Parks and Rec

Show Your Military Appreciation at County Parks

Celebrate Military Appreciation Month with two patriotic events at County parks.

First, gather up family and friends for a Salute to Military Families at Lake Morena on Saturday, May 20. The festivities are hosted by County Parks in partnership with VALOR, the County’s employee resource group for veterans.

Pack a picnic and make a whole day out of it. The park has miles of trails for hiking and biking, a stocked lake for fishing, boat rentals, plus there will be plenty of games, planned outings and crafts for the kids.

A $3 day-use parking fee will apply to vehicles of non-campers. Attendees are requested to RSVP for the event on Facebook.

Next, step up to the challenge with a Memorial Day weekend adventure hike to the top of El Cajon Mountain at El Capitan County Preserve.

County Parks is also teaming up with VALOR for its bi-annual Warrior Hike Challenge to test the mettle of our local military members, their families and supporters.

“Events like the Warrior Hike Challenge are planned to acknowledge, engage and reward our local veterans and active-duty military personnel,” said Parks and Recreation Director Brian Albright. “Like many military members have described of their service, El Capitan is a hike known for being tough, yet, rewarding.”

The 12-mile trek is broken into heats to match all athletic abilities. Participants can choose from three different hikes: “boot camp,” an easy/moderate 2-mile hike for prepared beginners lasting 1-to-2 hours; “recon,” a moderate challenge for skilled hikers covering over 6 miles and lasting 2-to-3 hours; and “warrior,” a difficult 12-mile hike for experts lasting up to 7 hours.

Join the hike on Saturday, May 27 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at El Capitan County Preserve, located at 13775 Blue Sky Ranch Road in Lakeside. The Warrior Hike Challenge is free and open to all ages.

Plenty of water, proper hiking gear and an early start is strongly recommended.

Healthy snacks and fun giveaways will be provided at celebration stations along the trail. All trekkers will be entered into an opportunity prize drawing for hiking-related prizes.

Michelle Mowad is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact