Kennedy Ridge Trail
1) At the Oso Trailhead head west then make a quick right before heading west again crossing the Ventura River bottom. The river bottom is rocky but the trail evens out after the crossing.
2) After you cross the river bottom you may notice a sign indicating that you’re hiking on the Orange Grove Trail. The Orange Grove Trail runs south along the Ventura River. Continue on this trail and you’ll see the Rice Canyon Trail junction running west.
3) After a short distance west on Rice Canyon Trail it begins to bend north. On your right side you may notice a nursery and water tank. The Ventura River Preserve Nursery, built in March, 2008 has a 6,000 gallon storage tank. The nursery stores plants that are planted on the preserve, so that it can continue its restoration process. Shortly after the nursery and over the bridge you’ll approach the Kennedy Ridge Trail junction (0.24 mile).
4) Starting from the junction the trail goes through a drainage with plenty of shade. It then travels gently up a hill to a Forest Service road (.20 mile). Turn left and go on this dirt road for .18 of a mile and there is a trail junction off to the right with a trail kiosk several feet up the trail. No horses are allowed on this trail. As you ascend there are fantastic views of the surrounding area. You’ll get to the first ridge after about half a mile then it gets steeper as you proceed up to Kennedy Ridge. There is a “T” junction at 1.25 miles (1,486 feet). If you go right there is a picnic table several feet down the trail, if you go left that will take you to the El Camino Cielo Trail (3.0 miles).
Note: There is no shade on this trail, so go early in the mornings or go during cooler months of the year.
5) The Kennedy Ridge Trail breaks north from Rice Canyon and heads toward United States Forest Service land. The OVLC boundary is about a quarter mile below the “T” junction described above. The trail continues up to El Camino Cielo Trail. The eventual goal through an ongoing partnership with the USFS is to reopen and connect El Camino Cielo and Oceanview trails via the Kennedy Ridge Trail. This would expand the 25 miles of trails accessible from the Ventura River Preserve.