Located directly across the street from the Carmel Mission on Rio Road, Mission Trail Nature Preserve was designated a nature reserve in 1976. The reserve boundaries encompass 35 acres of unspoiled native vegetation and offer the public meandering walking and hiking trails through a secluded wooded area. Carmelites and their dogs find this reserve a great alternative to exercising along Carmel's sandy beach.
The last remaining example of the natural flora of the Carmel area can be found within the reserve. Stately pines, oaks and a pure stand of toyon dominate the northern reaches, while a dense stand of willow shrouds the low-lying flood plain to the south.
During any season of the year, displays of native grasses, trees, shrubs and wildflowers can be viewed as one hikes along the five miles of trails within the reserve boundaries. Each new season announces the coming of subtle alterations in the character of the reserve's vegetation and provides new color displays for the avid or occasional hiker.
In addition to the entrance across from the Mission, others are at 11th Avenue east of Torres Street, Mountain View & Crespi, and at 25600 Hatton Road.
Poison oak is one of the most abundant plant communities within the reserve. Stay on the trails to avoid contact with it.
Fires are prohibited anywhere in the reserve.
Picnicking is allowed in areas where trash containers or benches are located.
Motorized vehicles of any type are prohibited within the reserve. Bicycles are permitted only on the main service roads -- not on the trail system.
Collecting is not allowed within the reserve. Preserving the plant and animal communities in their natural state is our most important goal. Please do not remove, collect or disturb any natural objects such as plants, wood, rocks or flowers.
Trails traverse every area of the reserve. To avoid damage to vegetation, please remain on the trails.