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East County News Service

September 1, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – There’s something for everyone coming up at County Parks in San Diego’s inland region.  Upcoming September special events include a star party, picnic with goats, a park after dark hike, guided day hikes, kayaking, birdwatching, Monarch butterfly metamorphosis,  wilderness trek, junior ranger activities, snake interpretive program, history of wolves, and a fiddling performance.  Scroll down for all of these hot happenings and more.

Star Party 

7 – 8:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14

Oakoasis County Preserve

12620 Wildcat Canyon Road, Lakeside, 92040

Join park rangers and the San Diego Astronomy Association for an evening of stargazing, astronomy and nighttime fun. Arrive at sunset for a twilight hike to search for bats and scorpions! Adults can geek out on astronomy and everyone will enjoy optic-friendly s'mores. RSVP required; call the park at 619-561-0580. For more information, follow the event on Facebook.


Picnic with Goats

12 – 1 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 15

Los Peñasquitos Ranch House

12122 Canyonside Park Drive, San Diego, 92129

Bring your lunch for a pen-side picnic with our goats, Popcorn and Base. During the picnic, park staff will discuss 1860s ranch life, animal care and Nubian goats. At the end, there will be an opportunity to interact with the goats and tour our nearly 200-year-old ranch house. For more information, call the park at 858-484-7504 or follow the events on Facebook.


Can You Say Nocturnal?

7 – 9 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 22

Flinn Springs County Park

14787 Olde Highway 80, El Cajon, 92021

Don't be afraid of the dark! Instead, join a ranger on this easy, fun adventure where we will discover a new and not-so-scary meaning of 'The Dark Side.' You'll learn about the animals that prefer to venture out after the park is closed. Wear good shoes and bring a small flashlight. Please, no dogs as they will scare away the wildlife. For more information, call the park at 619-561-0180 or follow the event on Facebook.


Guided Hike

4 – 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14

Dos Picos County Park

17953 Dos Picos Park Road, Ramona, 92065

Join Ranger Ben on a guided hike in Dos Picos County Park! The hike will begin at the park's amphitheater seating area, located just past the Ranger Station, and cover roughly 1 mile of varied terrain. Snap pictures of the park's lush vegetation, heritage Oaks and native animal species. For more information, call the park at 760-789-2220.


Paradise Hike at Hellhole Canyon

8:30 – 10:30 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 15

Hellhole Canyon County Preserve

19324 Santee Lane, Valley Center, 92082

Enjoy views of the Rodriguez Mountain Range while learning about local history and the inspiration behind the name Hellhole during this new hiking experience. Hikers will also learn about native plants and animals, and how water moves through the canyon. The 1.5-mile hike will begin with a descent into the canyon and will conclude with a moderate ascent on the return hike to the parking area - but you're welcome to travel farther in! For more information, call the park at 760-742-1631 or follow the event on Facebook.


Guided Hike to Overlook Trail

10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 22

Lake Morena County Park

2550 Lake Morena Drive, Campo, 91906

Breathtaking views from the overlook at the dam await those who join us for this ranger-led hike through Lake Morena County Park. Bring your own water and snacks and don't forget the sunscreen! If the weather's nice, you may even want to stick around for some fishing or boating. For more information, call 619-579-4101.


Wilderness Gardens Trail Trek

8:30 – 11 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 28

Wilderness Gardens County Preserve

14209 Hwy 76, Pala, 92059

Join a ranger for a behind-the-scenes trail adventure. During the 4.5-mile trek, visitors will experience all of the trails on site - in addition to the preserve's dramatic landscapes and exhilarating vistas. Birdwatchers and photographers will be happy to have good cameras and binoculars in hand! All visitors will enjoy great views of Palomar Mountain, the Pauma Valley and get a close look at the path of the San Luis Rey River. For more information, call 760-742-1631.


Magnificent Metamorphosis Explorer Program

2 – 3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 8

Otay Lakes County Park

17953 Dos Picos Park Road, Ramona, 92065

Join Ranger Lauren to learn about metamorphosis and the monarch butterfly. We will explore a real monarch butterfly habitat and do a couple of crafts about the so-called "King of Butterflies" life cycle. RSVP required; call 619-482-7361.


Early Morning Birding

8 – 10 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 14

El Monte County Park

15805 El Monte Road, Lakeside, 92040

El Monte County Park is recognized as a birding hotspot with an impressive array of birds. Join Ranger Arnold, an experienced birder, to catch those winged creatures in action! We'll take an easy, 2-hour walk through the park before the gates are open to the public. Binoculars and cameras are encouraged. For more information, call the park at 619-443-1474 or follow the event on Facebook.


Kayaking at the Lake

9 – 11 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 14

Lake Morena County Park

2550 Lake Morena Drive, Campo, 91906

Kayak around Lake Morena with local park rangers while learning about the history of the land, the dam, and the Native Americans who once inhabited the area. Don’t worry about bringing a boat; kayaks will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Bring sunscreen, a hat, water and binoculars! Inclement weather will cancel. Call the park at 619-579-4101 with questions and to secure your spot.


Fiddle Girl - Celia Lawley

5 – 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14

William Heise County Park

4945 Heise Park Road, Julian, 92036

Watch this high-energy show and learn about an array of different 

instruments, as well as Julian’s 1870s Gold Rush. It's a rousing,

family-friendly musical engagement you won't want to miss. For more information, call the park at 760-765-0650.


Junior Rangers

1:30 – 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21

Lake Morena County Park

2550 Lake Morena Drive, Campo, 91906

Kids can earn their Junior Ranger badge by learning about native plants and how to identify them, how to water baby Oak trees, how to plant new trees, and what types of work are necessary to keep the park clean for all visitors to enjoy. For more information, call the park at 619-579-4101.


Im-press-ive Plants of the Park

9 – 11 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 22

Santa Ysabel East County Preserve

500 Farmer Road, Julian, 92036

In this activity, rangers will lead a short guided hike where participants can collect fallen leaves, that they can later press into a work of art!  Adults and children of all ages are welcome to spend a relaxing morning observing and appreciating nature’s splendor. Meet at the Farmer Staging Area. For more information, call the park at 760-765-4098.


Snake Interpretation

2 – 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28

Lake Morena County Park

2550 Lake Morena Drive, Campo, 91906

Discover the different snakes that you can find at Lake Morena County Park. From a Gopher Snake and California Kingsnake to Coastal Rosy Boa, experience this hands-on activity to lean all about snakes' impressive adaptations. Meet at the ranger station. For more information, call the park at 619-579-4101.


California Wolf Center

5 – 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28

William Heise County Park

4945 Heise Park Road, Julian, 92036

Enjoy this presentation on the history of wolves in North America and a discussion on the California Wolf Center's involvement in wolf recovery in the wild, along with what they are doing to reintroduce them to their natural habitats. For more information, call the park at 760-765-0650 or follow the event on Facebook.

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