.
Just about the time my girls and I were starting to really heat up, back into the tree cover it was…
We continued onward and ended up back at the stream…
At which point we turned around headed back.
The easy to get to location of this gem of a park makes this a very quick, convenient and simple outing. The Oak Canyon Nature Center is a fantastic little area to head to with small children. There are so many things for them to explore. The varied terrain is easy to navigate and maneuver, and allows ample opportunity for stalking and trying to photograph lizards, squirrels and rabbits. Combine that with the collecting of bunches and bunches of acorns, it really makes for a trip that the whole family will enjoy and remember.
Visit the Oak Canyon Nature Center Website for directions and more information.