Friday, April 29, 2016 / by Kimo Quance
We all know Santee Lakes is one of the area's biggest attractions, but camping out isn't everyone's favorite summer activity. Good thing the Santee area is also famous for its mountains and is a popular spot for mountain bikers and trail hikers.
One of its more popular hikes is the Cowles Mountain trail located in the Mission Trails Regional Park, the largest park in California. If you are keen to get in a good workout but want to avoid the crowds on the main trail, Big Rock Park, Santee has just the thing for you.
The trailhead for Cowles Mountain, the highest point in the city of San Diego, runs right by Big Rock Park. The north eastern end of the park offers you access to the secluded start of an intense five mile hike up to San Diego's highest peak. Have fun!
Fun For All Ages
Big Rock Park doesn't offer only access to a trail; it's packed with amenities and activities that the whole family can enjoy. Its two sizable playgrounds have many play structures, rocking animals, slides and swings for children to play with. Toddler swings and slides guarantee that even smaller kids will get a chance to play.
With soft padding and wood chip in certain areas, you won't have to worry about the kids falling over and getting injured. For kids who want to splash around, there is a slow moving creek running through the park.
The building at the north-west end of the park usually offers a recreation program classroom and Santee's summer day camp for toddlers; be sure to check local listings and see what's available this year.
Pets and Picnics
Only three miles from the city center, this park has ample parking space and five acres of lush green to exercise your pets on, between 5 am and 9 am. A basketball court, two tennis courts, a sand volleyball court provide active alternatives to hiking for adults and teens.
The park has picnic pavilions with open-air seating that can be reserved for hosting special events. It offers a simple, fuss-free 'party spot', so get ready to fire up the BBQ at Santee Big Rock Park. They even have a little stage area for small acoustic bands to perform.
Another of Santee's hidden gems, Big Rock is one of Santee's eight parks that offering fun family-friendly activities totally free of charge.
Relax and enjoy this summer in the Santee area.