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PARK: Louis Stelzer County Park
LOCATION: 11470 Wildcat Canyon Rd Lakeside, CA 92040



By Dennis and Trever Richardson

March 29, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) -- This secluded park has a family-friendly environment with an educational orientation directed at teaching school children about local wildlife. The park prides itself on education, utilizing its proximity to the outdoors to teach children. Inside the visitor’s center, the park offers views of all types of snakes in enclosures and local plants categorized on the walls.

Stelzer Park recently won the ‘Parents Pick Stelzer Park as County's Best’ award for its great efforts to provide activities and education to children. It is also clean and orderly, with friendly staff who will answer any of your questions with facts and personal stories related to the subject. It is no wonder the park is so popular!

Louis Stelzer County Park is a great place to go for the weekend with the family dogs for a hike, or with kids for some fun on the jungle gym. There are clean, well maintained facilities throughout the park. Each year the park houses a group of AmeriCorps volunteers that create new hiking trails and complete projects aimed to better the park.

The park also plans various seasonal and family-friendly activities. For example:


Stelzer Park’s Annual Easter Egg-Stravaganza Egg Hunt

• Saturday March, 27th, 10am
• Meet the Easter Bunny!


This event is for children 12 and under. Thousands of candy – filled eggs will be available. The park will be divided into age groups. This event is free but there is a $3 parking fee per vehicle. Reservations are required so please call 619-561-0580 to reserve your spot.


Amenities / things to do at Stelzer Park:

• See the Wedding Tree (a 300 year old oak tree)
• Visitor’s Center with Rattle Snakes and other wildlife exhibited
• Hike to Kumeyaay Peak (total distance 2 miles)
• Playground Equipment
• Picnic Tables



During our visit we met with two families, each with two children, who had journeyed to the park for a quiet day with the kids and nature. Jennifer Anderson and her two children, Ryan, age 8, and Kaitlyn, age 10 (photo, right), along with the family dog Jack, had hiked one and a half miles prior to our discussion and said their park experience was very enjoyable. Ryan said that he saw “a caterpillar, an eagle, a spider and bobcat footprints;” though the bobcat was long gone.


Curtis and Amber, a couple from Santee with two children who asked that their last names not be published, said, “The park is the cleanest in all of San Diego.”

While at the park, I realized this great little place attracts nice people, not only from Lakeside, but all over the County. People from Alpine, Santee, and even the German American Club were there enjoying the park.


Here is a list of the elected official and San Diego County employees who are responsible for the quality of this park:

• County Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Diane Jacob
• Park Administrator, Randy Ford
• Park Supervisor, Bruce Philips
• Sr. Park Ranger, Patty Heyden
• Park Ranger, Sean Parks
• Park Ranger, Robert Lawson
• Maintance, Vance Corolla
• Discovery Kit, Theresa Dorns

This is a great San Diego County Park; I give Stelzer Park 5 out of 5 Oak Trees. Pack a picnic lunch and visit the park, tell the Rangers they are doing a great job--and keep up the great work.

The Stelzer Park was rated on 3-21-10

Visitor Center – 5 Oak Trees
Park Appearance – 5 Oak Trees
Grounds Grooming- Oak Trees
Park Maintenance – 5 Oak Trees
Public Access – 5 Oak Trees
Trails System – 5 Oak Trees
Safety Issues – 5 Oak Trees



Here are a few links for more information:

• We will be judging many San Diego County Parks with a Critical Eye; Our ratings will be judged honestly and given an Oak Tree or a Tumbleweed ratings depending on the quality and appearance of parklands and facilities.

Suggest a park that you would like a check up; have you notice a park that is poor condition? Contact:


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