Los Osos Oaks State Natural Reserve features ancient sand dunes covered with centuries-old coast live oak trees. According to botanists, five major plant communities thrive within the reserve. They are coastal sage scrub, central coastal scrub, dune oak scrub, coast live oak forest, and riparian (streamside). The oak communities exist close to each other, but each has its own character. The oak scrub has dwarf oak trees growing on the ancient (relict) sand dune. Though they are coast live oak trees, they rarely grow more than six to eight feet tall. The larger coast live oaks are located where the soil is moister. These giants can grow to 25 feet in height. Their massive trunks and gnarled branches twist into all sorts of fantastic shapes
We loved this little trail. Yes, it is small and initially you can hear the sounds of traffic from the street, but very quickly this fades away and you are left feeling like you are in a tiny enchanted forest.
We went on a weekday in December and saw no one until the very end when another couple was beginning their hike.
The trail begins over a little bridge and from there you can choose your own adventure. We took the outermost loop on the trails.
I can see how some people thought it wasn't well marked, but it's so small you really can't get lost and can figure it out. Plus there are free maps to take with you at the start of the hike and part of it is on a boardwalk.
The ancient Pygmy Oaks were beautiful and to walk under the gnarled branches was awe inspiring. Also on this trail, we saw desert hummingbirds and turkey vultures overhead.
I don't know why people gave this trail negative reviews, because we loved it. The unique mini ecosystem is an experience not to be missed.
We did this trail during the late summer. It was a little confusing during the beginning as to which way to go. But you can't really take a wrong turn, because eventually you should end up where all the oak trees gather in a forest like setting. This is a nice walk through a small forest. Very calming. It can feel like at times you are in a Brother's Grimm forest. I would like to do this trail again when we get some rain and see the difference.
This is a beautiful park trail with gorgeous old oak trees. Not sure what's the issue with the two negative reviews below. The trails are clear and on parts sand because of the terrain. It's well worth a short stay to admire the old growth. There's rarely anyone here, which makes it a wonderful place to recharge.
Susan S. on Oak Trail
Could be a nice area but it needs TLC. Trails are unclear and overgrown. This area I would probably be better suited if the central area was cleared, maybe some picnic tables put in.
This is a nice stroll through the woods but i felt more like a kid playing in a wooded park. The trail is badly marked and in need of lots of love and care. The oak's are awesome when ou first enter to see them all twisted etc but there's not need to go deeper as there isn't much more to see. keep your expectations low and go here when you just need to get out.