Finding any location off of Santiago Canyon (a road) is impressive. Not hitting a bicyclist or a motorcyclist is even more impressive since these hills attract the health conscious as well as Sons of Anarchy wannabes in droves.
Using your iPhones map app won’t lead you astray (this time), a word of caution however: the road narrows to the point that you feel you’re going the wrong way. The houses are mostly set back from the road and vary from grand ranch style to humble country home. Kap exclaimed more than once how she would LOVE to live there.
We arrived and parking wasn’t obvious but you catch on quick enough *whispers* it’s on the right directly in front of the nature center.
A ranger greeted us at the entrance to the Oakwood trail and gave us some pointers on which paths to take. Everyone was really friendly and helpful and there are pamphlets and maps everywhere detailing local wildlife, native plants, trail guides, water conservation efforts and how you can help.
The Oakwood trail is short and gorgeous. A small pond and well type structure house small red ear sliders that lead into a quiet shaded area where koi fish swim dreamily. Co was particularly enchanted by these. The path continues to a short forest of cacti that would make hipsters weep with joy and it winds back around to the front and over a bridge to the bird porch. An awesome enclosed space where bird feeders are set up on the opposite/nature side of a glass enclosed stoop. A whiteboard stands by so bird watchers can record what they have seen.
We then went to the nature center which boasts friendly looking stuffed animals and the kids were able to utilize the microscopes, dissect owl pellets and learn about the animals living in their own back yard (if their backyard were a half an hour away). It was a very clean, friendly space and trust me, we’ve been in our share of depressing nature centers.
We then went up the Sensory Garden and Chaparral Trail, both easy hikes. One offering a short detailed account of the natural plants in the area. The other a fairly awesome panoramic view of the surrounding hills. Both are a very easy “hike” (I was in my Minnetonkas, Brayden and Co in Vans and Kap in fashion “combat” boots. In other words no special equipment is required).
Over all we spent about two hours wandering and just enjoying being surrounded by such awesomely preserved nature. There is an amazing difference between a maintained natural habitat, lovingly cared for and the trod upon Peters Canyon “nature” (which we had traveled the day before).
we loved it.
The kids absolutely adored the accessibility of everything and that I wasn’t dragging them up ANOTHER mountain.
Info for Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary
29322 Modjeska Canyon Rd.
Silverado, CA 92676