New park breaks ground in San Marcos

SAN MARCOS — The San Elijo Hills Development Company has broken ground on the 200-acre Double Peak Park, occupying the 1,631-foot-high Cerro de las Posas summit, one of the highest peaks in coastal North County.
The principal features of the park will be a 150-seat concrete, terraced amphitheatre for ranger talks, a ranger residence, a group picnic shelter and individual picnic tables, an adventure play area with a rock-climbing structure and a large teeter-totter-like play structure that flexes and bends, plus restrooms and a parking lot.
The park, which is being built by the developer of San Elijo Hills, will be owned and operated by the city of San Marcos. The park will provide access to the largest public open space area in San Marcos when completed in early summer of 2009.
“This is the crown jewel in our park system,” City Councilman Mike Preston said during the official groundbreaking ceremony.
“I don’t know of any place with such spectacular views,” Park Ranger Ron Vinluan, who has been selected to live in a home on-site, said. “Adjectives just don’t do it justice,” he said, as he identified vistas seen from the park, including the Coronado Islands, downtown San Diego, La Jolla Cove and Catalina Island.
Construction will start soon on the park’s Ridgeline Trailhead, located at the eastern edge of San Elijo Hills. The trailhead will include an equestrian staging area, providing access to an extensive soft surface trail system. The staging area is planned to include a parking lot for horse trailers, a saddling area, picnic tables, shade canopy and public restrooms. These improvements are scheduled for completion by summer 2009.
Much of the park will remain as natural open space, crisscrossed by trails and populated by native Coastal Sage scrub and chaparral. Existing trails include the three-mile ridgeline trail along the northerly boundary of the park and a four-mile trail system within the park. These trails are among San Elijo Hills’s 18 miles of trails, much of which feature ocean and back country views, and the city of San Marcos’ 55 miles of trails.
Complimentary maps of the park and San Elijo Hills trail system are available at the San Elijo Hills Visitor Center, 1215 San Elijo Road. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information visit www.sanelijohills.com or call (888) SAN-ELIJO (726-3545).

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