Check It Out: Elfin Forest Reserve- San Diego Union Tribune

Cliffs in Elfin Forest, San Diego County.

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San Diego Union Tribune

THE PLACE: Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve

With a beautiful drive as therapeutic as the scenic hikes, it’s not difficult to figure out why people visit the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve. This 784-acre open-space reserve opened in 1991. It offers about 11 miles of hiking trails and six designated picnic areas and viewpoints, which include drinking water and bathrooms.

Thirteen trails with varying lengths, steepness and vegetation can be found, some of which feature scenic overlooks of the reserve, Olivenhain Dam and Reservoir, Escondido Creek, Lake Hodges, Channel Islands, Coronado Islands, the Laguna and San Bernardino mountain ranges or Pacific Ocean. Trails can be used for hiking, biking, horseback riding or walking dogs. The reserve offers free guided tours that range from fast-paced hikes to slow interpretive walks. A new addition to the reserve is the Elfin Forest Interpretive Center Honoring Susan J. Varty, which is next to the main parking lot. The Interpretive Center is free to walk through and is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. Designed by local artist James Hubbell, the small building opened in 2009 and is made of recycled materials. READ MORE VIA San Diego Union Tribune

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