For parents with a passion for hiking, having a newborn may make it more difficult to get out there and hit the trails. Long distances, narrow trails, and uneven surfaces make it impossible to take a stroller on the trail. There’s something soothing about nature and getting outside can help with the stress of having an infant. The following trails are stroller friendly hikes in San Diego for parents and their newborn!
San Diego’s Stroller Friendly Hikes
One of the challenges I found when searching for family friendly hikes was the lack of options on trails suitable for strollers. Most hiking trails were too narrow, too steep, or too rough for strollers. One of the other things I found was that most trail guides were geared towards families that would be bringing along their child in a carrier. This led me to ask the question, do people not really want to hike with a stroller?
The thought of heading out to a local park or a street side sidewalk isn’t exactly my idea of experiencing nature. I compiled this list of trails to help out other families looking for a way to get outside, enjoy some fresh air, and experience a little bit of nature with their newborn. All the following trails are stroller friendly in some way or form and located throughout the city.
This short two mile trail in Cabrillo National Monument is mild in elevation and only two miles long. The views overlook San Diego Bay, Coronado, southeast San Diego County, and down into Baja California. The trail concludes overlooking where the first European explorer, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo landed and discovered San Diego.
Like the Bayside Trail, there’s also a lot of history at this preserve. There are numerous trails that wind through this preserve with most of the ones that wind along the creek not suitable for strollers. There is however a gravel utility road that runs through the north and south side of the creek. The gravel road is for equestrian use but the condition is good enough for most strollers.
City sidewalks can become a little monotonous for those used to being immersed in the quiet of nature. Balboa Park is however one exception. This park holds over sixty miles of urban trails, many of which are suitable for strollers. The trails wind through the inner areas of the park showcasing its beautiful gardens, architecture, and history.
Are you aware that San Diego is home to one of three extinct volcanoes in Southern California? The perimeter of this preserve features a small lake and an extinct volcano. On the preserve’s western side there’s even a Solar System walk that’s built to scale with informational placards along the way.
Rising above the mesas of the heart of San Diego is a large man made reservoir. This artificial lake helps to quench the thirst of thousands of San Diegans. There’s a five mile loop trail here and this place is a phenomenal area to watch the sunset over the coast of San Diego.
Draining the watersheds of the cities of Carlsbad, Encinitas, and San Marcos is Batiquitos Lagoon. A smooth dirt trail travels along the north side of the lagoon and highlights the significance of this lagoon to the native animal species that take up residence here.
In the corridor dividing Oceanside and Carlsbad is over two hundred acres of eucalyptus trees. In the decades of the mid 1900’s this area was used by locals as an area for the youth to build treehouses. Today its managed by the City of Carlsbad as an urban park with three miles of smooth dirt trails that wind through the large swath of forest. During the winter the trails are lined with greenery. Hawks can frequently be seen and heard soaring high above the treeline.
Mission Trails Regional Park is one of the largest city managed parks in the United States. The entire park contains over sixty miles of trails. While most hikes aren’t suitable for strollers, the Father Junipero Serra trail is. Over four miles of an old paved road cuts through Mission Gorge from one end of the park to the other.
Other Stroller Friendly Hikes In San Diego
Although many of these trails don’t compare to some of the longer and more rigorous trails, these areas still give parents the option of getting outside and into nature. Remember, not all strollers are created equal and may not be able to go out onto anything other than paved surfaces. Be sure to know what your stroller can handle.
As a general rule of thumb, the larger the wheels, the more capable of being able to handle smooth dirt surfaces it will be. What are some other stroller friendly hikes in San Diego that weren’t listed? Leave a comment below.