A storm passes, and the next day is beautiful and sunny. Perfect time to get back out on the trails, right? Not exactly. When our trails get soaked after a rain, we encourage everyone to wait 48 hours before using them to let the trails dry out. This includes jogging and walking your dog (on leash, of course). Tire tracks from bikes and strollers, horse hooves, and even shoes and paw prints can damage the trail tread while it is still soft or muddy, and this can cause problems like erosion or deeper puddles during future storms.
If these tracks aren’t fixed, they can also dry up like that and create a bumpy trail surface that can be a tripping hazard or just unenjoyable to ride a bike on.
There are two places in the park, however, where we recommend heading out for a short stroll the day after it rains. These areas of the park are paved with asphalt or concrete, but please still use caution as there may be standing water or mud on the surface.
Hike #1: Sunset Dr. Staging Area to Bernardo Bay Natural Area
This hike starts at the Sunset Dr. Staging Area in Escondido (the paved lot at the end of the cul-de-sac) and takes you on part of the Coast to Crest Trail that is a paved Class I bike path under I-15, on remnants of historic Highway 395, across the David Kreitzer Lake Hodges Bicycle Pedestrian Bridge, and up the West Bernardo Dr. Bike Path to the Bernardo Bay Natural Area. Maybe we’ll see water under the bridge again this year as in the featured photo taken by James Coffee Studios back in February 2011. This is approximately 3 miles round trip.
Hike #2: Del Dios Community Park to Lake Hodges Boat Dock
When Lake Hodges is closed to fishing and boating, the access road to the Lake Hodges Boat Dock is an almost traffic-free (just watch out for maintenance vehicles) “trail” that can be used when the Coast to Crest Trail (on the lake side of the road) or secondary trail (on the opposite side of the road) are too muddy to use. Park on the side of Lake Dr. at Del Dios Community Park. This hike is almost 2.5 miles round trip.
SDRP Park Rangers work hard, even in the rain, to open drains and prevent trail damage. Thank you to everyone for heeding our warnings to stay off the trails for 48 hours after the rain stops.