Santee, California, is a suburban city in San Diego County with a population of 53413. Situated in the East County region, it is about 18 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Its attractions include Mission Trail Regional Park, Santee State Park, Cowles Mountain, and the Old Santee Canal.
Mission Trail Regional Park
The Mission Trails Regional Park is a 7,220-acre piece of open space in San Diego, California. Established in 1974, it is the sixth largest municipally-owned park in the country. It is also the largest park in the state of California.
The park offers a variety of recreational and educational opportunities. It features several habitats, interpretive walks, and special programs. You can access the park through various entry points, including the Mission Gorge Road and the Father Junipero Serra Trail. If you’re visiting the park during the day, you can also find picnic tables at the Old Mission Dam.
The park is home to some of San Diego’s best hiking trails. Cowles Mountain is one of the most popular. It’s relatively easy to reach and provides a challenging workout. It has spectacular views and is one of the most popular hikes in the county. Explore it during the early morning or late afternoon.
The park is located eight miles northeast of downtown San Diego, between Tierra Santa and Santee. It includes a scenic stretch of San Diego River and the Old Mission Dam. There are over 40 miles of trails in Mission Trails. You can hike or bike along them. It has more than 600 species of plants and 300 varieties of wildflowers.
If you love hiking, you’ll love Mission Trails Regional Park. It has many different types of trails and is home to many different species of animals. Its Visitor and Interpretive Center is open every day of the year (except holidays). There are free tours and information about local wildlife. You can also enjoy its beautiful mountain views while hiking the trails.
There are also a variety of art classes available for children. A class with Nora Kearney-Johnson is held every Sunday from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m., and it’s open to children five to twelve years old. All art supplies are included in the $15 cost, but you can save $5 per month by purchasing a membership and attending multiple classes. You can find a list of classes on the website.
For hiking enthusiasts, Mission Trails State Park offers over 40 miles of hiking trails. The trails are open to hikes and mountain bikes, and are marked to indicate the distance, level of difficulty, and type of trails.
Santee State Park
For nature lovers, Santee State Park is one of the most beautiful and scenic places in the city. This park features more than 12,000 acres of land and 40 miles of hiking trails. It’s also known as a top destination for wildlife watching. Bats are a specialty here, and there are over 3 million of them living in the park. There are also opportunities for fishing and camping.
This park is perfect for camping. It offers 20 camping sites with electricity and full hookups. The park is filled with dwarf palmetto trees, which are native to the state of Texas. It also has a trail system that allows visitors to see numerous birds and animals.
If you enjoy the outdoors, San Antonio has countless state parks and natural areas. These are the perfect getaways for day trips or extended getaways. You can hike, bike, or paddle in the beautiful, natural scenery, and enjoy an array of outdoor activities.
Nearby, Choke Canyon State Park offers hundreds of camping sites. You can camp on a river, or you can rent cabins. This park is also home to the renowned Choke Canyon Reservoir. The park includes two main areas, and one of the best features is the five-mile paddling trail that winds through the hill country.
This park is also home to the LBJ Ranch, where former president LBJ was born and raised. The LBJ Ranch also includes a family cemetery. Visitors can purchase a self-guided tour permit at the visitor center. The park is also a popular place for fishing.
Old Santee Canal
Old Santee Canal Park is a 195-acre preserve on the historic Santee Canal. It features an interpretive center and museum that tell the story of the canal and its impact on the area. The park also includes a giant live oak and live examples of Lowcountry wildlife. You can visit the park year-round or book a guided tour for a group.
You can also visit the Santee Wildlife Refuge, a 7,000 acre area with a variety of wildlife. The preserve also features 7.5 miles of hiking/biking trails and elevated boardwalks. This preserve offers some of the best bird-watching in the United States. It is a migratory bird stopover and wintering area.
Another place to visit in Santee is the historic Santee Indian Burial Mound. The mound is over 1,000 years old, and was built by the native Santee tribe. A fort built on this site served as a fort during the Revolutionary War, and was used by General Francis “Swamp Fox” Marion to protect the town.
You can take a nature walk or tour the museum. It’s a great place for learning about the history of the area. There are educational plaques to read, and you can also see local wildlife. Several other places to visit in Santee include the Berkeley Museum.
Cowles Mountain is a popular hiking destination. It is located in Mission Trails Regional Park, one of the largest municipally owned parks in the southern part of the country. The hiking trail is a moderate 3-mile round-trip trek that has a 900-foot elevation gain. There are some stunning views of the city and even Mexico.
Originally known as “S” Mountain, the mountain’s name was a product of a student-painted giant “S” letter on the mountain in 1931. The letter was removed by the US military during World War II, but was painted back on in 1950. It remained there until the early 1970s, when environmental concerns made it obsolete.