Trail Review: Take a breath of fresh air

There’s nothing like the great outdoors to escape the hectic school and work load. Hiking is a great way to get some cardio in, while getting in touch with nature, reloading your inner energy, discovering something new and enjoying the diverse San Diego terrain.

Here are three of my favorite hiking trails in San Diego County:
Cowles Mountain is a great place to get you’re gluteus maximus in shape. Every step up the 2 ´ mile hike feels equivalent to climbing up two steps at once.

“All the other hikes I’ve been on in Southern California have been more upward walks, I like the climbing aspect of this trail,” Sarah Simmons, a local hiker, said.

It is a moderate to advanced hike up to the highest point in the City of San Diego, where you’ll find a 360 degree parameter view of San Diego County. It can become crowed on the weekends, but it’s more of a “community feel,” Jakie Fisher, a southern Californian hiker, said of the trail.

The Mountain is off Navajo Road in the neighborhood of San Carlos, you’ll be sure to find parking on the northwest corner of Navajo and Golfcrest road. The trail is dog friendly and the hike has great reviews in the canine community.

It can become hot on the trail, so make sure you wear light clothing, bring plenty of water and wear sunscreen, especially if you decide to hike during the spring and summer months.

For more information about other hikes around the area visit the Mission Trails Regional Park website at

The Bayside Trail is located on the Point Loma peninsula at the Cabrillo National Park and is an easy 2.5 mile hike down the east side of the mountain.

On the way down you can enjoy watching the sailboats sailing out of San Diego Bay, helicopters and jets taking off at the Naval Air Station on North Island and there is an impressive view of downtown, the Coronado Bridge and the Silver Strand.

Halfway down the trail, you’ll find the first above-ground light scope used by the U.S. Military during World War I and II. On a bluff north of the Bayside trail sits the Old Point Loma Lighthouse and next to it, the modern radar instruments that the Coast Guard use to navigate ships coming into and out of the San Diego Harbor.

“It’s interesting to see how life was before advance navigation technology. The lighthouse is a significant historical building, it’s been here for 157 years and was the first navigation system in San Diego Harbor,” said Rudy Gabriel, a Cabrillo National Park employee.

The entrance fee to the Cabrillo National Monument is 5 dollars and the pass is good for 5 days.

Just off the Pacific Coast Highway, heading toward Del Mar, is the Torrey Pines Reserve. The Coastal Terrain is home to the Pinus torreyana, a rare pine tree that has only been known to grow at the reserve and on Santa Rosa Island, off the coast near Santa Barbara.

Located on cliffs, the trails overlook the Pacific Ocean and the view never gets old. Most of the trails in the park are easy to moderate level hike and you will find a broad spectrum of people on the trail.

“Sometimes I go in a bathing suit and flip flops and bring a book to read and lay out,” said Amy Myrold, a native San Diegan. If you want more of a workout, wear some hiking shoes and hike one of the seven trails in the Reserve, then head down to the beach and jump into the ocean if you worked up a sweat.

To park inside, Torrey Pines Reserve has a $10 parking fee, so if you want to save some money park off Pacific Coast Highway and walk from there. The park opens at 8 a.m. and closes at sunset.

For more information visit or the visitor center from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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Trail Review: Take a breath of fresh air