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Hiking the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve in Cambria, California

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Are you looking for a hike that works for novice and more advanced hikers in Cambria? Fiscalini Ranch Preserve may be the hike for you! The Preserve reportedly covers 430 acres, including a significant swath along the coastline. And even for a newbie hiker like me, it’s an adventure worthy of getting off the couch (or in this case, leaving a wine tasting room).

How did we end up here? We were in Paso Robles enjoying our mini-honeymoon when Andy mentioned that not only was Cambria a mere 40-minute drive away, but there was a beautiful hike he had taken once that he wanted to share with me. Well, that was far too tempting to pass up even for me who was firmly in β€œI don’t want to exert myself” mode. So, we hopped onto CA-46 and made our way toward the coast.

Google Maps for Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, Travel, California, Central Coast, Hiking

Google Maps for Fiscalini Ranch Preserve

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve is free for hikers, and there are two convenient parking lots at either end (we parked in the one near Abalone Cove). Dogs on leashes are welcome, and apparently, you can even horseback ride on some of the trails, although we didn’t see anyone doing that while we were hiking through it. It’s open all year long during daylight hours. And it provides some truly stunning views (apparently, you can even see migrating whales during certain parts of the year).

There are numerous trails you can take, including little off-shoot trails that take you to artistically-wrought benches within the wildflower fields. They can also take you closer down to the rocky beach – the footing can be a little tricky for the climb down, but most people we saw doing it didn’t seem to have too much difficulty. We took the main trail in and down along the coast before taking the loop toΒ return to the parking lot. You can also take a path up onto the cliffs, but I was feeling tired and the day was getting quite warm. Andy actually walked all the way from the Bluebird Inn (in downtown Cambria) into the Preserve the first time he visited, so if you are looking for a longer trek, the opportunity is here.

And now for the pictures!

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, Hiking in Cambria, California, Travel, Central Coast, Budget

 

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, Hiking in Cambria, California, Travel, Central Coast, Budget

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, Hiking in Cambria, California, Travel, Central Coast, Budget, Lizard

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, Hiking in Cambria, California, Travel, Central Coast, Budget

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, Hiking in Cambria, California, Travel, Central Coast, Budget

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, Hiking in Cambria, California, Travel, Central Coast, Budget

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, Hiking in Cambria, California, Travel, Central Coast, Budget

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, Hiking in Cambria, California, Travel, Central Coast, Budget

Photo by Andrew Gerngross. I loved these gigantic thrones that were scattered throughout the Preserve.

 

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, Hiking in Cambria, California, Travel, Central Coast, Budget

Andy taking one of the beach access trails.

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, Hiking in Cambria, California, Travel, Central Coast, Budget

30 Comments on Hiking the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve in Cambria, California

  1. Megan Indoe // July 31, 2017 at 4:24 pm // Reply

    I love this part of California! We have only been a few times and never made it or heard of Fiscalini Ranch Preserve! It looks and sounds beautiful and a great way to spend a beautiful day along the ocean. We will have to make a special trip for this!

    • PatriciaSteffy // July 31, 2017 at 5:38 pm // Reply

      I had been in Cambria probably 3 other times, and I had never heard of it. Leave it to Andy to find the good trails. πŸ™‚

  2. I love your photos! It’s good to know that there are so many trails you can take. It’s cool the ones that shoot off trail bring you down to the beach. I’ll have to try that!

    • PatriciaSteffy // July 31, 2017 at 5:38 pm // Reply

      It was such a pretty walk. It seemed to allow for people of all ages and skill levels to enjoy it, too.

  3. What a beautiful photos! I never heard about the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve hike, but would love to do it one day! And then I will take the path that take you closer down to the rocky beach! Sounds great!

    • PatriciaSteffy // July 31, 2017 at 7:46 pm // Reply

      It’s so pretty, and surprisingly calm given how many people were actually there. Almost seemed like we were alone. πŸ™‚

  4. I have not heard of this part of California and now I am tempted to go. I am not an expert hiker, so it’s nice to know that there are trails for both the experienced and inexperienced hiker. That picture of you on the throne is so cool!
    candy recently posted…Spreading Joy, Love and Cream Cheese at Ozark Mountain Bagel CoMy Profile

    • PatriciaSteffy // August 1, 2017 at 1:36 pm // Reply

      While Andy can go for miles even in steep terrain, I am more of a gentle walk at easy elevation kind of person. It was wonderful to find a place that worked for both of us. Plus, who can resist that view?

  5. California is so beautiful and has so many places; never heard of this one and we are happy to read and get to know about it. We love to discover new hiking spots that are also free!
    Mimi & Mitch recently posted…100 year old Bank in Vienna transformed into a Luxury Hotel @ Park Hyatt ViennaMy Profile

  6. Wow!!! Looks more like a Pacific Island than America! I’d love to go there.

  7. What lovely landscapes!

  8. What a lovely hiking track. It looks so similar to Sydney Coastal walks πŸ™‚ I would love to sit on that throne and enjoy the view.
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…7 Things to do in NaroomaMy Profile

  9. I live in San Francisco and would definitely like to visit Cambria someday. Hike with the wildflowers looks gorgeous!

  10. Absolutely beautiful!

  11. What a gorgeous coastline! It’s soooo beautiful. I’ll have to do this when we’re in California next time.

    • PatriciaSteffy // August 2, 2017 at 3:03 pm // Reply

      Yes, definitely! I find all of Cambria pretty charming, and this really is a gorgeous spot. πŸ™‚

  12. That looks like a great little hike and no crowds, which is a huge bonus! I always picture every California beach/shoreline super crowded, good to know there are still some off the beaten path spots πŸ™‚

    • PatriciaSteffy // August 2, 2017 at 3:31 pm // Reply

      You’ll definitely see people along the way, but it’s not wall to wall like other parts of California. Thank goodness!

  13. This is a great find! We will have to check this ranch preserve out and we head to Atascadero. I think it’s right on that area, near Hearst right? Love hiking by the waters. πŸ™‚

    • PatriciaSteffy // August 3, 2017 at 1:43 am // Reply

      Yep! In fact, the first time I visited Hearst, I stayed in a hotel in downtown Cambria. It’s right on the way if you are heading north. πŸ™‚

  14. I’m from California and I’love to hear about new spots to visit. This looks truly beautiful and looks like you had a nice visit!

  15. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this part of California! Your photos prove just how perfectly picturesque the area is, the water and the rocks are just so pretty! You have me wanting to go back to visit ASAP and who knows I may even rent a horse to ride on the trails! (Since it’s acceptable, and all!)

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