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

Meander amid native grasslands and oaks at Wright's Field in Alpine.

Wright's Field, just south of Alpine's commercial district, is a refreshing bit of open space plunked down amid East County's growing rural and suburban development. Alpine's homegrown Back Country Land Trust has managed to purchase 230 acres of rolling grassland and oaks here so far. The nonprofit organization is currently seeking funds to add another contiguous 141 acres of undeveloped natural habitat to the existing protected area. Although small in area compared to neighboring Cleveland National Forest lands, Wright's Field preserve will likely become an important site for wildlife, rare plants, and local recreation in the years to come.

Hikers are welcome to tramp around the site, which has seen much use by both hikers and equestrians in recent years. To get there, exit Interstate 8 at Tavern Road, and follow Tavern just over one mile south to MacQueen Middle School on the left. Find a space to park along Tavern Road in front of or near the middle school. On foot, follow the residential private road going east along the school's northside fence for 0.2 mile until you reach its dead-end. Continue through a gap and into Wright's Field preserve.

From this point on, for a looping route of 1.5 miles (more or less, depending on your exact route), bear a little left, following a narrow footpath. Continue working your way clockwise all the way around the perimeter of the treeless meadow known as Wright's Field. Pick and choose your route amid many intersecting dirt roads and trails.

The grasses here are a mixture of native bunchgrass and exotic imports such as wild oats and filaree. Gray-green Engelmann oaks dot the edge of the meadow and can be seen growing on the rocky slopes above the meadow's eastern edge. Other common vegetation includes toyon shrubs; white sage (notice the pungent scent); California sagebrush (notice the sweet-pungent scent); and small clumps of poison oak (don't touch!). Near the beginning of your clockwise circling of the meadow, look for a straight row of rounded boulders on the right, the bare remnants of stone walls belonging to a Spanish rancho that dates back to 1840 or earlier. Here and there along the route you'll get fine vistas of the regional landscape, including Viejas and El Cajon mountains, both looking a little stark in the aftermath of last year's Cedar Fire.

You'll optimize your visit to Wright's Field if you confine your exploration to early morning or late afternoon/early evening, when long shadows drape across the sensuous contours of the meadow. The spring season here is typically characterized by morning coolness and sometimes fog, followed by midday heat, followed by a brisk, cooling west wind late in the day.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Going beyond banh mi at Banh Mi Hoi An

Terrific take-out options include a warming beef stew

Wright's Field, just south of Alpine's commercial district, is a refreshing bit of open space plunked down amid East County's growing rural and suburban development. Alpine's homegrown Back Country Land Trust has managed to purchase 230 acres of rolling grassland and oaks here so far. The nonprofit organization is currently seeking funds to add another contiguous 141 acres of undeveloped natural habitat to the existing protected area. Although small in area compared to neighboring Cleveland National Forest lands, Wright's Field preserve will likely become an important site for wildlife, rare plants, and local recreation in the years to come.

Hikers are welcome to tramp around the site, which has seen much use by both hikers and equestrians in recent years. To get there, exit Interstate 8 at Tavern Road, and follow Tavern just over one mile south to MacQueen Middle School on the left. Find a space to park along Tavern Road in front of or near the middle school. On foot, follow the residential private road going east along the school's northside fence for 0.2 mile until you reach its dead-end. Continue through a gap and into Wright's Field preserve.

From this point on, for a looping route of 1.5 miles (more or less, depending on your exact route), bear a little left, following a narrow footpath. Continue working your way clockwise all the way around the perimeter of the treeless meadow known as Wright's Field. Pick and choose your route amid many intersecting dirt roads and trails.

The grasses here are a mixture of native bunchgrass and exotic imports such as wild oats and filaree. Gray-green Engelmann oaks dot the edge of the meadow and can be seen growing on the rocky slopes above the meadow's eastern edge. Other common vegetation includes toyon shrubs; white sage (notice the pungent scent); California sagebrush (notice the sweet-pungent scent); and small clumps of poison oak (don't touch!). Near the beginning of your clockwise circling of the meadow, look for a straight row of rounded boulders on the right, the bare remnants of stone walls belonging to a Spanish rancho that dates back to 1840 or earlier. Here and there along the route you'll get fine vistas of the regional landscape, including Viejas and El Cajon mountains, both looking a little stark in the aftermath of last year's Cedar Fire.

You'll optimize your visit to Wright's Field if you confine your exploration to early morning or late afternoon/early evening, when long shadows drape across the sensuous contours of the meadow. The spring season here is typically characterized by morning coolness and sometimes fog, followed by midday heat, followed by a brisk, cooling west wind late in the day.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

How the lockdown has changed National City crime

Mask snitches, domestic violence, mental health calls up
Next Article

Going beyond banh mi at Banh Mi Hoi An

Terrific take-out options include a warming beef stew
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close