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Today’s Cafe San Diego is about outdoors San Diego. That happens also to be the title of my recent book (with Jack Farnan), Outdoors San Diego: Hiking, Biking & Camping, from Premier Publishing. For many years I was editor of the Outdoors Forum (now discontinued) for San Diego Magazine’s online edition and posted monthly tips and news about the many opportunities for enjoying our outdoors world, whether for residents or visitors. 

Those monthly write-ups formed the basis for the outdoors book.

For outdoors fans, living in San Diego offers opportunities galore, with our different environments of beach, urban parks, foothills and backcountry, mountains and deserts — all in the same county. I doubt any single county in the United States has such a wealth of outdoors options, plus we can enjoy getting outdoors in February while much of the country is freezing. 

 So I invite you to join in with your own comments, questions, recommendations or concerns about our many local trails, parks, or campgrounds. Whether:

  • a newcomer here or outdoors novice who might want to get started getting out more
  • an occasional hiker or stroller in your neighborhood park who might want to know about more outdoors options beyond your local turf (a question I often get on my public talks)
  • a heavy-duty hiker with a favorite place you might want to share
  • a hiking group or leader offering ways for people to get acquainted with the outdoors safely
  • a park enthusiast or supporter who might want to share some good news or concerns.  

Now to some hiking opportunities to enjoy perhaps this weekend or after work.  As we’re experiencing hot weather, here are a few right along the coast from south to north (and all described fully in Outdoors San Diego):

  • Border Field State Park, a lightly-visited gem right at the ocean, a major estuary and the Mexican border. Take a picnic, a stroll, binoculars.  Interstate 5 almost to border, see sign marking park exit.
  • Coronado’s bay front shoreline. Start at Tidelands Park, right beside the bridge, then stroll under the bridge or on the boardwalk for wonderful views. Or take the ferry over from San Diego’s Broadway pier to Coronado’s Ferry Landing Marketplace and amble either way, perhaps with lunch or a cocktail margarita thrown in.
  • San Diego Bay’s Shelter Island. A definitely popular spot for good reason. While enjoying some exercise, view the bay’s multi-faceted world of sailboats, naval vessels, North Island planes and birds galore. Walk down to the James Hubbell inspirations looking over to Naval facility.
  • Kate Sessions City Park, up Lamont Street in Pacific Beach. Great for a stroll and the view of Mission Bay is magnificent (on a non-hazy day, that is).
  • Torrey Pines State Reserve, which is about tops for its variety of terrain and ocean overlooks, plus the new beach access has re-opened (the previous exhilarating trail was washed out).
  • San Elijo Lagoon, between Del Mar and Solana Beach. Walk along the section east of I-5 for stress-reducing observations of lagoon foliage and fowl. Or go over to the Visitor’s Center west off I-5 (Manchester exit) for an educational visit to the kiosks or stroll out along the boardwalks.

Is that enough to get us started today? More later so check back in.

— TOM LEECH

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