Gearing up for my own personal adventure (I’m walking 60 miles in 3 day for Susan G. Komen) I’ve been exploring San Diego’s wide variety of hiking trails. While there are only a sprinkling of mountain ranges in the city to keep me motivated on a Saturday morning, this past week the biggest discovery was within the city limits. Just off Mission Gorge was Mission Trails Regional Park, a haven for the outdoorsy type with camp grounds, a river, fishing and an abundance of trails. In an attempt to get in the 17 miles marked for the day, the crew set out to explore the terrain beyond the basic trails built on the map. The Mission Trails Regional Parks’ website indicates that there are few trails that go beyond four miles – but four hours deep into our trek, we begged to differ.
According to a few friendly runners, the former military stomping grounds cut off a few trails so our diversion around the mountain positioned us for rolling hills, an adjacent climb from the 52 and to say the least, a big afternoon adventure. Though it’s in the center of the city, making for an interesting trek beside and under the 52, it truly feels like a world beyond San Diego’s boundaries.
Not just about the trails and ideal for the family, the Old Mission Dam is ideal for rock skipping and a place for an afternoon picnic, while the equestrian trail provides horse lovers a city-wide escape. Runners, family, experienced hikers and more plodded along the trail in 80 degree heat, showing that this diversity makes for an outdoor adventure year round.
Mission Trails Regional Park also includes the history behind the San Dieguito peoples, where original settlers settled there through B.P. 3000. Events throughout the month even include trail guides on the weekend, guided walk tours on every Saturday and even a bird watching event.