For those seeking solitude and recreation in a scenic natural setting, Goodan Ranch and Sycamore Canyon Open Space Preserves have much to offer. Visitors can hike along miles of trails, where they will enjoy grand vistas, abundant wildlife, and interesting reminders of the long and varied history of man’s use of the area.
Sycamore Canyon consists of 1700 acres of coastal sage scrub and chaparral-covered hills nestled between the cities of Poway and Santee. Bordering on the west side and stretching through the valley floor is the 325-acre Goodan Ranch, a mix of diverse habitats including grassland, riparian, coastal sage, oak woodland, and mixed chaparral.
Goodan Ranch is rich in early American history. Present day structures at the preserve date back to the 1930s, when it was a working ranch. Today, Goodan Ranch is jointly managed by the cities of Poway and Santee, the California Department of Fish and Game, and the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation.
Goodan Ranch and Sycamore Canyon are enjoyable for their peaceful solitude, recreation opportunities, and beauty. You’ll find a multitude of different plant and animal habitats, including coastal sage scrub, southern mixed chaparral, oak woodlands, riparian, and native grasslands.
Common plants include California sagebrush, buckwheat, chamise, lilac, manzanita, lemonadeberry, coast live oak, sycamores, arroyo willow, and various native grasses. Mule deer, coyote, bobcat, rattlesnakes, and birds such as California gnatcatchers, Hutton’s vireos, and scrub jays are among some of the wildlife you may discover.