San Diego Trails: Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

San Diego Trails: Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park has several fantastic trails to choose from, so however far you want to go, however long you wish to spend in this wildlife paradise, it’s entirely up to you. The Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is home to lots of black oak trees, and when the leaves turn golden in the fall it really is a sight to behold – crispy crunchy leaves, brisk fresh air, miles of open space and plenty of wildlife – sounds like heaven to me.

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park – Trails

If you plan your route right (there’s a visitor center open on weekends to give you a clue) you really can incorporate loads of great things to see as you go along (dogs are not permitted on the Trout Pond Trailhead so bear that in mind). Anyway, apart from burnt orange leaves and wildlife you can loop your way around with spectacular views of both Lake Cuyamaca and the Cuyamaca Meadows State Preserve, and even get a chance to see the Stonewall Mine, there’s gold in them there hills, or at least there used to be in the 1800’s – keep your eyes open, you never know if they’ve missed a bit.

Troutpond Trail Head is very popular with horseback riders, and is actually at the head of three trails, the Minshall Trail which intersects with the Stonewall Mine Trail. Keep your eyes open on any of these splendid trails, you are very likely to see migrating turkeys in the fall, as well as mule deer and maybe even a coyote if you’re really lucky.

The trails are only a couple of miles long (depending on how you do them of course) and though you could probably complete that in an hour or so, you’d better allow 2 to give you plenty of “stand and stare” time.

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