FORRESTAL RESERVE

Habitat: Coastal sage scrub, grasslands

Terrain: Paved walkway around the sports fields. Packed dirt trails throughout the reserve. Trail difficulty ranges from medium to strenuous.

Facilities: Porta potties at the southwest end of the sports fields.

Parking: Available at the Ladera Linda Community Center or along Forrestal Drive.

The 160-acre Forrestal Nature Preserve is one of the natural beauties of the Peninsula. It contains one of the City’s best stands of undisturbed Coastal Sage Scrub, which serves as habitat for the federally protected California gnatcatcher and is the host plant for the Palos Verdes blue butterfly, and provides unobstructed panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island from its network of trails.

Since 2001, the Conservancy, along with community volunteers, have conducted habitat restoration and completed trail improvements throughout the Reserve. The eastern portion contains a former quarry and marked trails that wind around the top of the quarry bowl. Dramatic cliffs are characterized by faults, folds, sedimentary bedding and igneous intrusions with many crystals and fossils, particularly fish scales, in the surface rock. Do not collect fossils or disturb the slopes to expose new rock.

Fossils can be seen at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center.