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CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER: In Search of Spring at Elfin Forest


Springtime can be a little subtle in Southern California, so here is a chance to go look for it. The Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve, between San Marcos and Escondido, is a wonderful natural hiking area leading up to the Olivenhain Dam with vistas to the San Gabriel mountains, Mt. Palomar, Lake Hodges overlook, and the ocean. It crosses the Escondido Creek - a real, live, year-round creek in Southern California.

I'm planning to take a monthly hike through the park to observe and photograph springtime as it comes to Elfin Forest, and thought I'd turn it into a broader Meetup activity.

Let's meet at the Interpretive Center (itself a treat, designed by artist James Hubbell and others). I'll be heading (slowly) up the Way Up Trail (a moderate hike up 800 feet in .75 mi) to the area overlooking the dam. I'm planning a bit of lunch at the picnic area, (water and clean pit toilets availble), and then head back down early afternoon. There are a number of trails available from there.

Photo ops include panoramic vistas over the lake or from the lookout areas; birds, macro, creek, and the forest.

There are also shorter trails along the creek that are flatter and less strenuous.

I plan to repeat this trip about once a month, so that we can see the progress of the plants as they open up to spring.

Here is a short film I made about the Park.

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  • Tom M.

    Cancelling due to weather

    February 19, 2013

  • Tom M.

    Sorry, the weather is looking really bad, so I'm cancelling this meetup. The park closes during and after heavy rain, due to the fact that the creek overflows and makes it impossible to cross. I'll set up another when things settle down a bit.

    By the way, there is a parking lot at the visitor center, which generally has some spaces during the week. There is also an overflow parking area a short way down the road. I don't think that there is any public transportation out there... it's pretty remote. Of course, you can all enjoy the park at your leisure - it's a wonderful place.

    I'll figure out another date and let people know.

    Thanks for RSVPing..

    February 19, 2013

  • Robin R.

    I'll be there if its not pouring rain.
    Be prepared to park on the road and walk in.

    February 19, 2013

  • Sheila Newbery Redheaded P.

    I can even meet you at the Valley Prky (Escondido Transit Station)

    February 14, 2013

  • Sheila Newbery Redheaded P.

    If the buses don't go there I will need a ride from Midway & Valley Pkwy.

    February 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member


    What a well-produced and informative video. Makes me want to get off of the couch!

    February 14, 2013

  • Dan C.

    Looks like a terrific outing! I'll be working unfortunately.

    February 13, 2013

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