I have been hoping to finally run on some trails for the past couple of months, but things kept getting in the way. First, it was training for my first half marathon and my incessant need to stick to the schedule. Then, it was a matter of actually finding good trails to run on, which is a task in itself. Once I finally figured out worthy trails to run on, out of nowhere, it rained every weekend for at least 3 weeks straight. And this is in San Diego, where it never rains! I finally found a weekend where rain was not forecasted. Actually, it rained later that afternoon, but I had finished just before it started. It may have been perfect timing since it is just a few weeks before only the 2nd trail race I’ve ever ran, the Black Mountain Summit 7K. What I’m hoping is that combining these trail runs before and after racing the 7K, I will be more than prepared for my next half marathon, the La Jolla Half Marathon (2nd half of the Half Marathon Triple Crown). This half, I heard, has a few daunting hills within this scenic 13.1 mile course.
So the trail I found is called the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, which has (at least) two main entrances to the trail. You actually have to pay ($3) to park at the lot by the entrances, but there is a park just down the road that is free to park in. I didn’t want to pull a muscle while running the trails, so…I chose to park down the road and ‘warm up’ to the entrance (good excuse, right?). What I learned at the end of the run is that there is actually a path to get to the same point from the park! Anyways, once I got to started, I noticed that the trail is very wide, which accommodates walkers/runners, bikers as well as equestrians. Because of the rains, there were not many people on the trails that morning, which was OK since there weren’t really any forks in the main road that would potentially get me lost all alone. There were a lot of side trails that led to to what looked like steeper, funner, hilly trails. But again, the rain had caused these paths to temporarily close; definitely piqued my interest though. The only problem with veering off to these trails is I have NO idea where it’ll lead me. The main path is supposed to be about 5 miles East to West and about 3 miles West is supposed to be a fun stop at a waterfall.
It was nice being able to run to a destination as opposed to just doing one big loop. However, when I got to said destination, I was a little disappointed (only a little because I read other people’s account of this majestic waterfall and they were not too impressed either). It looked more like a rapid flowing river with lots of rocks surrounding than a Niagara Falls-esque waterfall. What was cool was if you wanted to cross the ‘river’ to get to the trail on the other end, you had to very carefully walk across the rocks that were laid across. That would have been quite an adventure (if I did it)! Check out the photos below as well as the secret bridge/path to the park that I took back to my car. I’m hoping to take another stab at this trail in the future, and if I’m daring enough to follow “the road less traveled”