Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve

Land Manager:  Olivenhain Municipal Water District


One of San Diego County’s most precious natural resources, the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve (EFRR) offers approximately 11 miles of hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails, as well as picnic areas and scenic mountain viewing points. In addition, the natural beauty of the Reserve includes such native plant communities as oak riparian, oak woodland, coastal sage scrub, and chaparral. All wildlife and natural resources at the Reserve are fully protected so that future generations may also enjoy these wonders.

The 784-acre reserve was developed by Olivenhain Municipal Water District in partnership with San Diego County Water Authority and US Department of the Interior – Bureau of Land Management, as an element of the Olivenhain Water Storage Project and the Authority’s Emergency Storage Project. Owned by the Authority and managed by OMWD, the Reserve has been designed to unify the interests of domestic water supply development, natural resources management, and recreational opportunities.

SDMBA has representatives who represent the mountain biking community on the EFRR trails committee.  Trail work days are planned annually to address trail issues and erosion concerns in the area. 

SDMBA also works closely with The Escondido Creek Conservancy on trail projects on lands they manage adjacent to EFRR.  

A long term goal is to reroute the alignment on the Del Dios Highlands Preserve which is owned by the County of San Diego.  The current route heading from EFRR through Del Dios Highlands down to Del Dios Highway is not an optimal trail experience. 

SDMBA’s Archipelago Ride passes through EFRR each spring, so there is a direct benefit to trail users because of this work and the good relationship we have with these partners.  

In 2021, SDMBA was named “Non Profit Partner of the Year” by the OMWD.