Luelf Pond Preserve (Ramona)
- Location: 3000 Duck Pond Lane, Ramona, CA 92065. From the intersection of Highway 67 and Highway 78 in downtown Ramona, take 10th St. south, which soon becomes San Vicente. In two miles, turn right onto Warnock Drive. In 0.8 mile, turn left onto Ramona St. In 0.4 mile, turn right onto Dye Rd. In 0.8 mile, turn left onto Southern Oak Rd. In one mile, turn right onto Willow Oak, which becomes Duck Pond Lane. The park entrance is on the left at 0.3 mile. Limited parking is available on the street by the entrance.
- Agency: San Diego County Parks & Recreation
- Distance: 1.2 miles
- Elevation gain: 250 feet
- Difficulty Rating: G
- Suggested time: 45 minutes
- Best season: Year round
- USGS topo map: San Vicente Reservoir
- More information: Trip descriptions here and here; Yelp page here; Map My Hike report here
- Rating: 6
Pronounced “loolf”, this small park is an off-the-beaten-path treat that offers a surprising amount of variety. The pond itself is not the attraction (it’s off limits) but the beautiful coast live oaks and views are.
From Duck Pond Lane, follow the trail into a thick woodland of oaks, keeping an eye out for poison oak. The trail bends east, briefly enters the open where a few homes can be seen on the hillside above and ducks back into the woods. One third of a mile from the start, you reach a junction. The left fork leads to private property and the right fork begins a short but steep climb out of the canyon. As you ascend, you get views of El Capitan Mountain to the east and the more distant Cuyamaca Range.
At 0.6 mile from the start, you reach the preserve boundary, marked by a metal gate. A nearby rock makes for a nice place to sit and enjoy the scenery, including views of the Ramona area and the Palomar Mountains to the north, before heading back.
Text and photography copyright 2016 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.