Small view I enjoyed along the trail

Vista Nature Conservancy, Public Walking Trail (10-27-2014)

Location: Vista, CA
Difficulty: Easy
Hike Statistics: 1.5 to 2 miles round trip; negligible elevation change
Conditions: Day, clear sky, 72 degrees, mixed shade
Trail Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Trailhead: Brengle Terrace Park ; Wildwood Park ; Several additional points along path provide access in and out

GPX TrackGoogle Drive (Note: Accuracy Not Guaranteed; track maps Brengle Terrace Park to Wildwood Park and back, including some alternate routings)

Google Earth map of route
Google Earth map of route

This is a trail near my home that I often use for running along. I decided to go on a walk along the trail and take some pictures and a GPX track to share.

I started the trail at Brengle Terrace Park as that is close to my home, and walked to Wildwood Park. Although I did not add it into the adventure this time, I do highly recommend also checking out the Alta Vista Gardens (for a small admission fee) within Brengle Terrace Park to add some distance and truly quite interesting elements to your adventure.

Trailhead at Brengle Terrace Park
Trailhead at Brengle Terrace Park

Starting on the West end of Brengle Terrace Park, the trail cuts through some area being set aside for nature restoration, crossing over a bridge to skirt alongside Vale Terrace Drive. As with much of this trail, there’s a strange sort of cross-over between being in a definite urban area while crossing through a small stretch of land set aside for nature preservation. Those who much prefer a more secluded wilderness won’t find their fix, but I find that it creates an interesting balance worth checking out–and it certainly beats running on the hard concrete!

Bridge at the start of the trail at Brengle Terrace Park
Bridge at the start of the trail at Brengle Terrace Park
Skirting along Vale Terrace Drive
Skirting along Vale Terrace Drive

The trail quickly comes across the intersection of Vale Terrace Drive and Ponderosa Drive, where it is required to cross in order to continue on. This is the only major road crossing, but it can be a frustrating one. At the wrong time of day, I find a lot of drivers won’t stop, despite the bright, flashing lights notifying them of a pedestrian wishing to cross. It’s no heavy highway crossing, but I advise keeping your eyes and ears open and approaching with a healthy dose of skepticism towards any vehicles on the road.

Approaching the one road crossing
Approaching the one road crossing

Once across, the trail becomes a nice, shaded path alongside a woodland area surrounding a small creek. In some areas, the creek may have a steady stream going, whereas I found other areas to be completely dry. There is several benches along the path, a number of them located near the two cul-de-sacs the trail skirts around. Around these, a couple of additional access points to the trail reveal themselves, completed with bridges going across the creek.

Entering the woodland area along the creek
Entering the woodland area along the creek
Benches and additional access to the trail
Benches and additional access to the trail
First cul-de-sac
First cul-de-sac
Second cul-de-sac and more benches
Second cul-de-sac and more benches

After the second cul-de-sac, the shade diminishes greatly, but it is still largely a pleasant walk most days. I noticed an increasing amount of graffiti that has been obviously painted over, revealing just how urban this trail really is. This is never something I really enjoy seeing, personally, but it does add a unique character to this trail.

Small view I enjoyed along the trail
Small view I enjoyed along the trail
Some rocks, including one with painted over graffiti
Some rocks, including one with painted over graffiti

Eventually, the dirt trail suddenly ends in a paved loop. I hung to the left as I approached Wildwood Park, enjoying the trees and some of the odd things dotted all along the path.

Beginning of the paved loop
Beginning of the paved loop
Some piles of leaves and such along the way that struck my curiosity
Some piles of leaves and such along the way that struck my curiosity

At Wildwood Park, a small set of stairs take you to a bridge over the creek, connecting to the park. Some days, the park will be packed with people, whereas other days it will be rather empty. Compared to Brengle Terrace, this is certainly a quaint little park, but can be a nice spot to enjoy the creek and some pleasant shade.

Approaching Wildwood Park
Approaching Wildwood Park
Wildwood Park
Wildwood Park
Bridge connecting Wildwood Park to the trail
Bridge connecting Wildwood Park to the trail
View of the creek from the bridge
View of the creek from the bridge

As I turned back, I stayed left to take in the opposite side of the paved loop on my way back to the trail. Not much is different other than a slightly different perspective on the area. As I got back onto the dirt trail, I decided to stop at the different bridges connecting some of the nearby roads to the trails. They both can be quite interesting and add new elements to the walk. It was then just a short path crossing the same area back to Brengle Terrace Park, where I finished this journey.

One tree I gazed at briefly along the paved loop
One tree I gazed at briefly along the paved loop
Dry portion of the creek under one bridge
Dry portion of the creek under one bridge
One of the bridges supplying additional access to the trail
One of the bridges supplying additional access to the trail
View of the creek, rather stale at this portion, from atop another bridge
View of the creek, rather stale at this portion, from atop another bridge

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