Meandering through the trampled hiking trails of Torrey Pines while inhaling the scents of the ocean air is not an uncommon occurrence during the weekend of an outdoorsy San Diegan.
Despite the breathtaking beauty that our coasts offer, hidden paths and adrenaline-inducing hikes that are intermingled within our community too often go unnoticed.
The Black Mountain Open Space Park is home to countless trails that are worthy of exploration; hikers often chance upon metal debris like rusty cars and odd tools leftover on the Miner’s Loop. Though the Miner’s Loop is not for the faint of heart, the peak of the trail overlooks all of Rancho Penasquitos: cookie cutter homes, MC, and ant-sized people that inhabit our community.
Sabre Springs is also home to less labor-intensive walking trails along Chicarita Creek, which has entry points at Creekside Elementary School, South Creek Neighborhood Park, and at the intersection of Springbrook Drive and Sabre Springs Parkway. Though the creek has been polluted by waste and litter over the years, it has an urban-esque beauty to it. Take it from experience, be warned that venturing off-trail can result in an awkward encounter with neighborhood stoners and/or poison oak plants.
Starting at the Creekside entry point, though hiking up the hill instead of down towards the creek may seem daunting, an incredible view looks down on Pomerado Road. Descending down the rocky, slippery trails and trekking through some brush reveals a quaint fishing pond. In all the times that I’ve been to this tiny oasis, I have never seen a man and son casting a fishing line, nor have I seen any fish. Nonetheless, it’s a peaceful way to spend an hour.
With its people and dog-friendly paths, Canyonside Park is not exactly a “secret spot”. However, most don’t know that parking at Park Village Elementary School can cut down travel time to the (now trickling) waterfalls by a few miles. Luckily for those who lack an inner-compass, the trails are well marked and easily direct adventurers to the glistening falls that contrast with the dusty trail.
Lake Miramar is almost always crowded with focused joggers and ambitious bicyclists. But if you’re looking for a pla ce to rest in tranquility with MC SUN’s latest issue and a hot cocoa in hand, Evan’s Pond is only a short walk away. Park in Lake Miramar’s lot and walk back to the main road, crossing to the opposite site and walking right for thirty seconds. Looking down from the sidewalk, you can see the humble pond surrounded with scattered benches.
Finally, a personal favorite is the uber-secret treasure hike of La Jolla that leads to a secluded beach. Out of respect to UCSD stoners and local surfers, I have been advised to keep the exact location undisclosed.
However, trails similar to this one are sprinkled throughout our local beaches, overgrown with brush as fewer mavericks dare to trailblaze. In the words of renowned philosopher Kelly Clarkson, “Take a risk. Take a chance. Make a change. And breakaway.”