Balboa Park has miles of trails and walking paths with something for everyone. A number of predefined routes have been established and labeled with numbered, color-coded trail markers to help visitors explore the many sights the park has to offer. Trail #43, marked with purple square trail markers, explores the western edge of the park. The trail travels primarily across paved sidewalks, passing a number of Balboa Park’s huge array of public facilities and showcasing a diverse array of plant life that can be found in Balboa Park. It is also home to an abundance of camera-ready squirrels.
This particular trail was dedicated as the Jerry Schad Memorial Trail in honor of the original author of Afoot And Afield: San Diego. In addition to authoring San Diego’s hiking bible, Schad was an important contributor to the Balboa Park Trail Committee.
We turned north, following the road and sidewalk past the Fire Alarm Building.
At just under 1 mile we came to another “Y” junction, and following the trail marker stayed left. This brought us past Cypress Point, another large grassy picnic area with a plethora of trees to the side.
We soon crossed Quince Drive and picked up the trail on the other side. Just beyond we found the start of the “Five Flavors Walk” – a short interpretive side trail showcasing some edible and medicinal plants.
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Northbound: From I-5 North take the 6th Avenue exit, then turn right onto 6th Avenue. After approximately .5 mile, turn right onto El Prado, then right onto Balboa Drive. Follow Balboa Drive for approximately .4 miles to the Marston Point parking lot on your right, just before Balboa Drive makes a 180 degree bend. Park in the Marston Point Lot, and go down the stairs at the south end of the lot to reach the Marston Point Gateway at the corner of 6th and Elm.
Southbound: Take I-5 South to 163 North. Take the Qunice St/Balboa Park exit. Continue on Quince Street for approximately .4 miles, then turn left onto Balboa Drive. Follow Babloa Drive for approximately .8 miles to the Marston Point parking lot on your right, just before Balboa Drive makes a 180 degree bend. Park in the Marston Point Lot, and go down the stairs at the south end of the lot to reach the Marston Point Gateway at the corner of 6th and Elm.
|Total Distance:||2.6 miles|
|Total Ascent:||187 feet|
|Dog Friendly?:||Leashed dogs allowed|
|Bike Friendly?:||Bikes allowed|
|Facilities:||Bathrooms and water located throughout park|