Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve is located on the border of Escondido and southern San Marcos. Although it is a popular hike, it would be a lot more popular if it weren't so hidden. I didn't know it existed until just a few months ago.
There are about 11 miles of hiking in the 750+ acre reserve.
Within this small area there are three habitats; Chaparral, Coastal Sage Scrub, and Riparian Oak Woodland. While hiking, one can't help but notice all the biodiversity.
Fred and I were surprised by the amount of wildflowers, there were at least five different flowering species.
The Way Up Trail is the most challenging of the trails; 1.41 miles to the top.
The Olivenhain Dam contains eight billion gallons of water. It is part of an Emergency Storage Project for San Diego County, a six month water source in case of drought or major earthquake. The dam is built to withstand, and remain operational during an earthquake, and is the largest of its kind in North America.
What a perfect day for a hike with the one you love.
North County has a lot to offer. It is impressive that Escondido has managed to preserve the land that it has, but I can't help but wonder what it used to look like before it was developed.