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A Taste of SCOTLAND in Southern California: Loch Leven

Updated on March 13, 2010
GarnetBird profile image

Gloria taught for many years, and also worked as a mental health group facilitator.

Loch Leven, California: a GEM waiting to be found...

Plunging, dramatic views like this one bring to mind the Scottish Highlands. I took this photo March/2010.
Plunging, dramatic views like this one bring to mind the Scottish Highlands. I took this photo March/2010.
The remains of a ruined building; you and your kids can pretend it's an old castle!Photo taken by me on March/2010.
The remains of a ruined building; you and your kids can pretend it's an old castle!Photo taken by me on March/2010.
The bridge; you can go left and find an enchanting area for a picnic. (Photo courtesy of yours truly)
The bridge; you can go left and find an enchanting area for a picnic. (Photo courtesy of yours truly)
This is where you will park. A Forest Pass is required.
This is where you will park. A Forest Pass is required.
This is the Mill Creek Ranger Station area off Highway 38 on a bright March Day.
This is the Mill Creek Ranger Station area off Highway 38 on a bright March Day.
The  Area to the left of the bridge  has wild blackberries and stoney creeks.
The Area to the left of the bridge has wild blackberries and stoney creeks.

Can't afford to visit Western Europe?

If you have longed for a remote, wild place like the Scottish Highlands, try Loch Leven in Southern California. You will take the {10} freeway towards the Mentone/Yucaipa area and stroll down Highway 38. The ride alone is worth the trip. You will be embraced by rugged, amazing canyon walls and a silver creek. The Serrano Indians lived here for thousands of years and called it home. Visit the Mill Creek ranger Station on the route, and check out their snake photos. Your children will love this visit and possibly get excited about preserving nature.

Take the Loch Leven Conference Center turn off; it is not difficult to miss. If you end up in gorgeous Forest Falls, you have gone too far.There is room for parking as shown in the photo. Two walking trails await you and your family. If you go left at the bridge in the picture, you will discover a winding thin trail that will lead you deep into a creek area with steep walls and places for picnics. There is even an old Tire Swing from the 1960's.

If you pass the bridge and the "ruined castle" in the photo, the old road will take you up towards the Angelus Oak area. I have walked a mile or two up and found it ito be an inspiration. There is consider wildlife in the area. If you enjoy bird-watching, this would be a great area to watch for redtailed hawks and Steller Jays.

The Loch Leven Conference Center is a Christian Retreat which books its small row of cabins well in advance.  Hikers can pass by the Center but are asked to not enter the actual grounds of the camp.  This is easy to do as 85% of this area is open to the public.

If you are a history buff like myself, you will recall that Castle Loch Leven was one of the places where Mary Queen of Scotts was kept against her will by political enemies. You can pretend that the old stone building is a ruined castle, and let your imagination ride as high as the clear sky above you.

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    • GarnetBird profile image
      Author

      Gloria Siess 6 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      Thank you Scot!! I'd love to go!

    • profile image

      ScotsFest 6 years ago

      If you're in Orange County, come to the Scottish Festival on May 26th! or follow us at http://www.facebook.com/ScotsFest

    • Coolmon2009 profile image

      Coolmon2009 8 years ago from Texas, USA

      Enjoyed reading your article; thanks for the information.

    • GarnetBird profile image
      Author

      Gloria Siess 8 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      O, thank you. Loch Leven is one of my favorite places. I do not get to hike there very often. Your feedback is very appreciated.

    • entertianmentplus profile image

      entertianmentplus 8 years ago from United States

      Very Nice HUb...

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