1.8 miles, 1 hour or less
These trails are hidden gems in the busy city of Long Beach. You would never know that you were not lost in hidden woods, rather then less then 1/2 mile from a busy freeway.
The nature center itself is very good, featuring a little menagerie of local wildlife, and educational things for children. They sell items, and they occasionally have special events like informational hikes looking for butterflies or birds. It is totally worth a stop to check it out before going on the trails.
The hikes are easy. On a weekend, you will find many families with children on the trails. They do not permit bicycles or dogs on the nature trails, though they are both allowed in the rest of the park. There is a lot of wildlife to see here too. You will find egrets and herons in the lake, lizards running around in the sun if it's warm, bunnies if you're lucky, possibly a hawk or two soaring on the thermals. It's a great escape from city life, and extremely easy to get to.
To get to the El Dorado park nature center from I-605 south, exit at Spring street, and follow the signs for the park, which will mean bearing right on the freeway offramp. After you exit, get into the left lane as quickly as possible. The next left turn is the park entrance for the nature center. The entry fee is $5.00 weekdays, and $7.00 on Saturday and Sunday. They are closed on Mondays.
El Dorado park is huge, and has more then just the nature trails. In the park proper, there are bike paths, camping areas that can be reserved, and you can walk your dog should you want to. It is a remarkable resource in the middle of a really developed area.