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Best of 2000: Best Urban Mountain-Biking Trails

Mission Trails Regional Park
One Father Junipero Serra Trail, Mission Gorge
(619) 668-3275

www.mtrp.org

One of the largest open-space urban parks in the continental United States, the Mission Trails Regional Park uniquely allows mountain bikers. Its 41 miles of hiking trails and 23 miles of mountain-bike trails have cool, easy rides on pavement to technically difficult, blazing hot dirt and 1000-foot descents with plenty of single track and rocks upon which to split your face. Probably the biggest danger is heat exhaustion and injury. "If you get hurt and you don't have a cell phone, there are almost 6000 acres, and you may be there a while," says the park's newest ranger, Luanne Barrett. High altitudes provide spectacular 360-degree views including the ocean, mountains, freeways, city, and Miramar pilots as they land and take off. The park is not overrun with bikers, but "don't scream around corners where you can't see people," Barrett says. Rattlesnakes are a danger, but 98 percent of bites are from people harassing the snakes. "Only 2 percent are an 'Oops, I stuck my hand or foot where I wasn't supposed to.'" Two hundred years ago, the Spanish used Native-American labor to build the Mission Dam -- its broken remains are still there. Later the northern section of the park was a military defense-training range. Ranger Rick Thompson is the mountain-bike guru in the park.

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Mission Trails Regional Park
One Father Junipero Serra Trail, Mission Gorge
(619) 668-3275

www.mtrp.org

One of the largest open-space urban parks in the continental United States, the Mission Trails Regional Park uniquely allows mountain bikers. Its 41 miles of hiking trails and 23 miles of mountain-bike trails have cool, easy rides on pavement to technically difficult, blazing hot dirt and 1000-foot descents with plenty of single track and rocks upon which to split your face. Probably the biggest danger is heat exhaustion and injury. "If you get hurt and you don't have a cell phone, there are almost 6000 acres, and you may be there a while," says the park's newest ranger, Luanne Barrett. High altitudes provide spectacular 360-degree views including the ocean, mountains, freeways, city, and Miramar pilots as they land and take off. The park is not overrun with bikers, but "don't scream around corners where you can't see people," Barrett says. Rattlesnakes are a danger, but 98 percent of bites are from people harassing the snakes. "Only 2 percent are an 'Oops, I stuck my hand or foot where I wasn't supposed to.'" Two hundred years ago, the Spanish used Native-American labor to build the Mission Dam -- its broken remains are still there. Later the northern section of the park was a military defense-training range. Ranger Rick Thompson is the mountain-bike guru in the park.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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