Heller’s Bend is a 48 acre preserve owned and managed by the Fallbrook Land Conservancy. The FLC was founded in 1988 by local residents to preserve the natural beauty and enhance the rural character of the Fallbrook community. While the Fallbrook area has undergone considerable development since 1988, thanks to the FLC areas like Heller’s Bend Preserve have been set aside for our enjoyment.
We parked our car at a dirt turnout a little bit down the street and walked up the road to the Preserve entrance. Upon our first step on the wide, paved road beyond the gate, we knew this was going to be a beautiful place. Tangled branches of oak trees overhung the path, and long green grass lined the edge of the trail.
It was a beautiful, warm day, and we were the only people in the Preserve. While we were only a few hundred feet along the trail, we seriously considered just hanging out in this spot for the rest of the afternoon. But the desire to see what else this place had to offer was strong, so we continued along the trail. The old road meandered uphill through more shady trees and long, verdant grass.
We stepped carefully here, for we found several different types of critters on the warm pavement (click for larger images).
The trail soon narrowed to a single track and we found ourselves travelling up and over a steep, chaparral covered hill. We found a fork in the path. The right branch looked like it headed uphill towards the residential area, probably a neighborhood access path into the Preserve, so we continued downhill to the left.
Just short of the 1 mile point, the trail came to a chained off dirt road. We assumed this was the boundary between the Preserve and the private properties beyond, so at this point we turned around and made our way back.
From I-15, take Highway 76 west to South Mission Road. Turn right onto South Mission Road and continue for approximately 1.4 miles, and turn left on Hellers Bend. After about .2 miles you’ll see a dirt turn out on the right as the road starts to curve. Park here. Walk up the road a couple hundred feet to find the Preserve entrance on the left side of the road. map
|Total Distance:||1.9 miles|
|Difficulty:||Easy – Moderate|
|Total Ascent:||530 feet|
|Dog Friendly?:||Leashed dogs allowed|
|Bike Friendly?:||Bikes allowed|
For more information, visit:
Fallbrook Land Conservancy – Heller’s Bend Preserve