Hike: 2 miles back & out
Personal Experience: This spot seems to have suffered from the horrible drought that we are in. The duck pond, which is also the street name you enter from, is completely dried up. The pond once sat on the opposite side of the street across from the preserve. It now just looks like a dry field.
Luelf Preserve has such little information about it on the internet that I felt I had to explore it on my own to see if it was worth it for others to visit or not. It appears that the preserve was named after Oscar Luelf of Ramona, who was a member of the county’s Farm Bureau.
According to the Union Tribune, 95% of the preserve burned down in the 2003 cedar fire. I would love to see photos of what it looked like before now! There is a placard at the preserve which reads “Oak species are fire-adapted, which means that they survive after a fire under normal conditions. Chaparral has adapted to wildfire by either re-sprouting from underground roots after a burn or regrowing from seeds after a fire. This new growth has less competition for resources such as nutrients, sunlight and water and thrives once a fire has cleared an area” It appears that the oaks were barely affected by the fires besides a little charring on their trunks. Talk about resilience!