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East County News Service 

May 1, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Spring is here – time to lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails. The County is offering a series of special hikes in county parks, from leisurely strolls to a rugged “Warrior hike challenge” up El Capitan.


Find details below provided by County Parks: 

Partners in this endeavor include VALOR, an employee resource group made up of County employees who are also veterans, and Resilient Squad - who's donating 100 percent of their merchandise sales to the Catch a Lift Fund, an organization that provides gym memberships to wounded veterans. We also receive support from REI San Diego and the San Diego County Parks Society.


El Capitan County Preserve is located in upper Lakeside, off Wildcat Canyon Road at 13775 Blue Sky Ranch Road. Across the street is Oakoasis County Park, offering overflow parking and an additional set of trails.


Spring Summit Hike

8 a.m. – 12 p.m., Saturday, May 4

Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve

1209 Farmer Road, Julian, 92036


Join park staff on a hike up Volcan Mountain to the summit, searching for wildflowers and the scenic views that this hike provides. Be prepared for a strenuous 5-mile round-trip hike. Park along Farmer Road. For more information, call the park at 760-765-4098 or follow the event on Facebook.


Sunday Hikes with a Ranger

9:30 – 11 a.m., Sunday, May 5

Otay Lakes County Park

2270 Wueste Road, Chula Vista, 91915


Explore Otay Lakes County Park. We will hike to a beautiful view of Lower Otay Reservoir and Otay Valley. Learn about the park’s history, animals and plants. This is an easy-to-moderate hike that spans 1.5 to 2 miles. Bring water and wear comfortable hiking shoes and a hat. Meet at the park office. For more information, call the park at 619-482-7361.


Hike Dictionary Hill with a Ranger

9 a.m. – 5 p.m, Sundays, May 5, 12, 19 and 26

Dictionary Hill County Preserve

Ivy St., east of Ramona Ave., Spring Valley, 91977


Join park staff on a hike to the summit of Dictionary Hill 360-degree views of San Diego and a rare butterfly ecosystem await you at the top! RSVP required; call the park at 619-644-5492.


Oakoasis Sunday Stroll

10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Sundays, May 5, 12, 19 and 26

Oakoasis County Preserve

12620 Wildcat Canyon Road, Lakeside, 92040


This is a nice and moderately challenging walking opportunity that the whole family can enjoy - especially adults and teens. Be prepared for a few hundred feet of elevation gain and loss on a dirt trail that is steep and slippery in some areas. Please dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes and bring water for this 3-mile loop that features fantastic overviews of San Vincente Reservoir. RSVP required; call the park at 619-561-0580.


Early Morning Birding

8 – 11 a.m., Saturday, May 11

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.


Guided Hike

4 – 5 p.m., Saturday, May 18

Dos Picos County Park

17953 Dos Picos Park Road, Ramona, 92065


Join Ranger Ben for an informative hike throughout Dos Picos County Park! During the hike, visitors will learn about native plant and animal species, damage caused by invasive species, and the many ways park staff support the park's natural features. For more information, call the park at 760-789-2220.


Hike All The Way Across

9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Saturday, May 25

Santa Ysabel East Preserve

500 Farmer Road, Julian, 92036


Here's your chance to join park staff on a hike that goes the whole length of the east side of Santa Ysabel County Preserve. This is a moderate 8-mile hike; be prepared for some hills. The preserve will be green with wildflowers galore! Park at the 79 gate and then we'll shuttle to Farmer Staging. For more information, call the park at 760-765-4098.


Spring in the Chaparral

10:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., Sunday, May 26

Flinn Springs County Park

14787 Olde Highway 80, El Cajon, 92021


Come on a ranger-led hike up to Flinn Peak where we will discuss the chaparral environment and the various flowers you can only see in the spring! Wear comfortable shoes, a hat and sunscreen, and bring a camera to capture this unique environment. For more information, call the park at 619-561-0180.



Memorial Day Weekend Warrior Hike Challenge

Join us as we celebrate Memorial Day weekend with an unforgettable hike to the top of El Cajon Mountain. The trail is arguably the toughest in San Diego, so, depending on your comfort level and interest in “extreme hiking,” we’ve created three separate heats: Warrior level (12 miles), Recon level (about 6 miles) and Boot Camp (2 miles round-trip). Park staff will be on site to answer questions, and our friends at the San Diego River Park Foundation will be leading a group of hikers on an expanded tour to the summit! Healthy refreshments will be available at celebration stations, along with perks to keep hikers motivated. 


There is no cost to attend and all are welcome. Learn more on our website or follow the event on Facebook

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