I went for a lovely hike this weekend in Alpine CA. We accessed the California Riding & Hiking Trail through Palo Verde Ranch.
The California Riding and Hiking Train was intended to run the entire length of the state, from Mexico to Oregon. While it was never completed San Diego has about 76 miles of the original system that is usable.
One of those places to access The California Riding and Hiking Trail is accessed through Palo Verde Ranch. The trail is accessible between 2728 and 2732 Via Dieguenos, there is a gate on the left side. This is Spanish Bit Dr, the "road" to access future lots for additional homes as part of the Palo Verde Ranch community. As you follow the trail back towards the creek, there is access down to your right and a rope to help you down and then later back up. You have to jump through a creek to get to the actual trail.
I was reluctant to hike because I didn't want to slow my friends down and also knew that in order to get back into shape I needed to start somewhere. We started around 7:45 and now that the sun is up earlier and it is getting warmer I would start earlier, although the weather was perfect for our hike. Even though I haven't hiked forever it is a pretty easy trail with an incline. At the creek crossing, it starts out a little rough, but the path becomes clear in about 100 feet or so.
As you go up the incline you have views to the south toward Loveland and beyond to Chula Vista, and as you come up to the top you have views to the North. There are gorgeous views of the mountains all around. Now was particularly a nice time because the wild lilacs and yucca are in bloom.
At some point, I wasn't tracking the distance you turn around and you can see Downtown San Diego and the Pacific Ocean, at least if the skies are clear. The view is breathtaking and you get to enjoy it for quite a ways on your way back down the mountain. We walked for about two hours. We had two teenagers with us and they went quite a ways further than us in those 2 hours. They made it closer to Bell Bluff and for now, I am fine with that. Maybe in the future, we might try to keep up with them, but I had a great time enjoying the view and the conversation. In all honesty, I didn't really talk much, that would have given away that I was breathing harder than I should have been.
My goal is to do several hikes a month, as I start to improve my health. Weather permitting of course because I am super sensitive to the heat. I am lucky to live in here in San Diego because we have quite a few great places to hike. Alpine has a few more hiking trails and as it gets closer to summer I will have to probably do more westward towards the coast.