Running in the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

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Heron at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

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Ben running on the sand dunes

While traveling, I like to take advantage of running in new places. Although Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is a bit of a drive (30 mins) from my parents’ home, I thought it was worth the drive. I grew up in Long Beach, but I had never gone been to Bolsa Chica, a small wetlands nature reserve. This little ecological niche is extremely important to several species of birds, fish, as well as playing a significant role in preventing flooding to more inland areas. There are about 5 miles of trail in Bolsa Chica. Ben and I explored a few miles of it while running and we weren’t the only ones there. It’s popular with walkers and runners (and a few cyclists). We ran about four miles admiring the scenery and the wildlife. I lost count the number of herons I saw. It was a pretty warm day (sorry, East Coast, we weren’t sorry at all about enjoying a lovely sunny day while you guys were freezing). Along with a somewhat sandy path, running was hard. Bolsa Chica has a mixed trail. Most of it is packed gravel and dirt, but there was some sand and asphalt. It’s a nice area for a short trail run. My only wish is that there was some way to get to the beach that’s across Pacific Coast Highway. Unfortunately they make it impossible for people to cross the large highway, so we couldn’t enjoy the beach afterward (we weren’t willing to drive over and pay $15 for parking). Parking at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is free.

Mesa Trail at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

Mesa Trail at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

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4 thoughts on “Running in the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

  1. To enjoy the beach exit the parking lot north, go about a half mile to Warner and turn left into the Sunset Beach neighborhood. Enjoy free parking and easy beach access.

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