DescriptionYou’ll probably breeze right through Seaside without even realizing it if you’re en route to Monterey on busy SR 1. But if you’ve got an hour or so to kill, Frog Pond Wetland Preserve is an under-the-radar detour where you can commune with nature in a quiet setting. A loop trail shaded by coast live oaks and Monterey pines traverses this wetlands habitat, which provides a home for frogs, hummingbirds, deer and ducks. It’s a favorite spot for nature lovers and bird-watching enthusiasts. Access is off Canyon Del Rey Road between Gen. Jim Moore Boulevard and Highland Street; parking is limited to the Canyon Del Rey Road shoulder.
The site of a former U.S. Army post was designated Fort Ord National Monument in 2012, protecting some of the last remaining undeveloped land on the Monterey Peninsula. More than 80 miles of paved roads and narrow dirt trails are used by hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. The scenic central California coast environment varies from open, grass-covered hills and oak forests to maritime chaparral, a coastal habitat unique to California. There are beautiful fields of wildflowers in the spring. Several signed exits off SR 1 provide access to this 14,000-acre refuge.