This trail navigates around the southeastern wing of Silverwood in Miller Canyon. Most of the trail is on paved trails, with a few... more » exceptions where the trail's been covered with silt, damaged by slides over the years, or broken up with age. This trail is also open to bikes.
The trail along the southern lake shore is mostly shaded under forest canopy with plentiful lake views and provides a handy path to get from day-use areas to shoreline and campsites. Much of the northerly shore of Miller Canyon around the lake is exposed but it does provide a few spots of shore access and views from the other side. A great little hike!
The Silverwood Lake area boasts an active wildlife population that includes
California mule deer, gray foxes, coyotes and the periodic mountain lion. Cottontail, brush rabbits, jackrabbits, western gray and ground squirrels, ringtails, chipmunks and wood rats can be commonly seen. Along the Mojave River black bears, bobcats and golden beavers live.
Bald eagles fly during the winter, fishing the lake's waters. Other water birds include Great blue herons, snowy egrets, avocets, western grebes, loons, Canada geese, mergansers and several varieties of ducks, frequently in large numbers. Other bird species include Red-tailed hawks, Cooper’s hawks, ospreys and roadrunners. This area is also home to Clark’s nutcrackers, Steller’s and scrub jays, rock wrens and mountain bluebirds.
Silverwood Lake vegetation habitats include ponderosa pine, incense cedar, white fir and black oak. Along the lake's shores are chamise, live oak, manzanita, ceanothus and mountain mahogany grow. Stream species include Alders, willows and sycamores.
Back in October, 2003 Silverwood was hit by wildfires that severely damaged about 1,000 acres of the State Recreation Area. Since then winter rains have brought flooding. The impact can still be seen along this trail in the form of washouts, slides, trail silting, and fire damage to fencing, all still awaiting funding for repairs. The bright side is nature's amazing ability to recover.
Silverwood Lake's story actually begins in the Northern Sierra Nevada foothills up around Oroville, California and the Feather River Basin. The waters travel southward in the State Water Project aqueducts and pumping stations and a portion ends up here at Silverwood Lake. The lake is also fed by the Mojave River. The water is then stored and used to generate electricity, provide water to various agencies, is distributed to Lake Perris and then sent all over to several Southern California Counties. less «