I am scheduling this as part of the Out Run CF Virtual Race. You can see more details here (http://dirtyrunning.blogspot.com/2011/02/out-run-cf-virtual-race.html) and register here. There is a $20 donation for the registration fee, and you get a really cool t-shirt. If you don't register for the virtual race, come and join us anyway. It's a beautiful trail and you can make it as short or as long as you want.
The Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve is a great place to run and offers amazing views of North County. The parking lot is located at 8833 Harmony Grove Rd. in Escondido and is easily accessible from San Marcos, Escondido and coastal areas. See the driving directions here (click the red push-pin and enter your address for directions):
We will meet at the Main Parking Lot at 8:00 AM. We will then take the "Way Up" trail to the Ridgetop Picnic Area where we can grab some water. The "Way Up" trail is steep and lasts about 1.5 miles, but once you get to the top it levels out. At this point, you can choose whether to head back down the trail, or continue on the Ridgeline trail to the "Lake Hodges Overlook" trail to the "Lake Hodges Overlook Loop" trail. Download a trail map here:
The entire run is between 6 and 7 miles. It is a straightforward trail system, so if you want to hike the uphills and run the flats, you will not get lost - there is only one way up and one way down. This run will accommodate all levels (hikers and families welcome). Plus, it's free.
I recommend bringing some water, a hat and some nutrition. You can do this run/hike in regular running shoes, but trail running shoes are preferable. When we have done this run in the past, the parking situation gets a liitle crowded, so you may need to park in the overflow area (just past the main entrance), or on Harmony Grove Rd. (above the parking lot).