Heller's Bend Preserve Trail

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Fallbrook, California

Heller's Bend Preserve Trail is a 3.1 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Fallbrook, California that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 3.1 km Elevation Gain: 182 m Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly


nature trips


bird watching



partially paved



wild flowers

9 days ago

One of my favorite walks . So pretty

off trail
private property
1 month ago

first and foremost. it's very much open! as long as you DONT park on side of the road. I recommend going past .6 miles to a parking lot and walking back. this trail is STRAIGHT UP HILL. no rest. no flat until the top. if you choose to continue past the asphalt. stop before you reach the very much a working ranch at the bottom. once past asphalt there are zero signs of help.

1 month ago

Good trail overall, the paved portion is only a 1/2 mile that is all uphill so I wouldn’t recommend bringing your kids unless they are willing to walk the hill my two year old wasn’t so he was on my shoulders the whole way up. There is a spot towards the top where it looks like you could keep going but it’s not paved and looked like it was right along someone’s property line. The views of the town were pretty but definitely would rate this a short moderate trail rather than easy.

Nice trail

8 months ago

Really fun trail. The further you go the more the trail breaks down from hardball to just a coyote trail and overgrowth, and the climb gets steeper as you go. so it gets more challenging as you go. half way up I came across a church fellowship. great for groups, and terrific views and photo ops, especially at sunset.

11 months ago

The trail is nearly completely concrete and very steep the whole way. I took my kids with their bikes while I took a jog up. For this instance, it was a great short hike.They have benches at the top and a nice view. A very fast bike ride down too!

Sat Mar 09 2019

I saw poison oak from the moment I parked so I was paranoid the entire trail because I had my dog with me, but it was pretty scenery at many points. I will not come back to this trail.

Sat Oct 20 2018

A good quick and short hike on a mostly asphalt path. Uphill in, a couple of steep pitches toward the top. Parking on the street south east of the gate.

Sat Sep 29 2018

We found a locker gate when we got there, so we parked on the side of the narrow road. I don’t think their is Official parking. Then the first part of the trail is a good cardio workout. All up hill. The second half is loose dirt and it’s not really clear were it stops.

Sat Jun 09 2018

Interesting trail, great incline at the beginning and then trail stops because it is overgrown.

Thu Nov 09 2017

I've done this several times and I have NO clue how they get 1.9 miles. I don't track milage but I know that it takes me 15 min. to he top and I usually will hike to the top 3 or 4 times. The trail is paved and its incredibly steep. I have never seen anyone else on the trail. I would rate this as a very short moderate/ difficult trail. parking is non existent. if you are not in the area, I wouldn't make a trip to hike this.

Sun Oct 08 2017

Trail on end of map really over grown. Trail eroded in places. Very sketchy trail. Good trail at the beginning

Fri Jun 23 2017

The trail had a decent steady incline, it was also a lot shorter than the mileage stated on the app. Kid friendly, parking is sketchy, trail stops when the pavement stops.

Wed May 03 2017

Short but sweet! Nice incline.

Fri Feb 24 2017

Washed out trail, but at least it is a uphill trail for the legs.

Wed Feb 22 2017

Certainly not easy at least 4 me has a killer elavation change 7 stories

Sat Nov 19 2016

Hiked this "trail" this morning. If you blink you'll miss the entrance, so watch out for the white ranch style signing because that is all there is. There is no parking lot just street parking along Hellers Bend road. The trail is paved the whole way up however there are dirt trails off on the sides. When you get to the top it appears the trail keeps going but is a dirt path. We followed this around and down another side of the hill and ended up on someone's private property. There was a chain with a Heller's Bend sign saying "No ATVs" so we had assumed this was just a barrier so atv's and other vehicles aren't used in the trail. Nope. So we had to climb back up the hill and then back down the paved trail. It wasn't a bad hike but I wish there was more signage and clear marker where you are not to go farther because it is someone's property.

Sun Oct 30 2016

Parking is horrible. Very up hill.

Fri May 13 2016

Great trail - so beautiful! Watch for poison oak, though. The place is crawling with it right now.

Mon Feb 29 2016

It was great. My wife and I managed it very well. We went with our 1 year old and she walked the whole thing (so you can imagine the pace). It is a little steep at certain points and short but for the most part it has great views and it was awesome.

Mon Dec 28 2015

Great for the family. A very short hike with a sharp incline.

Sat Oct 31 2015

This out and back trail is great to get your heart going. Short but steady incline. Well maintained. Pretty creek at the beginning/end if the trail. We were met on the way down off of a dirt turn off by 2 very large German Shepherds who chased my son and his friend down the trail. We suspect they live there. Terrifying! :)

Sat May 23 2015

Private little hike that is great for getting the heart going because it's all uphill/downhill. The creak was at the foot of the hill only (so pretty).

Sat May 16 2015

First time here. I'm building stamina to get myself and 10 month puppy ready for some long hikes. I am an overweight older woman with asthma so this trail is a great start for us. parking is on the street. Like everyone said it is uphill. And I mean uphill. when you finish the pavement there is a dirt trail up the hill further. By the end my lungs were burning and the pup panting lol. I live about 15 minutes away and will go again. Nice sceanery. Quiet and even on a Saturday morning uncrowded.

Wed Feb 04 2015

I wanted to add that it only takes me 30 minutes to complete, and I'm just working up to strenuous hikes.

Sun Sep 14 2014

nice little hike, a little bit of water but not much due to the drought but if you're looking for an easy hike then you should try this one! there were some nice views at the top, it has a little bit of a steep incline towards the top but nothing big, it's a paved trail as well.

Fri Mar 28 2014

Nice trail through the oaks & sycamores up to the top of the hill for fantastic views of the surrounding area.

Wed Dec 25 2013

a lot of bang for the buck. quick, short hike--mostly uphill with a nice view at the top. great for tiring out the dog! the 3 times i've been here, i've never seen another person on this trail. there is no parking lot, so just maneuver carefully around the entrance.

Sun Sep 29 2013

This is a pleasant stream and hillside reserve tucked away in the area south of Fallbrook. Lots of cool live oak and a nice view at the extreme range of the trail.

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