The Manzanita Trail is a trail located within the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve. Part of it lies with in the boundary and the other part lies outside of the boundaries. The other part is privately maintained by local homeowners who use this multi-purpose trail for riding their horses. With this being said, watch out for horses...and the road apples left by them.
Most people ride this trail when the ride the Sylvan Meadows Trail. It makes a nice addition to it, however, most don't follow the trail past the Santa Rosa Plateau boundaries.
The trail is named the Manzanita Trail due to the fact that large amounts of Manzanita crowd the trail.
This trail is very undulating- it goes up and down, a lot. The part inside the Santa Rosa Plateau is very well maintained. However, once you get outside the boundaries, the trail becomes a little rugged and rutted out. It crosses a creek multiple times to, and the crossing can be a little hairy because of hair pin maneuvers that you are required to make. There is a little section that one could go freestyle on, but I did this and almost ended up in the creek- not a good idea. In one part, it is almost impossible to ride because it is soo steep. And the last part, is real close to private property. So be courteous so this trail remains open.
Note: A huge tree fell across the trail after a recent storm. It was covering the trail on 12-21-08. I will post an update when the tree is cleared, but in the meantime... expect some bushwhacking along the ride.
Getting ThereFrom Murrieta via the Sylvan Meadows Trailhead From the 15fwy, take the Clinton Keith exit and head south. Follow Clinton Keith for a long time and follow it into the mountains. You pass the visitor center and pass a hairpin turn. The trailhead for Sylvan Meadows is just past this on your right side. Park and follow the trail north. After around half a mile, you reach the Manzanita Trail, which connects directly into the Sylvan Meadows Trail.
From Murrieta via the Tovashal or Torino Trail- If your heading south on the 15 fwy, take a right onto Clinton Keith Road and if your going north, take a left. Follow Clinton Keith up into the hills and go past the Bear Creek area and past the fire station. Once you reach the top of the hill, there will be signs for the Santa Rosa Plateau Visitor Center. Right across the street from the visitor center is the parking and trail head for both the Torino and Tovashal Trail. Follow either of these trails until they reach the Sylvan Meadows Trail. Head NW and eventually (less then half a mile), you run into the Manzanita Trail (it will be on the right side.
From Murrieta via the Top- From the 15fwy, take the Clinton Keith exit and head south. Follow Clinton Keith for a long time and follow it into the mountains. Take a right on Avinda La Cresta. Follow this all the way up and take a left on Valle Vista. Then take a left on Via Los Laureles. The street dead ends and the trailhead is just on the left side. (Note: that this is the privately maintained section of the trail, so be warned.