Parks and Rec

Skip Black Friday, Discover County Parks’ Green Friday

Escape the shopping madness of Black Friday on Nov. 24 and discover the upside of outside during County Parks’ Green Friday. You can relax, breathe in the fresh air and maybe work off some of those Thanksgiving dinner calories. You’ll save some green, too. Parking fees will be waived at all County parks.

County Parks is offering several special Green Friday events across the region. They range from coffee with a ranger and a “Work Off the Turkey” boot camp class to exploring a butterfly garden and a sunset hike.

They all take place on Friday, Nov. 24. Here is a roundup of events:

Green Friday West Vista Loop Hike

Join a docent for a moderate five-mile hike through grasslands and old-growth oaks in San Diego County’s backcountry. Sturdy shoes are required. Be sure to dress in layers, wear sunscreen and bring plenty of water.

Los Coches Creek Cleanup

Help us clean trash and invasive plants from Los Coches Creek before they follow the San Diego River watershed to the ocean. Wear comfortable clothes, protective footwear and bring your own gloves. Tools and trash bags will be provided.

“Work Off the Turkey” Boot Camp Class

Stop by and check out the new attraction at Lindo Lake: a fitness trailer that opens to the outdoors. Join this special edition, high-intensity, calorie-burning class and start shedding those holiday calories. All fitness levels can be accommodated. Sorry, no kids under the age of 16 or pets.

  • When: 9 – 10 a.m.
  • Where: Lindo Lake County Park
    Outdoor Fitness Studio
    12660 Lindo Lane, Lakeside
  • Contact: 619-443-1666

Coffee with a Ranger, Cardiff-by-the-Sea

Grab a cup of free coffee (while supplies last) and talk one-on-one with park rangers on everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the San Elijo Lagoon. The rangers can tell you what’s special about the park, its history and information about plants and animals. Animal ambassador Franklin the Tortoise will also be there. Kids can check out the TRACK trail or you can take the family to nearby Annie’s Canyon.

Coffee with a Ranger, Del Mar

Park rangers will be on hand to tell you all about San Dieguito County Park from its history to the kinds of plants and animals that live there. But be sure to get a free cup of coffee first. If you wait too long, it might be gone! Kids can meet animal ambassadors like Ms. Alibi the Florida King Snake, Zeus the Bearded Dragon and Crawley the [Kind] Tarantula. You can also join a ranger on a trek to Activity Hill.

  • When: 10 a.m. – Noon
  • Where: San Dieguito County Park
    Ranger Station
    1628 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Del Mar
  • Contact: 858-755-2386

Hike with a Ranger, Butterfly Garden Tour

Take a guided hike along 1.5 miles of trails around the lake. You’ll learn about native and non-native species, local history and plans for improving the park. Afterward, stop by the Butterfly Garden. Wear comfortable shoes.

  • When: 10 – 11 a.m.
  • Where: Lindo Lake County Park
    Parking Entrance Kiosk
    12660 Lindo Lane, Lakeside
  • Contact: 619-443-1666

Late Afternoon Sunset Hike

Discover County Parks’ newest climb at the Helix Flume. This trail is easy to moderate and less than a mile long. From this trail, you can watch the sun set over incredible views of the valley. Sturdy shoes are required. Dress in layers, bring water and carry a flashlight for when the sun goes down. Get a sneak peek of the trail in this virtual tour.

  • When: 3:45 – 4:45 p.m.
  • Where: Helix Flume Trailhead
    14003-14023 El Monte Road, Lakeside
  • Contact: 619-565-3600
Inclement weather will cancel events. Call park offices for the latest information. All County parks and preserves are open on Green Friday, though offices may be closed. See the full list of parks and preserves that you can visit – free of charge – on Green Friday. For more information about any park, visit


Tracy DeFore is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact