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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.

Beginning the first of 2020 the Chapter changed its  name to Friends of El Morro Elfin Forest (FEMEF)

The Chapter continues to remove invasive plants, provide erosion control, and conduct plant revegetation projects through its Conservation Committee and "Weed Warriors."  FEMEF 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.

For information on visiting the Forest, such how to find it, where to park, days and hours of operation, what to see, and more - push the brown "Visiting Forest" button at the top of this page.

State COVID regulations restrict visits to the Elfin Forest Natural Area (a San Luis Obispo County Park ) to individuals or small family groups - people you live with on a day to day basis.


Physical distancing and face masks are required.


San Luis Obispo County is in Stage 2 of the Reopening phase. The Elfin Forest is in the Outdoor Museum category that limits GUIDED tours to no more than 6 people.


Because we canít restrict 3rd Saturday nature walk attendance, we will cancel upcoming walks if the Elfin Forest hasnít been cleared for gatherings of 10 to 20 persons with no need for physical distancing.


Our First Friday Work Parties are on hold at present.  However, if you would like to volunteer for vegetation trimming on an on-call basis, please contact:




Read the current copy of Oakleaves.

"What's coming up" - (blooming) in the Elfin Forest and "Recent sightings" - animals and plants reported by visitors.

Contacting us - questions, comments, or suggestions?