San Diego is best known for being “America’s Finest City”, but like most locations, it also has a stranger, darker side, built on speculation, myths, rumors, and legends. With Halloween just around the corner, along with the shorter days and cooler nights of fall, now is a great time to explore these thirteen locations to search for monsters, ghosts, aliens, and whatever else may be out there. I’ve compiled this list from my experience and from what “evidence” is present in the public domain about these spots. I’ve subjectively ranked the spots from “most active” to “least active”, or for the skeptical readers out there, from “most credible” to “least credible”. Irrespective of how you feel about the supernatural, this is a great list of San Diego locations that add historic flavor to a fine city that are worth a visit.
Although a variety of great outdoor options exist in North County San Diego, one of the newer outdoor multi-use areas is the Del Dios Highland Preserve. Comprising some seven hundred and seventy four acres of coastal sage scrub and mixed chaparral habitats, the preserve also straddles the San Dieguito and Escondido Creek Watersheds. From 2002 to 2004, the area was restored by the County of San Diego and its partner, the Escondido Creek Conservancy, and from 2005 onward, has been a preserve that has been open to the public. The preserve features one trail, the Del Dios Highland Preserve multiuse trail that is accessible by mountain bikers, joggers, and hikers alike, which also connects the preserve to the nearby Elfin Forest Preserve.
From the trailhead, the trail winds along the Escondido Creek, and there is a small area near the beginning that has great views of the creek. At this point, it is definitely worth noting that this trail is interactive – the reserve has placed markers along the trail that can be followed in one of two ways – by the paper trail guide that is present at the location, or online via this link HERE. This is a great way to learn about Southern Californian plants, and the local ecosystem of the reserve, and personally for me, I think that it’s great that this can be accessed on your smartphone while hiking – it’s a great way to be outside and learning all at the same time. After a short distance, the trail crosses over Escondido Creek, which, depending on the season, may be flowing high or low. Once you are across the creek, the trail passes through a grove of Coastal Live Oak, before heading uphill. While this section of uphill is not as steep as the nearby “Way Up Trail”, it will definitely get the blood pumping.