North of the dormitories and west of the Natural History Museum is where the Nature Trail begins winding through the local foothill oak woodland and the streamside or riparian communities of Secret Ravine. The 1/4 and 3/4 mile loops will provide easy 20 minute or one hour walks.
The foothill woodland zone is characterized by close growing trees and shrubs such as interior live oak, blue oak, foothill (digger) pine, California buckeye, toyon and coyote brush. These plants are adapted to dry, hot summers and fairly wet, cool winters.
The woodland riparian zone is characterized by water-loving plants such as willow, Fremont cottonwood, white alder and Himalayan berry. The shade and coolness of the creek area provides an oasis for less heat-tolerant species during the summer months.
The Nature Trail was designed and constructed by members of the Sierra College Science Club and their faculty advisors in the 1960's. Please exercise care when walking along the trail. The Nature Trail is classified as undeveloped and is not wheelchair accessible.
Science Club guides, or docents, provide educational commentary as they lead groups along the trail. A donation of $2 per person is requested.
A Sierra Foothills Nature Guide is available as a field guide to the biology and ecology of the Nature Trail. It covers 57 species accompanied by 191 detailed original illustrations. There are also chapters on the geology and archaeology of the area. It is available at Museum events and the Sierra College Bookstore for $12.95. Profits benefit the Science Club.