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Review Highlights
We Adore This Place

No doubt about it, we love it here. It's the site of the old Goodan Ranch. The visitor center has... read more

Reviewed May 6, 2016
pattymooney
,
San Diego, California
Beautiful hike

Trails are well maintained and wide. The ranger station is clean and has interesting displays, as... read more

Reviewed February 8, 2016
Kristen R
,
Maynard, Massachusetts, United States
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Reviewed May 6, 2016

No doubt about it, we love it here. It's the site of the old Goodan Ranch. The visitor center has some interesting historical and animal displays. They even have some terrariums with resident rattle snakes and a rosy boa. The restrooms are nice and clean.

There is a tree sculpture inside that looks like a real oak tree, and alongside it are taxidermied coyote and bobcat. Really cool.

Martha's Grove is a great treat, whether mountain biking or hiking. It is a beautiful secluded, tree shaded area named after a ranger who was dedicated to her role in protecting the wilderness for future generations. There's even a photo of her under plexiglass, along with a plaque in her name.

We have ridden our mountain bikes on the trails there for decades from the Mast side; however, that is no longer an option as the Marines will confiscate your bicycle. They don't care if it's a $2,500 bike or a klunker, they're going to take it away if they find you on their property. Not only that, you'll get fined and served with a court order because it's a felony to trespass on military grounds.

So sadly we can no longer ride from our neighborhood to the preserve. That sucks as the whole point of riding a bicycle is to not use a car which contributes to carbon in the atmosphere (go tell that to the Marine Commander).

County Supervisor Dianne Jacob had spent years talking with the Navy, prior custodians of the military land abutting Sycamore Canyon Preserve, and the Navy had been just about ready to allow passage at the edge of their land. And then the Marines took over. They have been very stubborn on the matter, unwilling to negotiate passage for bikers, hikers and equestrians to the old Stowe Trail which is one remnant of our old West past.

For more of my reviews on Fun & Romantic Places To Be, as well as Vintage Travel Tales, check out World Traveler Reviews dot com.

Date of experience: March 2016
Thank pattymooney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 8, 2016

Trails are well maintained and wide. The ranger station is clean and has interesting displays, as well as restroom facilities and drinking water. Beautiful views from the crests of the ridges. The only negative is several trails are now marked off as private property, shortening the distances you can hike. But overall a very nice hiking destination.

Date of experience: February 2016
Thank Kristen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 6, 2016

Good variety of trails - up and down, flats, rocky, easy. Make sure to visit the well done visitor center - it is not extensive and could use more information on the flora and fauna in the area, but it is a nice break from the trail. Not crowded at all.

Date of experience: December 2015
Thank Erichidaho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 6, 2015

I took my 12 year old son to Sycamore Canyon Preserve for a hike on Sunday. We had a really enjoyable 4 mile hike. It was a loop, which was nice (not out and back). The terrain was a little challenging (hills were a bit steep both up and down and big rocks were on the trail in spots) but the trails are clearly marked and we saw lots of birds and one very LARGE spider.

Date of experience: July 2015
1  Thank Amy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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