It’s summer, time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. There’s no better way to do that than by visiting one of our local State Parks. Though several of these gems are just an hour or so from home, a visit transports you to another world.
The State Parks System has over 280 parks covering about 1.4 million acres. Local parks include Palomar Mountain State Park, in the northeast corner of the 75th Assembly District. Located on the west side of Palomar Mountain, a visit feels like a trip to the High Sierras. Covered with thick forests, the park features camping, fishing, hiking and picnicking. The view from the fire tower at Bourcher Hill Summit is breathtaking, and on a clear day you can see into Mexico, out to the Channel Islands, with most of North County at your feet.
A visit to Anza Borrego Desert State Park in the summer may not be on your list, but the starlit nights are magical. Covering one-fifth of San Diego County, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in California and the second-largest in the lower 48 states. With five hundred miles of dirt roads and miles of hiking trails, Anza Borrego is a treasure.
Other local North County State Parks include Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, offering a variety of camping, equestrian and hiking activities. A number of State Beaches including Carlsbad, San Onofre and San Elijo are within easy driving distance. And for history buffs, don’t forget the San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park just east of Escondido, providing a unique insight into the Mexican War.