Wherefore Art Thou Ilvento

The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy started its grand preservation quest way back in the last millenium with a humble 80 acre chunk of chaparral hillside on the Thacher School property.  Donated by the Ilvento family, this unique plot features shady fern-draped north slopes and chamise-dominated scree covered chaparral.  But, where the heck is it?  Thacher School isn’t big on signs.  If you drive down there you will see no obvious evidence of its existence.

I am here to help.

Snagged this map a few years back (I don’t reveal sources) and it should at least give you a clue.

Click to open a PDF in a new tab: thachermap

To give you a frame of reference, Trail 14 is the main Horn Canyon trail, maintained by the forest service.  Most of the other numbered trails are Thacher trails, named after.. um… I don’t know who, maybe someone can enlighten me.  So that tadpole looking thing just east of the Horn Canyon trailhead, with the number 20 smack dab in the middle?  That’s us.  Park at Horn Canyon and walk a few hundred more yards up that road heading east-southeast (not up the Horn Canyon trail).  You will see a sign marked “Huntington”.  That’s your entrance.  I would follow that until you see trail 19 (Forest H. Cook I believe, which becomes Wyman) and do a clockwise loop.  You should see at least one of Rick’s Ilvento signs back there.

The OVLC trails are maintained.  The Thacher trails… not so much.  Single track, falling apart in spots, rarely used.  My kinda trail, but not for everyone.

These pictures are from the preserve from about three weeks back.  Go for an adventure while it’s still blooming.

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