Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Undercover San Diego: Louis Stelzer County Park

This has to be one of the best maintained, and conveniently located San Diego county parks. The park is out in Lakeside or Eastern San Diego County (map). The East County can get a bit warm in the summer and early fall but that is the great part about this park, it has shade.

This park and surrounding area has lots of Elderberry tress (Mexican). I was curious to try some of the berries to see if they would work in beer. Well from the looks of the pictures I was at least a couple weeks late (but not too late for rattlesnakes). They were already dried out. So now I know for next year.
The other cool part about Louis Stelzer County Park is that there are wild grapes growing throughout the creek bed. I wanted to go sample some of these and see what they taste like. I was too early for wild grapes, they were still extremely sour (Warhead sour). With a bit more research I found out that they may take till late October or November before being ripe.

The park has several trails and all are walk-able in just a couple hours. The main trail down the canyon is great and has nice signs that educate you about different plants and their Indian uses. From here you have the choice to retrace your steps or go up the hill and loop around with a stop at a great look-out point.
This is a great park to bring your lunch for after your hike. They have plenty of picnic tables, a play set, and also a short paved trail under the oak trees. There is a cheap parking fee that I have no problem paying, knowing it goes straight to the Park System. Stay tuned for a few more parks out in forgotten Lakeside.

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