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Mission Trails Regional Park: An overview

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Mission Trails Regional Park is a 5,800 acre preserve located 8 miles northeast of downtown San Diego. The Park is home to over 40 miles of hiking trails across hills, canyons, and open spaces. It also has boating on Lake Murray and camping at Kumeyaay Lake. Mission Hills has something to offer for nature lovers of all interests and abilities.

As you drive in on Father Junipero Serra Trail, you are surrounded by the tall, beautiful peaks of the rugged hills. If you park here, you can access the hiking trails that run up the hills. These trails are very steep and challenging.

If you want a tamer hike, you can walk along the pedestrian side of Father Junipero Serra Trail. The road is paved and mostly flat. It’s perfect for strollers, small children, dogs, or anyone looking for an easygoing walk with picturesque scenery.

If you keep driving on Father Junipero Serra Trail, you can park and walk near the Old Mission Dam. The dam looks like a scene out of Snow White. The clear water is surrounded by lush forests and wildlife. This is great spot to take pictures. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see people taking family portraits or engagement photos here.

You can keep walking past the dam to several different trails. The trails cut through the forest, around streams, and lead to open spaces. The farther you go back, the less crowded the trails are. Sometimes you can spot a lizards, rabbits, and other wildlife. Many of the trails are connected and loop back to the dam. View a trail map here.

At Mission Trails you can experience the desert, mountains, and wetlands all in one place, while customizing your hike to meet your desired difficulty. The variety of trails and environments make Mission Trails the perfect destination for any outdoor enthusiast.

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