Sweet Springs Nature Preserve, Los Osos

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San Luis Obispo, CA
Sweet Springs Nature Preserve, Los Osos
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Sweet Springs Nature Preserve is absolutely gorgeous! It is run by Audobon Society. Here a jade green spring runs under a wooden bridge. Ducks and tadpoles waddle around in the water. If you are lucky, you can see deer coming to the spring to drink- it is so beautiful, like the hymn "As the deer panteth for the water..." I also made eye contact with a big deer right next to me on the wooden boardwalk!

The eucalyptus trees are tall and grand, with big, lush leaves. I can just imagine a koala munching them- I am Australian! Clear, golden light shines in through the trees on sunny days. The leaves make a mesmerizing rustling sound on windy days. Green-hued Spanish moss hangs from the trees. 
You walk for about 1.2 km on a wooden boardwalk and also dirt paths through the preserve. There are little viewing platforms with plaques showing which birds you might spot. The dunes of the estuary are in the distance as are California palms, Monterey cypress trees, and mountains.
The walk is mostly flat and easy, though there is some loose dirt so bring shoes you don't love. After rain it can be a bit muddy. Come on a late summer or autumn afternoon for sunny, warm weather. 
After, have a Thai tea or matcha latte (avoid the pastries because they are not fresh) at Ascendo Coffee, looking out their huge windows at palm trees. This coffee shop is a lovely space, with colorful paintings on the walls. On weekend mornings they sometimes have live music. It is a four minute drive away.
Or have lunch at High Street Deli (closed Tues and Wed), one of the 2nd Street cafes. It is a two minute drive away, and there is a nice estuary walk on a pier and boardwalk there.
For an incredible place nearby, check out Spooner's Cove.

Continue to directions...

A bird watching enthusiast walks the boardwalk.

Green moss hanging from a tree.

Ducks in the spring.

Path through the eucalyptus trees.

Hard-packed dirt path under a cypress tree.

A lookout area over the estuary.

Cypress tree and calm blue estuary.

Stepping stone tree trunks.

Information sign about the nests in the preserve.

The spring looks enchanting.

Looking out over the marsh.

The salt marsh is lovely, like in South Carolina!

A bench in the middle of the eucalyptus tree forest.

The chunky leaves of a eucalyptus tree.

Green sprout on a eucalyptus tree.

Narrow wooden boardwalk to a lookout.

Mountains, fog, cypress tree outlines, reflection of it all!

Green moss hanging from a tree.

Ascendo Coffee in Los Osos is a very pleasant place to go after your walk!

I love to look out the window at Ascendo Coffee in Los Osos.

Ascendo Coffee is in a sunny spot.

View of marsh.

Cypress tree beside the boardwalk.

The wooden boardwalk.

Lookout over the marsh.

Binoculars for spotting birds in the estuary.

Mountain views across the water.

Tall eucalyptus.

Sign and blue water through the trees.

Flowers on a sunny table at Ascendo Coffee Los Osos.

As the deer panteth for the water...

Morro Rock across the marsh.

Bench by the spring.

Bench with view of Morro Rock.


Mother and son on a bench along the path.

Marsh and barren tree.

A deer looks at me!


Sweet Springs Nature Preserve is located at 660 Ramona Ave, Los Osos, CA 93402. You can park for free along the road.


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William Crowe

Sun, 10 Sep 2023

That sounds like a lovely excursion! Thank you!

Last Updated: Mon, 03 Jun 2024 14:59:07 GMT

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