With spring in full effect, it is a great time to explore some of San Diego's natural beauty. While most people are familiar with Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, less know about Torrey Pines Reserve Extension right across the wetlands! Today the Torrey Pines Reserve Extension Area protects some 1,500 more of the Pinus torreyana trees, the rarest pine tree in North America that survives only here and on Santa Rosa Island in the Channel Islands off Santa Barbara. About 4 miles of trails traverse the Extension. This is where we'll be exploring the Margaret Fleming Nature Trail, a 1.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Del Mar Heights School. The hike is classified as easy and good for all skill levels with an elevation gain/loss of about 230 ft. This trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding. It's also expected to feature beautiful wildflowers, so make sure to bring your cameras!
The Margaret Fleming Nature Trail was named after the wife of Guy Fleming, Torrey Pines' first park custodian. (He's got a trail in the main Reserve.) Throughout the trail are several numbered posts that were originally used to help children learn in the field. Each post identifies an area where there is something unique or educational. The original posts have since been replaced by a local Boy Scout troop, but are still useful in identifying various points of interest along the route!