By Jay Wilson
Mountain biking in Mission Trails
Explore Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) on your mountain bike. The first Saturday of each month (weather permitting), join Ranger Araceli Dominguez and Maggie Holloway, the MTRP Foundation’s Administrative Assistant and member of the San Diego Mountain Bike Association (SDMBA), for a two-hour guided nature ride. These guided nature rides are geared for families and individuals who are new to mountain biking. Each month, in addition to learning about the flora and fauna of the area, you will be given instructions on how to safely ride a mountain bike and increase your skill level with each nature ride.
The next ride will be held on Saturday, Feb. 6, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the newest portion of MTRP, West Sycamore. Meet at the very east end of Stonebridge Parkway in Scripps Ranch. If you arrive a little early, members of the SDMBA will be on hand to assist in fine-tuning your mountain bike. In addition to your mountain bike, bring a helmet and water and wear appropriate clothing. For more information about this program, go to bit.ly/1SIr42H.
More opportunities at West Sycamore
On the first Sunday of each month, get some exercise and help improve the park at the same time by lending a hand as a member of the West Sycamore Volunteer Crew. Meet Ranger Andrew Miller at the very east end of Stonebridge Parkway at 8 a.m. The next Volunteer Crew will be on Sunday, Feb. 7. Please bring work gloves and wear long pants and sturdy closed-toe shoes. A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are also recommended on sunny days. Water, Gatorade and snacks are provided. For more information, contact Ranger Miller at email@example.com.
Continue to explore West Sycamore on the third Sunday of each month with Ranger Miller at 8 a.m. for a 90-minute guided nature walk on some of the trails waiting to be discovered at West Sycamore. Meet Ranger Miller at the east end of Stonebridge Parkway in Scripps Ranch. It is recommended you wear comfortable hiking shoes and that you bring water and a hat.
5-Peak Challenge is a real hit
The 5-Peak Challenge is closing in on 1,000 hikers. It was proposed by Ranger Levi Dean in an effort to direct hikers to trails other than Cowles Mountain. Just about everyone completing the challenge indicates that they had already hiked in the park and have now discovered new hiking opportunities. Do it in a day, a month, or more.
Music and art continues at the MTRP Visitor Center in 2016
The next concert will be held on Jan. 24 featuring The Rounders, a fine country western band. Then on Feb. 6, violinist Paivikki Nykter will perform along with accomplished celloist Cecilla Kim. A complete list of the concerts scheduled to date for 2016 is available on our home page under “More News.” All concerts begin at 3 p.m. in the Visitor Center Theater.
“Vision” is the current art exhibition on display in the Visitor Center through Jan. 29. The exhibition includes paintings and photographs presented by seven award-winning artists. It will be followed by a solo exhibition by photographic artist Myron Sveum from Jan. 30 through Feb. 26.
Our education program for children 4 and up resumes on Jan. 23 with Cindy Christ and her classes entitled “Tales and Trails.” On Jan. 23, it will be “Eight Legs are Great!” Meet in the Visitor Center in the morning from 9:30 to 11:30. Christ has stated, “We will explore the famous arachnid family, match the arachnid to the type of web it weaves, and hike a trail in search of some weavers. Back in the classroom, the children will craft their own web.” The class on Feb. 23 will be “Creep, Crawl and Flutterby.” Each class is $10 per child. Accompanying adults are free.
BetteAnn Pierce resumes her Art Smarts art classes for children 7 and up and adults on Saturday, Jan. 23 from 1 to 4 p.m. Each three-hour class is $25 per student and includes all art supplies. Check our webpage, mtrp.org, for more information and registration forms.
Take a hike! You may see the Great Egret that was photographed by David Cooksy, a volunteer trail guide and nature photographer at MTRP. There is always an adventure waiting for you at Mission Trails.
––Jay Wilson is executive director of the Mission trails Regional Park Foundation. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.