Monday, July 12, 2010
Hike #3 - Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve
On Saturday July 3rd, 2010 my wife and I decided to go to the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve for some hiking. They have a small trail there that is approx 1.5 to 2 miles long and it is located right across the street from Bolsa Chica State Beach on the Pacific Coast Highway.
This hike was by far the easiest hike we have done so far and it was definitely one of the shortest and easiest ones we will probably do this summer. We chose this one in particular because we wanted to take a nice easy hike for the July 4th weekend and wanted to go somewhere close and since we had plans later that day we didn't want to wear ourselves out or anything and needless to say we didn't.
The beginning of this trail starts with a walk across a long bridge across the wetlands. After the you veer up left and and follow the trail. There were a lot of people at the end of the bridge up a few steps with binoculars and camera's taking pictures and looking for birds. I didn't realize how big of a deal this place is for bird lovers and nature lovers in general. I saw more professional full scale camera's on this hike than Ive seen anywhere else besides maybe a Laker game. These people were into their birds.
The walk at first was pretty basic and we saw a few birds here or there. This isn't one of the most scenic hikes in Southern California but it was still nice. When we reached the damn we turned right and went upwards probably 15 to 20 feet hence the max elevation we saw on this trail and after going over this hill it brought us back down into what looked to be more like a traditional nature trail. At first glance it looks like a small portion of the everglades and one could easily think Horatio Caine and his CSI team would be just around the corner but it is simply the marshlands with a very unique setting with trees that at night I can imagine would look very creepy and cool. Check out the pics below.
We stopped in the section and observed a strange looking blue bird that one of the hikers who had one of those professional camera's was glued on. This must have been one of the more rare birds but pardon my bird naming skills I couldn't tell you what it was other than it was cool looking. The best part lied ahead for us, especially my wife. We saw in the distance what looked to be something like a turkey, large in size with incredible wing span. In ended up being an Eagle, a large one at that. My wife loves these birds and we spent a good 10 minutes trying to get a good snapshot of him but were unsuccessful in doing so. As we continued walking through what looked to be a trail but we weren't quite sure we did end up finding our way back on the path that led us to where we started the hike.
All in all this hike was very interesting and while easy in difficulty it was very unique to see the different birds and all the attention this place gets from people who are obviously nature and bird lovers. For more information on the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve check it out in Wikipedia.