Each of CIMI’s sites at Toyon Bay, Fox Landing, and Cherry Cove run their programs with the same goal in mind: providing students with a fun, adventurous, and enriching outdoor education experience. But that doesn’t mean that each camp can’t also have its own unique personality! For Cherry Cove, that personality is characterized by its long-standing history, beautiful natural setting, rustic charm, and keen sense of adventure.
Cherry Cove first became a private camp in 1923, when the Boy Scouts of America secured a lease for the land from the Catalina Island Conservancy. In 1976, Ross and Kristi Turner started a marine science program out of Cherry, and eventually a partnership was developed that allowed both CIMI and the Boy Scouts to run programs out of the site. This partnership is best exemplified in the classic style of the canvas scout tents that students get the opportunity to sleep in during their stay at Cherry Cove. Chaperones and students who come to Cherry Cove agree: there is no better way to truly immerse yourself in the beauty of Catalina’s landscape than by camping outdoors!
Schools arrive at Cherry Cove by first landing in Two Harbors, a small town on the West end of Catalina that’s home to about 150 year-round residents. From there, students and chaperones get to hike a little over a mile on a flat, scenic road before they arrive at Cherry Cove! A view of the ocean greets the hikers along the way, with key landmarks like Bird Rock and Ship Rock dotting the horizon.
As students first arrive in camp, they will get their first glimpse of another feature that Cherry is well-known for: it’s crystal-clear water! The West end of Catalina features some of the most beautiful snorkeling spots on the whole island, and Cherry Cove is no exception. Students can sometimes even see bright orange garibaldis swimming around as they hike down the hill into camp, a promising preview of the beauty that will surround them in their upcoming adventures.
At Cherry Cove, the adventure never stops! From exploring the ocean by kayak, to hiking through a grove of Cherry trees, to watching the stars come out over your tent site, there is always an opportunity to observe the diverse natural beauty that Catalina has to offer. Cherry has a legacy of inspiring people to explore the outdoors, and it is our hope that students will hold on to that sense of adventure long after they leave.