News from the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation – Sept. 16

By Jay Wilson

In October, the Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) resumes its mountain bike series for beginning riders. Join ranger Araceli Dominguez and MTRP Foundation administrative assistant and member of the San Diego Mountain Bike Association Maggie Holloway on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 9 a.m. at the East Fortuna Staging Area (west end of Mast Boulevard off of state Route 52) for this fun-filled, progressive beginner nature series of rides the first Saturday of each month. If you are new to riding, this is for you.

Come early and volunteers from the San Diego Mountain Biking Association will help you make adjustments to your bike.


Mountain bikers ready to ride on a guided tour of Mission Trails Regional Park (Photo by David Cooksy)

During the three months of the series, the location will change to give you a new perspective of mountain biking in MTRP. There are at least 60 miles of trails within the park. Each month, the ride will increase a little in difficulty so you can try new skills and become comfortable with your bike.

“You can join us on some or all of the rides in this series,” Ranger Araceli said.

Remember to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and food. Check the MTRP webpage for the location of the next ride in the series. The distance traveled with each session is between five and 10 miles, with each session lasting approximately two hours.

Art and music at the Visitor’s Center

The current art exhibition, “Nature’s Expressions,” featuring the exceptional art of six award-winning artists is on display through Oct. 7 at the Visitor Center Gallery.


On Sunday, Sept. 18, at 3 p.m., enjoy world-class percussionist N. Scott Robinson, an eclectic and engaging musician whose repertoire is suitable for a wide range of audiences, from university appearances to concert halls. Blending his background in jazz and classical music with detailed studies of various world musical styles, Robinson’s music functions as a vehicle for contemporary composition and improvisation.

Robinson brings a wealth of experience to the performance stage with a style of music that is both widely accessible and artistically rich. His vocal and multi-instrumental performances typically feature him on the riq (Arab tambourine), bodhran (Irish frame drum), sanza (finger piano from Central Africa), berimbau (Brazilian musical bow), hindewhu (Central African pygmy whistle), and Tuvan overtone singing. For more information on this talented artist, visit his website at

The next concert will be held on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 3 p.m., and features a chamber group from the San Diego Symphony. Chia-Ling Chen, associate principal cello of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, will lead a chamber music performance by other San Diego Symphony Orchestra members.

Two New Exhibits

While at the Visitor Center, don’t forget to check out our new exhibits, the “Wildlife of Mission Trails,” with its two large touchscreen monitors and “Wildland Fires,” which displays a video emphasizing the danger of flying embers from wildland fires. They are the newest exhibits on display in the Exhibit Hall at the Visitor Center. The touchscreen wildlife exhibit allows you to select the animals you would like to see and learn more about. You may select from a variety of categories: mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, butterflies, spiders and more — all found in Mission Trails.

Art classes

The Art Smarts family-oriented art classes with artist BetteAnn Pierce continue. On Sept. 17, the topic will be “Exploring Perspective and Composition,” using pencils, charcoal, and chalk pastels. On Sept. 24, the topic will be “Chameleons in Watercolors.” Classes are held in the meeting rooms at the Visitor Center from 1 to 4 p.m. Check our homepage under “More News” at for a complete schedule of classes, cost, and registration form.

Make sure you are signed up on our secure website to receive our bi-monthly e-newsletter and keep up with all the free activities and events at MTRP. Sign up in the bottom left-hand corner of our homepage And join us on Facebook and Twitter.

If you need a meeting room during the day or a spectacular venue for an evening wedding, retirement party, celebration of life, birthday party, golden wedding anniversary, fundraiser, or corporate event, the Visitor Center is the place. Contact Maggie Holloway or call her at 619-668-3280.

Each day is an adventure at Mission Trails!

—Jay Wilson is executive director of the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation. Reach him at

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