New Nature Trail in Long Beach: DeForest Park Wetlands

There’s a brand new nature trail in Long Beach! Three years ago, the City of Long Beach broke ground on a project called the Deforest Wetlands. This weekend, they opened the gates at DeForest Park to the first part of the restoration of the wetlands. Wetlands are amongst the most productive ecosystems in the world, and provide countless tangible benefits our nation’s coastal communities.

All part of an effort to restore the area around the LA River, this project opens 34 acres of land for public use and contributes to the greater Los Angeles River Greenway, a citywide project aimed to add 52-miles of wetlands along the LA River. If you’re looking for a short hike with kids in the Long Beach area, this is the place to be.

Once overgrown with exotic vegetation or completely devoid of vegetation, the area has transformed into a river parkway with freshwater wetlands, wildlife habitats, recreational trails, native plants, and interpretive signage, while retaining flood control and management properties. Public use includes bird watching, walking, horseback riding, and educational tours and programs.

Along the way we spotted tons of tadpoles and frogs, butterflies, wildflowers, and even caught a glimpse of a coyote passing in the distance. Also, kids who love horses can see them plenty as the nearby horse trail is well-traveled as well.

The path doesn’t have much shade, so prepare with hats and sunblock. Keep in mind, the trail is short, and most of it is flat and not too rocky, so strollers should be a piece of cake.

“The restoration of our DeForest Park wetlands has been a priority for the North Long Beach community for a decade,” said Vice Mayor Rex Richardson, in a statement. “This 34-acre natural open space habitat will allow our neighborhoods the opportunity to connect to the LA River, experience our environment, and learn more about conservation.”

This project marks the largest expansion of open space in Long Beach since the completion of Cesar Chavez Park. If the kiddos get tired of walking through the Deforest Park Wetlands, the rest of Deforest Park has plenty of space for picnicking along with two playgrounds and a shaded picnic area.

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