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Oak Glen: the Heart of Apple Growing In Southern California
Go Back In Time at Oak Glen Ranch..
An April afternoon...
Oak Glen is the very heart of apple growing in Southern California. It sits fifteen miles north of San Bernardino and can be reached by driving up Bryant Road from Mentone. The orchards produce Vasquez and King David varieties, as well as unusual types such as Ben Davis, Gravenstein and Pink Pearl. There are delightful little antique and gift stores, as well as places to eat and enjoy their amazing Apple Pie. Not in the mood for pie? try their apple butter or apple crisp. The cafes have homey, old-fashioned menus and even cater to those of you who prefer Mexican cuisine.
The history of this area is fascinating and diverse. The Serrano and Cahuilla Indians harvested acorns in this fertile, lush place, and their metates can still be found in stream beds. The potato was the first crop the settlers grew; when Enoch Parrish opened his apple orchard in 1876, it created a new landscape and opened the door for other growers. Many families such as the Laws, still own and operate the original apple pie diner. You can enjoy picking your own basket of apples from many of the ranches, while drinking a cooling glass of cold cider. This is extremely educational for children as well. The little zoo is always stocked with a wonderful variety of small animals, including ponies.
The hiking area is owned by the Wildland Trust Foundation and hosts many birds and mammals. Deer, Bobcat, California Black bear, as well as an occasional rattle snake populate the landscape. If you want a relaxing day for mere pennies on the dollar, put the kids in the car, bring a picnic blanket and drive back in time to a sweeter place. If you enjoy geocaching, there are caches (hidden treasures) to be found here as well.