Like many coastal communities, the region around Monterey is a critical wildlife area. Migratory birds land on these shores after crossing thousands of miles of open ocean for a much-needed break. And, of course, human development has reduced the number of natural areas all along the coast.
Nature preserves, big and small, are vital to the health of the ecosystem. One example is the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary Monterey, which provides a haven for migrating butterflies each year.
Another example is the beautiful and peaceful Frog Pond Wetland Preserve.
Frog Pond Wetlands
The Frog Pond Preserve is an oasis of calm in areas mainly developed with housing communities and busy city streets. The 17-acre park is crisscrossed by walking and hiking trails.
Wetlands are a rarity in California, which makes preserving them all the more critical. Wetlands provide wildlife, water, and sanctuary.
What you see today is just a tiny piece of the much larger habitat that once existed here. It is estimated California has lost over 90 percent of the wetlands that once existed in the state.
Wildlife to See and Activities
If you're looking for Starbucks, you'd best turn around. Frog Pond is all about getting away from it all and seeing some of nature's more minor details.
Like wetlands all over the world, Frog Pond is home to a biologically diverse and productive ecosystem. Migratory birds are one of the primary draws. This is a great spot to add a few species to your "list." Keep your eyes peeled for buzzing hummingbirds and mallards swimming in the pond. Look upward for soaring red-tailed hawks and watch the branches for the flutter of chestnut-backed chickadees and scrub jays.
Of course, many smaller critters call the pond home year-round. Look and listen for the frogs that gave the reserve its name. You might also see the western fence lizard.
Scenery and Hiking
Even if you aren't after the wildlife sightings, Frog Pond is a gorgeous spot to stretch your legs. The walking paths are wide and clear. Along the way, you'll have pretty views of the little pond.
The trees shade most of the path, making it pleasant even on hot days. So if you just want to step out of the car and enjoy a few minutes in nature, Frog Pond is well worth the stop.
The hiking trail is a loop around the lake, and it is an easy and level three-quarters mile walk. It's an excellent stop to stretch after a long car ride or a big meal!
Getting to Frog Pond
Frog Pond is located along Canyon Del Rey Boulevard at the intersection with General Jim Moore Boulevard. It is in the town of Del Rey Oaks.
The reserve is open to all and requires no permit to visit. There are a few parking spots along the side of Canyon Del Rey Boulevard, where you can stop to access the trails.
Stroll Through Nature and Relax at Frog Pond Wetland Preserve
Even if you aren't a serious birder, walking the peaceful and quiet shores of Frog Pond is a wonderful way to spend a few minutes. It's not the hustle and bustle of the beach or the busy hiking trails out in the mountains--and that's precisely what makes the spot so unique.