Put Your Best Foot Forward: Walking & Hiking Escondido

Published Sunday, October 30th, 2011 by Fred Woods

Escondido offers many unique opportunities for the enjoyment of walkers and hikers. Today we’ll highlight just a few of those that are accessible and free to all.

Walking Tours of Historic Escondido

Did you know that thousands of people have been enjoying 60–90 minute, docent-led walking tours of historic Escondido since 1992?

Led by very knowledgeable docents from the Escondido History Center and / or the Escondido Citizens Ecology Committee, five different routes can be explored as their rich history is explained.

Walks are held on Tuesdays and Saturdays. A detailed listing of dates, times, and routes, can be found on the Escondido History Center Events page.

Phone inquiries can be made to 760.743.8207.

Parks and Trails

The City’s web site is a great resource when looking for specific amenities offered at Escondido’s many parks and trails. There’s truly something for everyone! Please visit the City's Parks, Lakes & Open Space page for detailed information, or call 760.839.4691.

Daley Ranch

A visit to the City’s Daley Ranch page, specifically details valuable information about this historical area. Formerly a working ranch, its 3,058 acres are now dedicated to habitat preservation. This vast and unspoiled open space offers unique recreational opportunities for its visitors. It’s truly one of a kind.

While all can enjoy a hike there seven days a week, frequent docent led walks also provide unique opportunities to learn about its rich history and pristine environment.

Whether going there for exercise, or to take a step back in time, or to be close to nature while taking in the stunning views, this is a favored destination by many.

Please note: This is probably not the best destination for those who prefer leisurely walking since the first section of the trail is quite steep. However, once you’ve made it ‘over the hill’, the trails level out considerably. For safety’s sake, please remember to bring your own drinking water, wear sunscreen and stay on the pathways.

Neighborhood Walks

Living in the North end of town, one of our favorite walks is around the Brookside Community. While it’s a gated community, walkers are able to enjoy a walking path that goes totally around it.

If you choose to go around the entire perimeter of Brookside, you will enjoy an approximately 2.4 mile journey which includes meandering sidewalks, a dirt path, and even a tree lined wooden bridge. Again, water and sunscreen are advisable.

‘Mall Walkers’

For those who prefer to remain ‘undercover’ and stay indoors, did you know that Westfield Shopping Center is the ‘trail of choice’ for numerous ‘Mall Walkers’?

For more information, please visit the Concierge booth in their First Level Center Court during store hours (M-Sat.: 11-7; Sun. 11-6). You may also call 760.839-0631 or email them at northcounty@westfield.com for more information.

Realizing that we’ve just highlighted a few of the great walking and hiking areas in Escondido, we hope you’ll ‘step up’ and share your favorites with our readers! Thank you, and now… Let’s hit the trails!

Join the discussion! 3 comments so far...

  1. Great list! I also like the walk around Lake Hodges. There are a few trailheads, one of which is very easy to access if you've been to Westfield North County. It's just across the street from the mall on Sunset Drive, here's a Google Map: http://maps.google.com/maps?daddr=Sunset+Dr&hl=en&sll=33.066379,-117.067984&sspn=0.008703,0.009742&geocode=FeWN-AEdha8F-Q&vpsrc=0&mra=ls&t=h&z=17 Once you're there, you can walk under the freeway to the other side, which is pretty cool. Continue along the lake and you'll end up in small tree-studded canyon. From there, you can progress further to more advanced hiking, or just head back to where you began and you'll still get in a great workout, plus gorgeous views.

    Comment by Dave Woods on October 30, 2011 at 11:40 PM

  2. Our favorite neighborhood park is Felicita Park, on Felicita Road. The actual address is 742 Clarence Lane. We can walk from our neighborhood and enter through the back entrance on Oak Lane. Quote from their website: "Because of it's rich history and worthiness of preservation, Felicita Park is listed to the National Register of Historic Places for its rich Native American and pioneer history ." There are plenty of picnic areas, kid's playground, a couple of creeks, lots of shade from ancient oaks and easy trails to enjoy with information about the Native Americans that once lived there. During the week the park is used mainly by locals and their leashed dogs, or a search & rescue team practicing with their dogs. On the weekends, this park is enjoyed by families, company picnics, class reunions and as in this weekend, the Renaissance Faire. We love having this special park in our own "backyard"

    Comment by Monica Demler on November 1, 2011 at 2:00 PM

  3. Another enjoyable & educational walk is also off Sunset across from Westfield Mall, just go the other way by the redone Sikes Adobe & on into San Pasqual Valley with lots of history on the markers.

    Comment by Jan Bourgeois on November 2, 2011 at 1:28 PM

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