Californians and visitors to the Golden State now have access to miles of scenic hiking and biking trails in the Central Coast as Pismo Preserve opens to the public.

View of the Pacific Ocean from the hills of Pismo Preserve
Pismo Preserve has opened to the public in Centra California ©Getty Images

Pismo Preserve is a new conservation area in San Luis Obisbo (halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco) that stretches across the hills above Pismo Beach. A former private ranch, the 900-acre preserve was transformed by the non-profit Land Conservancy by opening its 11 miles of existing trails to hikers, bikers and horseback riders. The trails will give visitors access to dense oak woodlands and canyons, and provide them with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean from the Irish Hills down to Point Sal.

Sun setting over Pismo Beach
The trail is located in the hills above Pismo Beach ©Getty Images

"It has beautiful canyons with oak woodlands. There’s interesting wildlife that people will hopefully get a chance to see," Kaila Dettman, executive director of the Land Conservancy told California's KSBY News. "It’s likely that you’ll see red tail hoax, humpback whales in the ocean, maybe even get lucky and see a deer or a fox."

The entrance to Pismo Preserve is on Mattie Road, just off Highway 101. There's parking, with ample room for horse trailers, according to the website. Additionally, trails on the Pismo Preserve will provide connections to and from several major hiking and biking trails. 

The Pismo Preserve will open daily from 6am, just in time for sunrise hikes, with closing time scheduled for 7pm between November and February, and the later time of 9.30pm from March to October. Camping is prohibited.

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