My current routine has me doing a long run and/or a trail run one weekend morning, and going hiking with my group on the other weekend morning. Today was run day, and I selected two short-ish nearby trails described in Afoot & Afield that I had not yet crossed off my list.
I am making yet another attempt at starting a blog of my life and my hikes. I know this posting comes a bit out of the blue and with no preamble other than having just updated the site’s About page. However, I want to get the trip report written now while things are fresh in my mind. I will plan to post a “what the heck am I doing” posting another time!
In this posting I’ll describe the first trail, the Lakeside Linkage Trail. I’ll make a separate post to discuss the second trail in Stelzer County Park.
The stats above are per Afoot & Afield. My mileage was a bit longer because I explored. The trailhead for this urban hike is right on the side of Los Coches Rd in Lakeside. The trail started out by heading straight across a field alongside a neighborhood, but quickly started climbing. On the way up I missed a fork that would have taken me to a long pair of switchbacks, and instead I scrambled up the steep, loose dirt. Soon the trail flattened out and I came to a criss-cross jumble of mountain bike trails. There was also a few square fenced succulent gardens, which were pretty – maybe they are trying to grow in the area a bit. The pre-dawn view was lovely.
The trail became a bit confusing with all the mountain bike tracks, but I quickly realized if I just stayed to the far left, the trail veered up a ridge and the way became clear. The trail briefly joined a dirt road behind some houses, then again turned up along the ridge. Eventually the trail descended to a long drive that led to the historic Whitaker House. Initially I started walking up the drive until I realized the trail actually continued up to the house. Walking through the gate to the property, I first encountered what must have been the barn. Past the barn, in the middle of the property, was a concrete-walled “park.” Finally came the house itself. Of course it was closed but I was able to look into a few windows. When I got home I tried to find some more info about the house but it appears to have been donated to the SD County Parks, not to the Lakeside Historical Society; and the parks website has no info about it that I could find. However, I did find this Union Tribune Article from 2009.
On my way back I took a small detour to check out a viewpoint, then headed back down the hill. This time I took the switchbacks. When I got home I realized that the area where the mountain bike trails were (Fit-2 Benchmark), and the location of the house (Hilltop) are peaks on Peakbagger. Two peaks logged, yeah!