Fiscalini Ranch Preserve in Cambria
By Robert Bernstein
Here is one last story from our visit to San Simeon to see the elephant seals. Our final adventure that day was to hike at the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve in Cambria. Here are my photos.
Fiscalini Ranch is a bit of a hidden secret, reached from a residential neighborhood. We accessed it from the end of Windsor Boulevard.
Here was art in a yard near the entrance.
A map at the entrance tells the history of this preserve. Starting in the 1850s it was owned by the Fiscalini family, raising dairy cows and beef cattle. It was sold in 1979 and went through a series of plans to develop it with houses. Friends of the RanchLand was formed by citizen activists to buy the land as a public open space. In 2000 they achieved that goal.
Cambria Community Services District is the property owner and volunteers with Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve care for it. They removed invasive plants and replanted natives. They built benches. They expanded the pine forest and maintain eight miles of trails.
We started out on the big, wide Marine Terrace Trail.
Eventually we came to a fork where we could head uphill. We came to a stone bench with a sweeping view.
We continued to climb higher on that trail.
We approached and entered the pine forest at the top of the hill.
And soon spotted this deer grazing in the grass.
At the far end of the Preserve we came to Victoria Way and we descended on Orlando Drive through another pleasant residential neighborhood. More art here.
We re-entered the Preserve and got a beautiful view of the adjacent neighborhood.
We descended further down to the rugged shoreline.
Artistically designed hand made benches appear along the trail.
The path became a well-maintained boardwalk after awhile.
It was a good thing we had looped in this direction. Due to COVID this path is one way only. In my opinion that was probably unnecessary.
We ended up back at the houses beautifully arrayed at Windsor Boulevard as it was getting dark.
I would not make a special trip all the way from Santa Barbara to visit this Preserve. But if you are in the area, I definitely recommend making time for a visit!
You can find more information about Fiscalini Ranch Preserve at their web site: https://www.fiscaliniranchpreserve.org/.