Charmlee Wilderness Park

This 400-plus acre park has many short trails laid out in a kind of grid pattern.  Most of the hiking I did was done through grassy meadows and there are numerous small and interesting spots along the way.  It was not crowded but, because there isn’t a lot of cover on the trails that loop around the outside of the park, it didn’t really feel all that secluded either.  Still, a good hike.

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Parking is about a half mile off Encinal Canyon Road.  The entrance of the park has a nature center and some displays of native plants.  I began hiking on a paved road up toward the water tower shown in photo 4.

6   The trail circles back and took me directly to the tower.  At this point my trail options started to open up.  I stayed along the perimeter, down Potrero Road.

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I went straight and down on the Long Trail, which ends at a flower patch and a paved road.

9     11     10   Again, these trails are short and numerous, and most have their own name.  I got a little cover on Kouba Trail.

12   Going up Clyde Canyon Trail I noticed this rock. To me it looks like a bear watching the waves.

13     14   Photo 1 – This is what the vegetation right next to the trail looks like – high grass with lots of foxtails.  Photo 2 – An old water pump by the trail.

16   I made a quick circle around Black Forest, which provided shade and some nice rocks.

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Flowers in bloom

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18   Easter Island?

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I visited the remains of a cabin in the center of the park.  There wasn’t much left. Photo 3 shows where the front stairs once stood.  Photo 4 shows a piece of cement I found off to the side.  The inscription is difficult to make out – a name and a date.  If I am reading it correctly, the date is 4-19-53 – one day shy of 59 years ago exactly, and now there is nothing left.  Kind of sad.

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Views from the ranch ruins

28     29     30   Photo 1 – There were several of these birdhouses on the trails – made for migrating bluebirds, as the sign on the side stated.  Photo 2 – Another curiosity with great views was the concrete Old Reservoir, now dry and partially filled in with dirt and plants. This was used to water cattle many years ago.  Photo 3 – View from the Old Reservoir.

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35   I made my way down to the Ocean Overlook, with great views all around.

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Point Dume on zoom

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42   Now heading back toward the park entrance, here is another great resting spot, a grove of oak trees.

43     44   The last trail, Botony Trail, with all it’s wildflowers.

47   Duke Blue Devil Tree

48   Nearly back now, I pass an amphitheater.  I guess the person who is talking gets to stand on that stump.

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There is one final overlook near the parking lot, and so, one last shot.

 

 

 

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