Herb Walks with Lanny Kaufer

Lanny “ethnobotanizes” with herb walkers of all ages on the Horn Canyon Trail in Ojai.
Photo: Rondia Kaufer

“We are constantly walking on herbs, the virtues of which no one knows.” – Chumash Tradition*


*Hudson, Travis, Ed. Breath of the Sun: Life in Early California as Told by a Chumash Indian, Fernando Librado, to John P. Harrington. Malki Museum Press, Morongo Indian Reservation. Banning, California: 1979.

Herb Walks and Nature Hikes with Lanny Kaufer are interpretive walks and hikes with an emphasis on edible and medicinal plants, those classified as “herbs” for their culinary and medicinal properties. Lanny discusses and demonstrates the plants’ traditional and modern uses for food, home remedies, botanical medicine, survival, wildcrafting, landscaping, camping, crafts, ceremony and more.

Herb Walks and Nature Hikes are a great way to discover the many wonderful trails of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties of Southern California and meet interesting like-minded people.

  • You’ll learn to positively identify native plants in their natural habitats and those suitable for foraging.
  • You’ll discover the plants’ roles in the ecology of the area as well as their applications for humans.
  • You’ll learn the importance of sustainable foraging in the context of the ecology.

This type of learning engages all your senses to be able to understand the “language of the plants” and cannot be accomplished with books, photos and web images alone.


Herb Walks are usually less than 1 mile distance each way. Nature Hikes are longer, more strenuous versions of Herb Walks. Spend more time on the trail, cover more ground, and observe plants, birds, insects and other wildlife. Nature Hikes are usually 3-5 miles round-trip and may include moderately difficult creek crossings or significant elevation gain. Each event listing includes a description of the difficulty of the walk or hike.

Adults: Local Herb Walks in the Ojai area are usually $20; Nature Hikes are $25. 
Seniors: $5 discount for seniors 62-and-older
Students: $10 discount for students 13-17 available by request. 
Kids: 5-12 can attend free, one per adult, by prior arrangement.

Lanny also offers private walks and hikes as well as special events with guest presenters.

All participants below the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian if not enrolled with Ventura Wild. Events with special guests are priced higher and may not include usual discounts. No dogs or smoking, please, on any walks or hikes. Thanks!

Please check out Upcoming Events in the left sidebar or check the Calendar to sign up for a walk or hike from the seashore, up the wooded creeks, across the chaparral slopes, and into the pine-forested mountains. Use the Register for an Event link to sign up right now by entering your name and the name of the event.

Herb Walks and Nature Hikes held in the Los Padres National Forest are provided under a U.S. Forest Service Special Use Permit for Outfitting and Guiding Services. Due to weather conditions and the holiday season, there is usually nothing scheduled in December and January.

Please use this Join the Mailing List link to sign up now for the email list to receive a monthly newsletter and be among the first to learn about new events.