.

Saddle Up—Mission Trails Regional Park

Touting 40 miles of trail, this is a place you may want to look into.

The weather is beginning to cool down on many days so we can get out and enjoy the great outdoors with our equines.

Getting out on the trail is important in several aspects of my life. As an active trails advocate, as part of the and Back Country Horsemen, it helps to have first-hand information for members about our local trails, in addition to writing for your information. It is also one of the things that provides me peace of mind and relaxation, and we all need that from time to time. 

Gal-pal Shawn and I loaded Casey and Cricket into the horse trailer and decided to visit Mission Trails Regional Park. With about 40 miles of trail available and 5,800 acres, this park provides loads of space to explore. You may find this interactive trail map handy. 

The equestrian staging area provides parking for 47 cars and up to 15 vehicles with horse trailers. There are 12 picnic sites and four 12' X 12' horse corrals available for use by the public. The staging area is open and easy to navigate and one-way traffic around the loop helps to avoid the need to back up. Restrooms are available, picnic areas at the staging area and in several locations throughout the park provide a nice spot for a break. We did not happen to notice any water available so take some with you for you and for your equine. 

This is a multi-use park, so visitors come to enjoy walking, mountain biking and horseback riding. There were many strollers, umbrellas, bikes, kids, back packs, dogs and all sorts of other “horse eating” things during our visit. Thankfully our equine companions are accustomed to just about everything, however I understand many equines are not, so, for safety sake, do some round pen work before your visit to this park.

The trails range from steep and rocky to flat and rocky. Shawn and I found that on the west side of the park the rocks are not pleasant on our equine’s feet. The trails were covered with some sort of sharp, loose shale, which not only hurt our horse’s feet but felt unsafe at times so we rode east, under the 52 freeway to see what was on the other side. Most of the trails were still fairly rocky, but the rocks are rounded river rock and easier on the feet of our equine buddies. We rode for four hours then decided to call it a great day of riding. 

We met a very nice woman, Dorothy Leonard, who snapped a few pictures of the four of us upon reaching our trailer and we learned that this park is only about eight miles northeast of downtown San Diego. We had driven down Highway 67 so it never dawned on me that we were so close to downtown. Hey, I just went along for the ride, I didn’t pay much attention to the directions. As long as Cricket and I are out exploring the wonderful trails in San Diego, neither of us care much where we go. Here are directions for you so you can visit the great outdoors in the Mission Trails Regional Park.

Address:
One Father Junipero Serra Trail
San Diego, CA 92119-1008

Hours:
Sunday - Saturday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Closed: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day

Directions:
From Interstate 8 – Take Interstate 8 to the Mission Gorge Road/Fairmount Avenue exit. Turn north onto Mission Gorge Road and proceed for 4.2 miles. When you pass the Jackson Drive intersection, move into the left lane. Look for the large wooden Mission Trails Regional Park sign on the left side of the road, and turn left onto Father Junipero Serra Trail. The entrance to the Visitor Center parking lot is on the left, just before the pipe gate, off Father Junipero Serra Trail.

From Highway 52 - Take Highway 52 to the Mast Blvd. exit. Driving from the west, turn left onto Mast Blvd, go under the freeway to the first traffic signal at West Hills Parkway, and turn right. Driving from the east, exit Mast Blvd. and turn right. Turn right at the first traffic signal onto West Hills Parkway and right onto Mission Gorge Road. Proceed south on Mission Gorge Road for 2.4 miles. Look for the large wooden Mission Trails Regional Park sign on the right side of the road, and turn right onto Father Junipero Serra Trail. The entrance to the Visitor Center parking lot is on the left, just before the pipe gate, off Father Junipero Serra Trail.

From Highway 125 – Take 125 north to Mission Gorge Road and turn left. Proceed west on Mission Gorge Road for 3.7 miles, staying left at the merge past the east Father Junipero Serra Trail entrance. After you pass the light at Golfcrest Drive, look for the large wooden Mission Trails Regional Park sign on the right side of the road, and turn right onto Father Junipero Serra Trail. The entrance to the Visitor Center parking lot is on the left, just before the pipe gate, off Father Junipero Serra Trail.

From Route 15 - Take 15 to the Friars Road exit and proceed east on Friars Road, which changes into Mission Gorge Road, for approximately 4.2 miles. After you pass the light at Jackson Drive, turn left onto Father Junipero Serra Trail. The entrance to the Visitor Center parking lot is on the left, just before the pipe gate, off Father Junipero Serra Trail.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »