San Diego County, California

Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve

Click here for driving directions to Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve at
8833 Harmony Grove Road, Escondido, CA 92029.

Trail Map – Elfin Forest Recreational ReserveThumbnail of map of Elfin Forest trails


The Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve is a spectacular 784-acre open space park and recreational area, which was developed by the Olivenhain Municipal Water District (OMWD), in partnership with the San Diego County Water Authority (Authority) and the U.S. Department of the Interior-Bureau of Land Management.

Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve SignOne of San Diego County ‘s most precious natural resources, the Reserve currently offers approximately 11 miles of hiking, mountain biking, equestrian trails, primitive picnic areas, and scenic mountain viewing points. In addition, the natural beauty of the Reserve includes such native plant communities as oak riparian, oak woodland, coastal sage scrub, and chaparral.

Owned by the Authority and operated and managed by OMWD, the Reserve has been designed to unify the interests of domestic water supply development, natural resources management and recreational opportunities. Park Rangers and docents conduct guided group tours and student exploration programs to help promote environmental awareness and preservation of local watersheds. All wildlife and natural resources at the Reserve are fully protected so that future generations may also enjoy these wonders.

In March of 2008, The Escondido Creek Conservancy and OMWD partnered to create the Elfin Forest Interpretive Center Honoring Susan J. Varty, located at 8833 Harmony Grove Road in Escondido. Since then, the two organizations have collaborated to provide educational programing and environmental management opportunities within the Reserve.