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Rabbit Hill Preserve

Rabbit Hill Preserve


Serpentine Stones for Seats

Rabbit Hill Preserve is open dawn to dusk


Rabbit Hill Preserve is located at 21281 Steward Rd., in  Middletown,  CA. Click for map below.

Rabbit Hill is a 9.5 acre serpentine outcropping with stunning 360 degree views of Middletown valley and the surrounding mountains. It is located at 21281 Stewart Street,  Middletown, CA.  The preserve is open to the public from sunrise to sundown and leashed dogs are welcome.  There is a picnic table on site, but no bathroom facilities.

Owned and stewarded by the Lake County Land Trust since 1999, Rabbit Hill remains a favorite small park in Middletown. The short trail to the top allows for beautiful views of sunsets and sunrises, quiet solace and a place to enjoy a picnic. The native plant life is an important and protected feature. Most of the area is a Serpentine outcropping and is home to some unusual and rare flora. Serpentine rock and soils are derived from the ocean bottom and contain unique chemical properties. These conditions support endemic species of plants only found on serpentine.

In 2015 the Valley Fire raced over Rabbit Hill, burning most of the vegetation, but the resilient plant community has returned and is wonderful to view. Since the Valley Fire, an art installation has been installed along with benches to sit and contemplate the beauty of the area. The Lake County Land Trust worked in conjunction with the Middletown Art Center to install the Gateway to the Sky natural sculpture by artist Marcus Maria Jung.

Rabbit Hill Preserve sign

Huck Hamann died in 1975 and Skee continued to live and care for the property until 1980 when she moved to a Mrs. Spooner's house on Hwy. 175.  Reports state that by 1983, when Skee Hamann died, much of the work they had put into the property had fallen into disrepair and it wasn't until the early 1990's that work began to find a local steward for the land.  Madrone Audubon deeded the property to the Lake County Land Trust in April of 1999.


The Lake County Land Trust partners with Middletown Art Center, Middletown High School and CAL Fire to protect, upgrade and honor the wishes of Skee and Huck Hamann to keep this small and unique preserve open to the public.

Rabbit Hill Preserve

History of Rabbit Hill

Rabbit Hill was first turned into a nature sanctuary by Juanita "Skee" Hamann and Hugo "Huck" Hamann in the 1950's when they retired to Middletown from Los Altos. In the 1960’s the Hammans introduced many young people to the wonders of nature, jewelry making out of local rocks and creating and playing shepherds pipes In November of 1966 the Hamann's were devastated when their daughter, Joan Hamann Dole, was murdered at her home in nearby Anderson Springs and they decided the nature sanctuary should be a tribute to her memory.


In 1968 the property was deeded to the Madrone Audubon Society although the Hamanns continued to live on the property caring for the birds using the feeders and birdbaths they had developed on the property and growing vegetables in fifty-five gallon drum halves.  The Hamann's also used stones on the property to construct restrooms and a shelter for their trailer.  In the summer they slept outside on a screened platform. 

Rabbit Hill Preserve
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