Welcome to the Los Osos Elfin Forest
The El Moro Elfin Forest in Los Osos, adjacent to the Morro Bay estuary, is a 90-acre natural area belonging to San Luis Obispo County Parks and California State Parks. Its plant communities include coastal brackish marsh, riparian woodland fringe, pygmy oak woodland, maritime chaparral, coastal dune scrub, and oak and manzanita complex. The Elfin Forest supports more than 200 species of plants, as well as 110 kinds of birds, 22 species of mammals and 13 species of reptiles and amphibians. It is home to rare plants, butterflies, snails and birds. Chumash middens occur throughout the park.
A 4/5 mile boardwalk loop, constructed in 1999, provides access for young and old, walkers and wheelchair users, and protects the Forest's sensitive habitat. The Los Osos / Morro Bay Chapter of Small Wilderness Area Preservation (SWAP), after being the prime mover in securing the lands, "adopted" the Forest in 1994. The Chapter continues to remove invasive plants, provide erosion control, and conduct plant revegetation projects through its Conservation Committee and "Weed Warriors." SWAP also sponsors monthly Third Saturday nature walks and educational walks for local schools.
If this is your first visit to this web site you may want to push the button on the left. It will tell you how to use the navigation buttons at the top of this and many other pages. It also tells what information you can find in each location -- good to know.
NEW! The folks at Calflora (UC Berkeley) have given us a new way of looking at the "Vascular Plants of the Elfin Forest" list (in "Flora and Fauna" above). Click on this button and you'll get the list with two photos of the each plant. You can see full taxonomic info on the plant (including access to the 2011 Jepson Manual), links to three additional plant photo sites, and a bunch more of good stuff - probably more than you really want to know!