Resolutions made easy with so many local trails

With a New Year comes new resolutions, many of which will be to exercise more. Instead of hitting the gym, why not take to some of our local trails and get a workout while enjoying our amazing natural surroundings?

With all these spots, remember to respect the environment by staying on marked trails, not disturbing the habitat and picking up after your pet. Be courteous with fellow trail users, be they equestrians, bikers, runners or walkers.

Carmel Mountain Preserve, Carmel Valley

MILEAGE:

3 miles of trails

TRAILHEAD:

The end of East Ocean Air Drive, next to new Ocean Air Park, Tang Drive off Carmel Creek Road and Carmel Country Road

HIGHLIGHTS:

Views of the ocean, mountain ridges, Carmel Valley. A new signpost at the Ocean Air entrance has trail tips and posted map of the mountain. Trails are mixed-use, some marked equestrian only, others hiking and biking.

Carmel Valley Restoration Enhancement Project (CVREP) Trail, Carmel Valley

MILEAGE:

1.6 miles

TRAILHEAD:

Tang Road off Carmel Creek Road and Carmel Country Road.

HIGHLIGHTS:

Paved trail, popular for multi-uses. New benches and pet waste dispensers installed this year by Eagle Scout Max Killman.

Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley

MILEAGE:

About a mile

TRAILHEAD:

Dead-end of Carmel Valley Road, past Highway 56

HIGHLIGHTS:

Quiet, wide trail, a freshwater marsh, a creek that runs when it rains and undisturbed Southern Maritime habitat. Below Del Mar Mesa Road, there is an interesting shrine of animal figurines.

Crest Canyon, Del Mar

MILEAGE:

1.5-mile loop

TRAILHEADS:

Crest Way, Durango Drive, Racetrack View Drive

HIGHLIGHTS:

Coastal sage scrub, Torrey pines and gorgeous sandstone cliffs. Open only to hikers.

Gonzales Canyon, Carmel Valley

MILEAGE:

Unavailable

TRAILHEAD

: Across from Torrey Highlands Park behind Torrey Pines High School, and off Sword Way.

HIGHLIGHTS:

New bridge installed by Eagle Scout, steep SDG&E trail offers challenging climb

Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, Del Mar Mesa

MILEAGE:

12 miles of trails

TRAILHEAD:

Del Vino Court in Del Mar Mesa, Carmel Country Road, Camino Del Sur

HIGHLIGHTS:

Coastal sage, chaparral, "cobble" trail, quiet. The Penasquitos Creek Waterfall is a real treat — the creek is the source of the Penasquitos Lagoon.

Torrey Pines Extension, Del Mar

MILEAGE:

2 miles of trails

TRAILHEAD:

Del Mar Scenic Parkway

HIGHLIGHTS:

Torrey pines, sandstone cliff walls, narrow paths.

San Elijo Lagoon, Solana Beach

MILEAGE:

7 miles

TRAILHEAD:

Solana Vista, North Rios, Manchester, Santa Helena, Santa Inez, Santa Carina, North Solana Hills, La Orilla

HIGHLIGHTS:

Trail weaves through freshwater marsh, riparian and chaparral habitats with great views of the lagoon, interpretive signage to let visitors appreciate the plants and animals. Free, guided nature walks on the second Saturday of each month. Learn more at sanelijo.org.

Know of a great trail? Let people know. Leave your suggestions at the end of this story as a comment.

   
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