While Felicita County Park may not have the long miles of rugged trails that other hiking destinations in Escondido have, it is a wonderful and scenic spot with much to offer. There are several interconnecting paths and trails throughout the small park, but on a hot summer day this short little loop along Felicita Creek makes for an easy and relaxing stroll.
After paying our fee at the park entrance, we drove to the first parking area we came to (Area 6) and parked the car. There were a few families at the nearby playground, but otherwise the park was fairly empty. It was a hot day so an easy walk under the shady oak trees sounded perfect.
From the Area 6 parking lot, just south of the bathrooms and the pavilion area, we headed west down the slight hill towards a small bridge.
The small bridge spanned the idyllic Felicita Creek.
Once across the bridge we turned left, following the path below the towering oak trees. There were numerous picnic tables along the creek to our left.
We found another bridge that spanned the creek, which provided a good vantage point for photos.
Back on the trail, we quickly came to the road we had driven in on, which passed over the creek.
The trail led right up to the road, where we turned right and walked on the pavement a short way to a parking lot labeled “Area 7.” We found the continuation of the trail to our left, in the south west corner of the lot.
We continued on the trail, under more shady oaks.
We descended a short set of wooden stairs and skirted the edge of a grassy picnic area. The trail turned left, back towards the creek.
We found a beautiful spot along the creek’s edge, where a series of stone walls that ran across the creek created a cascade of artificial waterfalls.
A friendly dragonfly was also enjoying the serenity of the creek.
Continuing on, we found yet another great spot to relax and enjoy the water flowing through the creek. A stone bench sat on the shore, overlooking another cascade.
The path continued on through the lush woods. At a little over .4 mile, we came to another small wooden footbridge. We crossed it and turned left, heading back towards our starting point.
On this side, the trail was somewhat removed from the creek, and we were a little more exposed to the warm sun.
A cooperative butterfly posed for us on a sunny tree leaf.
Soon enough we were back among the shade of the trees again.
The trail moved back towards the creek briefly, and we found another overlook where we could admire the other side of the cascades we’d been looking at earlier.
Somewhat upstream was a small grove of palm trees.
The trail led gently uphill through more exposed, grassy terrain.
Before long we came to the road again, and found ourselves at the edge of the Area 6 parking lot. From here we just walked through the parking lot back to our car.
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Take I-15 to the Via Rancho Parkway exit. Go west on Via Rancho Parkway for approximately 1.1 miles, and turn left onto Felicita Road. Follow Felicita Road for approximately .4 miles then turn left onto Clarence Lane. Pay your day use fee at the kiosk, then follow the road to the first large parking area on your right. This is Area 6. Drive to the end of the parking lot and park. The start of the trail is near the kiosk next to the amphitheater/pavilion area. map
||Leashed dogs allowed
||Water and restrooms in park
||$3 per vehicle parking fee
For more information, visit:
County of San Diego Parks & Recreation – Felicita County Park
View route or download GPX from CalTopo