Open now at the corner of Crescent Avenue and Pebbly Beach Road, the Trailhead is the perfect place to begin your Catalina adventure! It is the flagship facility for Catalina Island Conservancy, the 501c3 non-profit that manages 88% of Catalina Island with the mission to be a responsible steward of its lands through a balance of conservation, education and recreation. Here, we break down the top five things to do at the Trailhead.
1. Hop on an Eco Tour
Naturalist-led Eco Tours are the quickest way to experience Catalina’s wildlands – and they leave straight from the Trailhead! The Conservancy’s all-terrain vehicles provide access to more than 200 miles of paved and unpaved roads, including parts of the Island that no other outfitter can reach. On an Eco Tour, you’ll learn straight from a naturalist-trained guide about the history, unique plants and wildlife, including the Island’s iconic bison herd, while exploring Catalina. Conservancy members even receive tour discounts.
2. Pick up a hiking permit and map
The Trailhead serves as your one-stop shop to explore Catalina. While there, pick up a free hiking permit and a Trail Map to discover the best paths on the Island. You can also grab a Freewheeler Bike Pass – included with the purchase of a Conservancy membership starting at just $35.
3. Shop the store
In addition to the unique selection of retail items, the Trailhead is home to several educational exhibits. Throughout your shopping experience, learn more about the Island’s history and ecology. Before hitting the trails, pick up a reusable water bottle, sunscreen or hiking poles. Bring home eye-catching clothing, activities, books and more to commemorate your visit. Everything you buy helps support the Conservancy’s mission.
4. Grab a meal at Toyon Grill
Peruse a collection of Catalina plein air artwork on the second floor while having a meal at Toyon Grill by Bluewater. The latest restaurant by the award-winning group serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Conservancy members also save with a discount at Toyon Grill. Catch one of the Island’s beautiful sunsets with a glass of wine and charcuterie board on the patio overlooking Avalon Harbor.
5. Visit the native plant garden on the top deck
The third floor offers learning opportunities to connect you with the nature of Catalina, all with a stunning backdrop. Tear your eyes away from the views to appreciate a native plant garden featuring several varieties of plants, including endemic species found only on Catalina Island. While there, discover fun facts about the history of Catalina Island
The Trailhead is conveniently located the left on your walk from the boat landing into town. All purchases directly support Catalina Island Conservancy, helping to protect and preserve Catalina Island. To learn more about this new attraction, please visit the Conservancy website.
by Jessica Boudevin