Equal parts nature trail, educational exhibit, and piece of living history—the Olinda Oil Museum and Trail in Brea is a must-see for history buffs and avid hikers alike. This 12-acre historical park features the original Olinda Oil Well #1. Drilled in 1897, this is one of the oldest working oil wells in the state. There is also a jackline pump, the original field house for the Olinda Oil operation, various pieces of field equipment from the past, a vault and warehouse. Here you can browse a collection of old photos depicting life as an oil worker, or “wildcatter” as they were commonly known back then. Interpretive exhibits in the field house explain the oil drilling process and the geologic significance of the area.

Once you’ve finished exploring the museum, it’s time to take an enjoyable, mild hike along the two-mile trail. Follow the footsteps of early pioneers who came to Olinda in search of oil. Placards along the trail show how things used to look. But perhaps most impressive are the panoramic views of Orange County the trail affords. On a clear day you can even see the ocean!

The City of Brea maintains the Olinda Oil Museum and Trail. Brand new restrooms, a paved parking lot and picnic tables have been provided for visitors’ comfort and convenience.

The Olinda Oil Museum and Trail is an important piece of history, and while entry to the park is free, donations at the gate are greatly appreciated. The park is always in need of volunteers to give tours and to staff the field office. Volunteering is a great way to deepen your historical knowledge while giving back to the Brea community. Training is provided.

For information on volunteering or to schedule a group tour, call Sean Matlock at (714) 671-4447.

The Olinda Oil Museum and Trail is located in the Olinda Ranch neighborhood, at 4025 Santa Fe Road in Brea. The park gates are open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.