Been thinkin' about hiking, but don’t know what you need or where to go? Well, I can help with that!
You’ll need a lunch, or at least snacks, and plenty of water. Hats and sunscreen are a must during the summer. Dress in layers in case the weather changes, and always wear comfortable shoes. Hiking boots aren’t required if you’re on a level surface, but if you’ll be walking over rough terrain, you may want boots. And if insects think you’re a tasty morsel, carry a non-toxic bug repellant with ya. Have binoculars, bring em. Field guides for birds, bugs, and butterflies might come in handy, too. To be safe, have friend or two with you.
Don’t know where to go? Your choices are limitless. In San Diego County, there are countless free hiking trails at open spaces like Blue Sky Ecological Reserve in Poway, Marian Bear Memorial Park in San Diego, and Ramona Grasslands Reserve in Ramona, to name just a few.
Some areas charge a day use fee, and offer hiking trails with unbelievable views, such as Cabrillo National Monument in Pt. Loma, Torrey Pines State Park north of La Jolla, William Heise County Park in Julian, and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park near Borrego Springs.
It’s hard to believe, but many people love hiking in the desert. You might catch a glimpse of a bighorn sheep. Depending on the season and in which part of California’s largest state park you find yourself, you may discover colorful wildflowers, a sidewinder, or mud caves to explore. The mud caves are really cool!
There are great places north of San Diego, too. Enjoy a guided nature walk among oak woodlands or canyons at Caspers Wilderness Park in Orange County. If you prefer cooler breezes along the coast, check out Orange County’s Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. Farther inland, you can explore the Santa Rosa Plateau in Riverside County. When the conditions are right, you’ll have amazing discoveries at the vernal pools at SRP.
Don’t live in San Diego, check the internet for places to visit. Or you can use the old-fashioned method and find a book that list walks and hikes in your area. Just find a place and get out in nature. You won’t regret it.